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  The journey began by boat, down the Jhelam or Vyath - Hydaspes river from Srinigar to Bandipur on Volur lake. From there the extensive and heavy baggage was sent with Muhammed Yaqub Khan and Naik Shamsuddin via the Gilgit Transport Road to Hunza. Stein liked to travel as light as possible and for this section of his trip such was essential. With Lal Singh and Afraz-gul he departed on 2 August directly toward Chilas through the deep gorges of the Kishanganga {short description of image}and across the watershed towards the Indus by the Barai pass at 14,250 feet. At that point they had reached Chilas territory. Two more days and across the Fasat Pass at 15,200 feet brought them to the fort at Chilas{short description of image}
{short description of image}(Darel and Tangir are shown on mapa2as)
  At the location where the river passed the Hodar valley Stein's 'exciting journey' stopped and the baggage was ferried across. Above the village there Stein spotted a ruin on a ridge some 300 feet above so of course climbed to examine this 'fort' - 160 yards by 100 yards in size. {short description of image}  

Section IV - Darel Old and New

He narrates his trip through Darel. The first main stop was at Mankial. As usual with foresight he had sent the Wali a list of 'old places' he wanted to visit. He describes each in turn in the order visited. {short description of image}The first was Ramal-kot and oval enclosure on a rocky ridge with long axis 100 yards. The second was Zhomi-kot and the third Taronali-kot. He then visited Bojo-kot, actually a series of fortified houses on a walled terrace. {short description of image}After visiting several walled villages Stein was taken to Raji-kot on a rocky hill about 500 feet above the river valley, then past Bodo-kot and Gali-kot on spurs to stop at Gali-kot. On a high ridge above Raji-kot Stein found a massive wall. Throughout the valley, or rather on the ridges and spurs around it, Stein was shown many more ruined walls and enclosures. One had walls 16 feet thick. {short description of image}Stein decided that the Raji-kot for had been the main residence of the ancient rulers of Darel. Now Raja Pakhtun Wali had decided to build his castle (palace), called Gumare-kot, in a plain just south of this hill.


Stein moved from Gumare-kot down the main Darel valley southward back toward the Indus, passing walled terraces, old irrigation canals, villages and more forts. {short description of image}Near Shaha-khel he found a ruined fort on a high peak called Lokilo-kot (Red Fort) built of clay - a rectangle 174 by 115 feet with corner bastions 12 feet square. It commanded the entrance to the valley.


He met the garrison of Gupis fort which guards the entrance to the Yasin valley and route leading to Mastuj and Chitral.


Stein then traveled from the Baroghil saddle to Murgach near the Karambar pass. He passed a small fort built by Wakhis as defense against Kirghiz raiders. He was now at 14,420 feet elevation passing glaciers that fed rivers to both west and south. {short description of image}


Section IV - In the Valley of Tash-Kurghan

Stein refers also to the mountain fortress at Kiz-kurghan, which was already a ruin when visited by Hsuan-tsang in the 7th century and which Stein described in Serindia. His point was that this ruin could not have survived even in its dilapidated condition except for the dryness of the climate He stopped on 11 September to visit another ruined fortress known as Bazar-dasht. the northwest wall measured 190 yards but the remains rose only 3-4 feet above ground. Stein also revisited the fortifications of Tash-kurghan. A detached enclosure was measured at 193 by 83 feet with round towers 10 feet in diameter at three corners. There were gates remaining in the north and south walls. The walls were only 2-3 feet thick built of large bricks or stones. Further down the ridge he found another enclosure 53 by 26 feet. {short description of image}


Stein completed a 40 mile ride to Kashgar. Stein passed a walled village, Ak-bash town, with walls of 129, 144, and 164 yards length. The walls were of stamped clay to an average height of 20 feet. Above this rampart there was a wall of sun-dried bricks 13 x 13 x 2 inches to an additional height of 10 feet. At the northeast corner the wall was 10 feet wide at top with a 3.5 feet wide parapet to 7 feet height.


Section II - The Sites of Koyumal and Vash-Koyumal

Stein departed Vash-shahri and reached Charkhlik . He found remains of a brick ruin 15 feet in diameter near the center of the ancient walls previously described. This he identified as a stupa. To the south, outside the cultivated area he found two more ruins. One was called Koyumal. {short description of image}Its walls 8 feet thick were made of sun-dried bricks. The walls were about 218 yards long where still existing. In the center was another stupa some 28 feet square and 14 feet high. The sun-dried bricks were 17 x 9 x 4 inches. {short description of image}. Near this were two Vihara chapels each about 20 feet long and 9 feet wide.

Stein moved on south about 1.75 miles to another place named Bash-Koyumal.{short description of image} Parts of its wall remained in segments about 45 feet long made of sun-dried bricks 17 x 9 x 4 inches and 4 feet 9 inches thick. There was also a massive wall 10 feet thick and 50 feet long near the center.{short description of image}. Fig 107{short description of image} shows another stupa 12 feet square and remaining to 9 feet height made of bricks 17 x 9 x 4 inches.


The Ruined Fort of L. K.

On 5 February Stein was able by using field glasses to sight the ruins of fort L.K. in the distance. They soon noticed another fort west northwest of the first. {short description of image}and,{short description of image} and, {short description of image}and , {short description of image}and, {short description of image}. The fort was an irregular oblong with longer sides facing northeast and southwest about 620 feet long and the shorter sides 330 feet long. The corners were oriented to the cardinal points. The walls were massive but very badly eroded. But piles of drift sand protected parts of the walls. The surviving sections of the southwest face clear of sand on the inner side showed the construction methods. Outside and inside the fort the wind had eroded the ground level to depths of 25 feet. The wall was built of alternating layers of clay and Toghrak trunks and branches laid crosswise. The layers were more narrow as they rose giving the walls a slope inward. It was 32 feet wide at the base. The first clay was lumps of hard clay 5 feet thick, excavated from near the river. The second layer of Toghrak was 22 feet wide and 1.5 feet thick with a leveling layer of tamarisk brush under it. Then came a layer of clay 4.5 feet thick followed by another of Toghrak timber 15 feet wide and 2 feet thick. Above that was a clay layer 4 feet deep and then a layer of Toghrak 10 feet wide. The top of the wall was eroded too much for accurate measurements. But Stein was sure that the original top layer had been clay with a likely parapet. He presumed that the wall had originally been coated on both sides with clay. This had eroded along with the outer portions of the clay layers. {short description of image}and{short description of image} The sketch shows that the original wall must have risen to over 21 feet. The layers of wood increased in depth with each layer upwards while the clay layers decreased in depth. This method was to reduce 'top heaviness'. The wall was reinforced by vertical timber posts in pairs inner and outer, connected for a frame and some 15 feet apart. Stein believed that the design indicated Chinese engineering. The original gate was in the northeast face about 100 feet from the eastern corner. The top of the gate was eroded away but there was a considerable remains of the timber framework. The sides of the gate were revetted by nine posts on each side set in two massive foundation beams each 22 feet long. A cross beam joined the two near the entrance indicating that the gate had been 10 feet wide and 10 feet high. The gate was closed near the outer end by a massive wooden door of two leaves each 5 feet wide. One of these was on the ground with its boards 3 inches thick secured by stout cross-joints. The cross beam had sockets that once held the door jambs. The adjoining posts had holes into which fitted the cross-bar securing the folds when closed. This facility was similar to the gate found at Kara-dong in 1901. {short description of image}and {short description of image}

Inside the walls there was an area near the middle of the northeastern wall about 130 feet by 100 covered with heavy timber debris . To the south of it there were remains of two small groups of timber and wattle built quarters. The timber was cracked by centuries of erosion. Excavation revealed that the original walls were of a Toghrak frame with vertical wattle packed with tamarisk branches secured to cross beams joining the posts. The plaster on both sides reached 8 or 9 inches in thickness. A western room measured 27 by 20 feet. Stein continues with descriptions of a number of other ruined buildings. No written remains were found at L.K. {short description of image}But Stein estimated the fort was dated from the same period as Lou-lan, that is to the 3rd century AD. The fort L.K. is on a straight line between Lou-lan and Miran, which was at that time the capital of the region and known as Yu-ni. L.K. {short description of image}lies about 30 miles south of Lou-lan, and was no doubt designed to protect the important route between those two posts.


They passed the ruined forts at Arun-takhai and Tara-lingin examined during the previous march north. He noted tower T xlviii b where the Han wall hits the left bank of the river. He found a series of 5 ruined watch towers in a line northeast from the right bank near the fort Ulan-duruljin on a rising ridge He visited the southern most of these, Tower T xlviii g, built of bricks 14 x 8 x 6 inches with layers of reeds between each third course. He lacked more time to search for a connection of the wall toward Mao-mei nor further toward the north-east .

Lal Singh found a ruined town at Lo-t'o-ch'eng with walls of stamped clay 10 feet thick and of length over a mile east to west and 1,430 yards from north to south. (Once a sizable town). The nearly empty interior was divided by a cross wall. There were bastions along the walls and at the corners. The gates in the eastern and northern walls were protected by outworks. He found several coins from 1644-63 and 1851-62.


On 22 August Stein departed Kan-chou to Mao-mei He passed the decayed part of the Ming Great Wall. That section of the wall continues to the famous fortress at Chia-yu-kuan. Stein noted that the decay seen in the medieval Ming wall was a marked contrast to the relative preservation of the much older Han wall that was built in far worse terrain and climatic conditions. Passing Cheng-i he noted many towers and defensive positions on hills and ridges. At Mao-mei he was reunited with both Lal Singh and Muhammad Yaqub..


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On 2 September they set out but the flooded river required half a day to cross. The next day they crossed the line previously found of the Han wall west of Mao-mei. They found two additional towers, Txlv a and T xlv b. made of stamped clay and layers of tamarisk. The following day they found towers T xlv c , d, and e on the same line.
On 5 September they finally got away from civilization into the Pei-shan desert hills. Immediately they found yet two more towers, T xlv f and g.

On 9 September they crossed another ridge at 5,300 feet. They rode on during 10 and 11 September before stopping at another spring, Lo-t'o-ch'uan, on 12 September.

On 16 September he continued. They turned due west in an open valley. They had to halt for the night and await the camels. Next morning the 'guides' found the oasis at Ming-shui only a mile away. {short description of image}.


Afraz-gul made a sketch of a small fort at Bai meant to protect the area from intruders from Mongolia to the north east. {short description of image}The fort measured about 320 feet on each face and had gates in the middle of the north and south walls. There were rectangular bastions at each corner, The walls were of stamped clay and 8 feet thick.


Section II - The Site of Pei-t'ing and the Posterior Court of Chu-shih

Stein started with Afraz-gul the 13 miles from Guchen to Urumchi. at Jimasa he visited the Pei-t'ing ruin. . On 20 October Stein visited the place.
The outer walls {short description of image} had enclosed an area about 2,160 yards north-south and 1,260 yards east-west. The walls were greatly decayed and some completely eroded. Their plane table survey revealed some of the former connections. Stein estimated that originally the walls were 30 feet wide and 20 feet high with massive bastions in the corners. There was also an inner enclosure with similar walls. {short description of image}


Section III -Search among the Ruins of Toyuk
With the two main surveyors gone on their solo treks westward toward Lou-lan, Stein left Khara-khoja on 11 November to explore north-east of Turfan into the foothills. He stopped again (before in 1907) at Pichan to visit the Chinese magistrate. Among other things he wanted to examine more of the 'karez' irrigation. A Karez, found also in pre-Mongol Iran, was an underground tunnel dug out to form a aqueduct to carry irrigation water safely to avoid evaporation in the intense heat. In the T'ien shan foothills these were particularly effective in catching the runoff from the melting snow and transporting it below the rocky sarai to the fertile oases further south. He fully describes the terrain crossed during this short trip. Plan {short description of image} shows a Mazar encountered along the route. He found that this Muhammadan Mazar had been built into a pre-existing Buddhist shrine. Nearby was a much larger ruin of a Buddhist shrine and monastery. In the cliff above were caves also used as shrines. There were also two large, ruined watch towers built of bricks 13x8x4 inches. One tower was 19 feet square and 30 feet high with two flights of stairs leading to a room 8 feet square.{short description of image} The other tower on a bit of high ground was 16 feet square. Further toward Toyuk Stein came upon another tower {short description of image}"tower of Sirkup'. {short description of image}and {short description of image} Rather than a watch-tower, this was another Buddhist shrine.{short description of image} It had a base 48 feet square at the base and 10.5 feet high built of bricks 14x9x4 inches. Above this were six remaining receding stories each with arches and niches for Buddhist images, some of which were still visible. He could see red paint remaining in some niches and presumed that the structure was originally highly decorated. The structure was too fragile for safe climbing. Stein estimated its remaining height at 50 feet.
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Section I - The Ruins of Ying-p'an
On 17 March Stein set out for Ying-p'an. The following day they reached Ying-p'an ruin where they met a team from Tikenlik sent to bring them supplies. Stein was amazed to meet in this group a Panjabi he had known 14 years previously. He connects this occasion with a conclusion that this was typical of the way Indians and other Westerners in medieval times would have penetrated throughout the basin as traders. Next day he turned his team to work on the Ying-p'an ruin first discovered by Sven Hedin in 1896. Right away Stein came upon a group of stupas {short description of image}. The ruins are shown in {short description of image} on a plateau 28 feet high above the Shindi river. The plateau is shown on {short description of image}. The main stupa is {short description of image} and {short description of image}. Its diameter was 18 feet, resting on a square base 27 each side and 7 feet high, but Stein could not determine its original height. This was constructed out of sun-dried bricks 15x13x3 inches. Between layers of brick there were layers of stamped clay and gravel 5-6 inches tick. Around the stupa was a brick wall about 3 feet thick and 61 by 50 feet in length and width. Stein quickly found his rubbish heaps, overlooked by previous searchers. Among the debris were found Kharosthi wooden 'documents'. There were 9 smaller stupas around the central one. The whole site was typical of a worship shrine found at the head of a life-giving river. Stein visited two more small stupas a few miles north along the stream. The better preserved of these measured 15 feet square at the base of 7 feet height topped by a 8.5 foot high dome. They were built of sun-dried bricks 15x13x3 inches. There was a small fort. {short description of image} shows the walls around the site. {short description of image} This was circular with diameter of 194 yards, built of stamped clay and 24 feet thick at base. The better preserved sections were 18 feet high. Thirty foot wide gates were in the east and west sides. Stein dated the fort to Han times since it corresponded to the fort at nearby Merdek. But coins found there indicated it was occupied still on T'ang era. Outside the west gate Stein found another shrine containing a stupa {short description of image} and {short description of image}. I This shrine had a platform some 46 feet by 40 and 13 feet high built of bricks 15x12x4 inches. The stupa was about 17 feet in diameter on a base 23 feet square.


Section III - Watch-stations along the Ancient Road to Korla
Kurgan turned out to be a ruin of a small watch tower, which Sven Hedin had found in 1896.{short description of image} It was a massive tower 34 feet square at base with an enclosing wall, about 10 feet high and 3.5 feet thick at its top, at a distance of 76 feet on all sides. Both structures were constructed in similar fashion to the towers along the Han wall near Tun-huang. {short description of image} It was built of sun-dried bricks 15x7x3 inches with reed layers 2-3 inches thick between each course, and covered with plaster. The tower still had a height of 29 feet with a chamber 12 feet square at the top. At a height of 20 feet the tower wall was 7 feet thick. {short description of image} The southern face showed a breach 5-6 feet wide, where there probably had been the entrance. The tower, then was hollow, in contrast to many solid towers at the Han wall. Stein found the remains or wooden rafters inside, indicating that there had been several stories of rooms. There were loopholes (6 by 4 inches) in the southern face, which faced the outer gate and in the surrounding wall. These were set in two rows 2 feet apart vertically and 5-6 feet apart horizontally, thus providing for maximum firepower. Both external wall and tower were reinforced by Toghrak timbers. Several walls and the tower showed exposure to fire. Stein found evidence that the site had been reoccupied much later than the destructive fire, during the T'ang era. But this tower and the others Stein found dated from Former Han period, as noted in Annals from 101 BC. at that time they were needed for defense against the frequent Hun raids.
On 23 March Stein set out once again toward the north-west. After moving 16 miles they reached the next tower, YII, {short description of image}described by Dr. Hedin. This one was also similar to the Han wall towers and also had adjacent quarters pl 38. It was on an artificial platform 12 feet above its surroundings. The tower remained about 20 high and originally was probably 20 feet square. It was built of the similar bricks 15x7x8 inches with reed layers each 16 inches. The reinforced masonry facing was about 2 feet thick but fallen on the northern side. The nearby quarters measured 27 by 19 feet. The platform was extended by a well-built revetment and there were two approach ramps which Stein considered excellent examples of Chinese engineering skill. Next day Stein abandoned search for springs and towers apparently missed in passing and set out for the next visible tower ,Y III. {short description of image} It was a pyramid with base 55 feet square and 20 feet at a remaining height of 30 feet built of typical bricks 15x8x3 inches. But there were posts jutting up from the top indicating that the original height was at least 10 more feet Stein noted strong construction from strong timbers. It was designed as a watch and signaling tower.
About 5 miles further, he found another tower YIV {short description of image}. This one was similar to the last but had decayed much more but still remained to a height of 30 feet. Up to 10 feet the construction was of single layers of bricks with reeds between them. Further up the reeds were only between every 5 or 6 brick courses. And there were vertical and horizontal timbers.
After moving on for 4 miles Stein found another tower Y V. It originally was likely 24 feet square, built of alternating layers of reed fascines 3 inches deep and earth layers 2 inches deep. It was very badly ruined, standing only 12 feet high. The whole tower had slide down the tamarisk cone on which it was built.
On 25 March they followed a track to the Konche-darya during which move they met Ibrahim, a local hunter, who then served well as a local guide. Ibrahim guided them to a very badly damaged tower Y VI, set among tamarisk cones, that they otherwise would have missed. Still, it was 22 feet high.
On 26 March Stein departed camp at Gherilghan-kol to investigate two more towers (called Sanje and Yar-karaul) before reaching district headquarters at Kara-kum. Sanje, Y VII, {short description of image} was constructed of solid brick masonry. Only the northern face remained in tact to a height of 25 feet. Stein found that there was an inner core some 35 feet square at its base with an outer addition to 57 feet square{short description of image}. Both parts were of bricks 15x8x3 inches with reed layers between each 4 courses. Stein assessed this tower as from Former Han dynasty era. In the refuse he found several pieces of lacquered leather scale armor. A few empty graves were found nearby.
They moved on to the watch tower called Yar-karaul YVIII located on one of a series of mesas 50 feet high and 112 yards long (yars). {short description of image}and plan 38 again. Only the southern wall, 4 feet thick, remained standing to a height of 10 feet. The tower was about 19 feet square at the base and built of the same size bricks. They continued on to reach Kara-kum after dark, having traveled 31 miles that day even with the two stops to excavate the two towers.


Section IV - The Territory of Wei'li and the Modern Kara-kum
Stein remained at Kara-kum for two days. He associated this area with the ancient Chinese Wei-li kingdom, mentioned in the former Han Annals, just north of the Shan-shan and Chu-mo kingdoms. The Kara-kum district extends from near Korla along the Konche-darya to below Tikenlik. At that time it held 2000 families. The town is not mentioned in the Annals of the Later Han but its king is listed among others defeated by Pan Ch'ao in 94 AD. It is again mentioned in the Wei lio written between AD 239-265. and again in the T'ang annals. Its importance stems from its location as a cultivated link between Charkhlik, Tsaidam and Tun-huang to the south and Korla and regions north of the Taklamakan. (And today it is still on the main highway between those places.) Stein was particularly interested in the several shifts for the location of the district headquarters that resulted in its placement at Kara-kum. He was able to interview the retired district magistrate, Huang Ta-lao-yeh, a Tungan from Urumchi. This official explained the details of local cultivation and the problems with expanding colonization toward Lop. Chief among them was not the water supply, but rather that irrigation and cultivation soon brought salt up from below the surface. Another problem stemmed from the character of the 'colonists' brought from distant oases around the Taklamakan. For the most part these individuals were either lazy or independent souls used to roaming and not sedentary heavy agricultural work. These folk would drift away after a couple years of expending the initial government payment given to attract them. At the same time these colonization efforts were a source of profits for the Yamen officials who extracted their part from the same government payments. Stein examined the agricultural plots and interviewed many farmers to confirm the assessment from the Amban. He found another ruined watch tower nearby. There was a tower at Suget-bulak Y IX.
Stein summarizes his conclusions about the line of towers and its construction as part of the Chinese expansion across the northern route between the Taklamakan desert and the T'ien shan mountains. He mentions also the two similar towers he found near Ming-oi in 1908 as described in Serindia. He notes the close geographic connection between the towers near Korla and those he had just visited west from Ying-p'an. {short description of image}The Kara-shahr valley was a strategic passage between the Chinese colonies being developed south of the T'ien-shan and the Hun grazing regions to its north.
From Suget-bulak Stein passed through excellent and prosperous agricultural areas fed by a canal from near Korla. map 21. He reached Korla on 30 March. The section concludes with another detailed list of objects found at the six watch towers.


Section I - Along the Foot of the T'ien-shan
three surveyors all joined him at Korla. Lal Singh had surveyed the rugged western Kuruk-tagh, Muhammad Yaqub had completed his survey in the Turfan depression and then begun survey around Lake Baghrash, and Afraz-gul had surveyed the route from Tikenlik to Korla. Stein was busy there preparing for the next phase of the expedition. He comments that he has already inserted the information about Korla itself in Serindia.
On 6 April the teams set out westward over the 938 miles to Kashgar. Lal Singh was sent north to survey a route through the foothills and as high up in the T'ien-shan as he could. Muhammad Yaqub was sent south to survey the Konche and Inchike Daryas and then the Yarkand darya clear to Yarkand. With him went the best camels in order that they might be rejuvenated before being sold. Afraz-gul will travel with Stein to do what plane-table survey time will permit. Stein rushed along the main routes in order to reach Kashgar by May. Stein notes, that in view of his rush and that the places along the high road had been explored and reported on by many other writers he will confine himself to general remarks about what he sees.
Just past the edge of the cultivated area near Durbil Stein found the first small fort, with walls 16 feet thick of stamped clay still reaching 26 feet high. At a further 16 miles he found a ruined watch-tower reduced to a mass of clay, but its base platform was still 53 feet square with a height of 18 feet. On this was the remains of the tower 26 feet square and 8 feet high built of the same size bricks as found at the other towers. Surrounding this platform was the remanent of a enclosing wall. Stein estimated it was from the Han Dynasty. The next day they reached Charchi after 22 traveling miles. They continued on 8 April to Eshme.


Section II - The Seat of the Protector-General
Ten miles from Eshme Stein reached Chadir, a larger town. map20 A further 10 miles from the edge of Chadir cultivation brought them to Yangi-hissar oasis with a population estimated at 800 families. This oasis owed its importance to a route from it leading north to the Yulduz plateau in the mountains; a favored Mongol trade route. Lal Singh surveyed this route up to 11,800 feet in the pass. At Yangi-hissar Stein surveyed north to Ak-tam and then to Bugar while Afraz-gul surveyed south to Aghrak and then to Bugar. Afraz-gul found the ruin of a small fort at Aghrak. Stein found two small ruins at Ak-tam, the crossed the Kizil River to the south-west and reached Bugar. They halted for a day a this district headquarters, a sizable town governing some 4000 families. The Bugar 'old town' ruin was an enclosure 300 yards square of decayed earthen ramparts mostly only 10-12 feet high. But part of the western side still rose a full 18 feet with its top 22 feet wide holding a parapet. Stein considered it was from Muhammadan era. Afraz-gul took a southern route to Kucha along which he found another, similar fort some 260 by 240 yards in circumference, called Koyuk-shahr . map21 - At this point Stein briefly stops his narration to address again the ancient Chinese annals at length from which he concludes that the Bugur area was the location stated for the residence of the 'Protector General' who was to command Chinese garrisons circa 100 -60 BC.


From Bugur to Kucha
On 12 April Stein left Bugur moving directly west to Kucha. A few miles on he came to a massive watch -tower inside a walled enclosure {short description of image} known as Lai-su-tura. This one was 48 feet square and still 47 feet high constructed of the same size bricks. A hundred yards to the north he found the remains of a fort whose walls had mostly eroded but originally was about 192 yards square with the remaining wall segments 10 feet thick. One corner tower remained in the south-west corner 39 feet square at base and to a height of 26 feet. Stein's main purpose in finding these watch towers and forts was to confirm that he was on the ancient direct caravan route to Kucha. Another 2 miles west he found the remains of a stupa and another enclosure also on{short description of image}102 by 84 feet in circumference. This one he identified as Muhammadan. He halted to camp at Yangi-abad, a hamlet with 18 families.
On 13 April he set out again for Kucha. He soon found another watch-tower (KV) {short description of image} 32 feet square at its base and 29 feet high with a 13 feet square guard room having 4 feet thick walls. {short description of image} The bricks again were the same as other towers as well as the timber reinforcing. Further west he found yet another walled enclosure KVI.{short description of image} This one had one enclosure 57 by 48 yards within another one. Both four-foot thick walls were of the same size bricks. At a further 2.5 miles distance west Stein found the next ruin (KVII) {short description of image}a small enclosure 22 feet square with walls 10 feet high of the 18x8x3 inch bricks. Another 800 yards west was a larger enclosure 94 feet square (KVIII) with walls 5 feet thick and 13 feet high in places. The bricks were 12x6x3 inches. There was a gate on the southern side, protected by an outer wall. There were 12 foot square bastions at the southwest and east corners.


Kucha I - The Oasis in its Geographical Aspects and the Position of its Ancient Capital
Stein begins his discussion of Kucha with the T'ang records and the significance of Kucha's geographic location. He mentions that the town still has an old wall that existed in sections around it with a rampart of stamped clay 60 feet wide at base and remaining height of 18 feet, with some sections to 23 feet. There were small, square bastions at intervals along the wall. A massive tower, named Pilang-tura was located 3/4 mile from the south-eastern corner. This was built on a stamped clay base 37 feet high out of bricks 16x8x3.5 inches . The tower was 82 long by 70 feet wide at its top plan 39.{short description of image}


Ruined Sites West of the Muz-art River
On 20 April he began touring sites south-west and west of the cultivated area, guided by Mir Sharif. A few miles out of town they found Kosh-tura, a tower with remaining height of 54 feet. The tower was 95 feet wide on its northern side, 82 feet on the eastern side, but the other two sides were decayed. At 25 feet elevation the masonry recedes to form terraces .Stein pronounced this a Buddhist shrine. The bricks were 15x12x4 inches in size. A few yards to the south-west he found another mound 32 feet square and 36 feet high.
On 21 April Stein moved further west to the Toksun area to another ruin named Kalmak-shahr. It was a small fort some 100 feet wide with a wall 14 feet high and 13 to 3 0 feet wide at its base. Stein skipped several other ruins to follow the Khotan route southwest to Dash-tughemen. He found another ruined outpost named Ak-tiken-shahr about 90 yards square. Traversing 27 miles on the 21st he reached a new camp at Shahidlar.
On 22 April he turned again south to find Tonguz-bash.{short description of image} The walls here were about 168 yards on each side with various bastions all built of sun-dried bricks 15x8x3.5 inches. The walls were 18 feet thick and 18-20 feet high. There were gates on north and south sides protected by curtains and an outer court. Stein found no structural remains in this fort. But the refuse dumps contained the usual small artifacts, Stein dated to the T'ang Dynasty as an outpost to guard the route from Khotan.
On 23 April he moved to see several small ruins to the north. These included another enclosure 168 by 153 feet with a wall 15 feet thick and in places 20 -22 feet high, plus bastions. (plan 40) Further north he passed Topa-shahr to Wang-yari, where he found a cemetery. Another 4 miles away he found an unusual enclosure, named Och-kat, about a mile in diameter that had a triple ring of ramparts. The outer rampart was in places 78 feet thick and 15 feet high. The second ring was 52 feet thick. Stein could not account for this unusual fortification.
On 24 April he continued on to Tajik and Toghrak-akin. At Kosh-tura he found another tower 45 feet square at base and 34 feet high constructed of clay slabs. To the north 86 yards away was a ruined platform about 46 by 42 feet and 18 feet high. He found evidence of a shrine on the top. Mir Sharif informed him that in past years there had been walls with remains of painting. Some 60 yards to the east was another enclosure. From Kosh-tura Stein went west to Tajik {short description of image}.


Remains South-east of Kucha
On 30 April he visited the ruin at Kotgluk-ordu.
On 1 May he moved on to Khanak-atam where he met Afraz-gul. The latter had found several more enclosures during his survey from Yulduz-bagh. {short description of image}
On 2 May Mir Sharif took Stein to another ruin named Chong-shahr, an oval earthen rampart 10 feet high and 340 yards on its major axis. Next to it was a mound 70 yards across and 30 feet high. Another small enclosure 398 feet square with walls 7 feet thick lay to the north-east.
On 3 May they continued east-north east to find yet another small, oblong enclosure 200 yards north to south with 15 feet high walls. Stein mentions more enclosures seen by himself or Afraz-gul.


Old Remains within the Bai District
On 9 May he left the road to Bai to take a northern route to the ruin at Tezak-kaghe Ming-oi {short description of image}He found the paintings on the cave walls had deteriorated {short description of image}but sufficient remained to identify the caves as Buddhist shrines. A ruined building of stamped clay 40 by 26 yards remained on the top of a small ridge. The end of this ridge contained remains of a walled village 140 by 100 yards, protected by a ditch across the ridge and a stone wall. He camped at Jigdalik (map 12) and on 13 May visited the cave shrines. {short description of image}There were four cave-shrines close together and others scattered in side ravines. They contained only tracings of wall paintings. Plan {short description of image}shows Jig I where Sahib Ali, Stein's friend and Kucha Ak-sakal had dug up the mass of documents years ago and sent them to Sir George Macartney. The cave was 12 by 14 feet complete with door and window. There were still fragments of Brahmi documents that Stein retrieved. Another cave, Jig II in the plan, contained remnants of painted plaster images including a seated Buddha. Stein found more caves on the other, eastern, side of the ravine one of which, Jig III, he shows in the plan. Stein considered that it was the presence of springs in this location which had enabled to establishment of these Buddhist shrines. This was the final archeological exploration Stein undertook during this expedition.


Past Ak'su and Maral-bashi to Kashgar

Stein covered the remaining 150 miles in six days. He describes as always the topography and vegetation along the road. He found two ruined forts at Chilan.


Old Remains in Wakhan
With this section Stein enters Russian Central Asia, now Tajikistan - Tajik Republic
On 1 September he reached the confluence of the two branches of the Oxus flowing from the Great Pamir and Sarhad. {short description of image}Nearby to the east on a rocky ridge he found the massive walls of a fort above the hamlet, Hissar.{short description of image}His sketch plan {short description of image}shows that the approach to the fort is on the south-west side, the others being too precipitous to climb. It was about 140 yards long and 75 yards wide at the widest place. The well built walls were 6 feet thick at the top. There were oblong bastions and small rooms within.{short description of image} The locals claimed the fort was built by 'Kafirs', that is long prior to the arrival of Islam. Stein estimated that the method of construction could well support that idea. A mile west of Hissar there was another hamlet, Zang, above which on a steep spur 1000 feet above the village was another ruined fort, called Zangibar. This one was oblong about 60 by 25 yards {short description of image}built of stone slabs {short description of image}. The lower 6-7 feet were courses set in hard plaster, above these the stonework was much rougher. There was a small square bastion on the northern face.

On 2 September Stein continued down the valley closely matching the topography to Hsiung-tsang's description. He passed the Kala-i-Panja {short description of image}, the location of the main Afghan post. Next he passed Ishmarg, {short description of image}and {short description of image}from which he viewed the Hindukush far to the south. He stopped to camp at Warang - elevation 9,700 feet. {short description of image}Near there Stein visited another hill-top fort on a spur north-west.{short description of image} This one consisted of a stone wall across the narrow end of a spur defended on both sides by sheer cliffs. The enclosure was 108 by 20 yards with a tower.{short description of image}
During his day at Yamchin Stein surveyed another hill fortress at Zamr-i-atish-parast. and {short description of image} {short description of image}It also was 1000 feet above the valley floor on a steep spur. The first line of defense is about 400 feet up the slope in which there is a gate flanked by round towers. There is a wall 4 feet thick and in places 11 feet high across the spur to the cliff. The wall ajoins the inner wall that is 6 feet thick in places. Round towers, one of which is 13 feet in diameter, guard this wall as well. All the walls are built of unhewn stone set in mud plaster. But the towers are of sun-dried bricks 12x9x4 inches with walls 6 feet thick containing loop holes 12 inches wide on the inside and 8 inches wide on the outside. The second wall line is from the edge of the Yamchin ravine. On the other side is another fort, Zulkhomar {short description of image}. From the cliff edge the main wall goes 450 yards across the width of the spur. This wall is 4.5 to 5 feet thick with loop holes and is 1-15 feet high in places. It has 17 towers {short description of image}many of which are round with 13 foot diameters. Fig {short description of image} shows a section of double wall and several towers. Interior walls and a quadrangular bastion that flanks the re-entering angle of the wall suggest provision for separate defense. {short description of image}The line of the wall curves to a massive tower at the top of the knoll and then turns NNW across a small dip in the western flank of the spur. The edge of the gorge there is protected by another tower 15 feet in diameter of bricks 16x11x5 inches {short description of image}. Below is a massive oblong outwork {short description of image}This wall has decorative bricks set on edge. Further north the wall curves round {short description of image}and is defended by three round towers. One of these still has sockets for the beams of a second floor. And it has a double row of loop holes. The wall continues up for almost 400 more feet to the southern corner of the triangular citadel {short description of image}. Plan 48{short description of image} is a detailed sketch of this fort, extends a further 130 yards north. At the point where its two longer sides meet there is a kind of ravelin {short description of image}with a massive square tower that guards the approach from the plateau. That ground is separated from the citadel by a 120 feet deep ravine. The citadel walls are built of stone slabs set in plaster. Its 3.5 feet thick and 13 feet high outer walls are loopholed and have a 1.2 feet wide parapet. The walls also have circular towers and there are rooms inside. Opposie the eastern end of the main walls is a small rock island {short description of image}and plan 47 on which is another small fort with massive walls called Zulkhomar. Stein surmises that these fortresses date from the Zoroastrian era. Whatever their date, Stein notes that the extensive and excellent construction points to the ability of a much larger local population at that time then is now present.
On 5 September Stein continued down the Wakhan valley to Shitkhar {short description of image}where he met Qazi Qadam Shah, who helped him obtain samples at Ishkashm of the Galach language. Further on he came to a steep cliff {short description of image}At this dangerous point a demon was wont to kill passerby until driven away by a saint. From there they crossed a narrow canon by a bridge to reach Darshai. North of the bridge on another rocky ridge Stein found more ruins. {short description of image}This also was locally known as a "kafir" fort.


Through Ishkashm and Gharan

On 7 September Stein remained at Namadgut and on the 8th he visited another fort, called Qala-i-Qa'qa. {short description of image}Stein describes this fortress in great detail and provides real, professional military engineering analysis of its purposes of which I only include a partial summary. This was also on a pair of east-west rocky ridges above the river and separated from mountains further north by a plateau. {short description of image}The larger (northern) ridge reaches 400 feet above the river and 225 feet above the plateau. The cliffs are extremely steep. The southern ridge shown here{short description of image} is shorter and separated from the parallel northern one by a depression{short description of image} Beginning at the eastern end, the outer wall is of sun-dried 14-15 x10 - 11x3.5-4 inches brick close up to the cliff but only 3-3.5 feet thick. The wall has both round and square towers of bricks on a stone foundation. The line of loop hole was low. They were 3 feet 3 inches up the wall on the inside and 2 feet 3 inches up on the outside, indicating they were designed for shooting down. They were 7-8 inches wide. Along the eastern and northern sides there was a parallel second wall 6 feet away. Toward the west the ridge was not so high and there the wall was much thicker (16 to 33 feet), a solid rampart of sun-dried bricks{short description of image}. In the corner was a massive circular tower 25 feet high. {short description of image}At the north west corner the rampart turned south south west to cross a gap between the two ridges. Two square bastions appear on the sketch plan. These, built on stone foundations extend outside the wall 20 feet. The wall here and the bastions were faced with solid bricks 16x9x4 inches with interiors of layers of stamped clay and thin layers of brushwood. The wall that closed this gap then continued to the south to the foot of the precipice at the western end of the smaller ridge. There, was a ravelin of massive brick work. From the eastern end of this out work the wall descends toward the river strengthened by two more towers.{short description of image} Further down the wall has three more towers {short description of image}that may have guarded a gate. There is an outlying tower 25 feet high. Much of the rest of the former wall is gone. Stein believes it originally extended along the river up to a traverse wall and up from a tower shown in .{short description of image} At the tower on the left in 414 the outer wall leaves the river to ascend to a terrace on the main ridge and then to the east to a huge tower.{short description of image} The main wall then turns to the north with a gap for a gate. The tower has loop holes seen in{short description of image} Fig 412 {short description of image}shows the southern ridge. {short description of image} shows this part of the walls also. From corner xii the secondary wall turns at right angles to the northwest and goes up the narrow crest to the citadel. This one is build of bricks 18x14x3 inches and is 8 to 10 feet high. There are three more round towers guarding the connecting wall. The walls of the citadel conform to the terrain. They enclose an area about 150 by 40 yards. On the highest point, 350 feet above the river there is another structure with two rooms, one 28x19 feet and the other 19x11 feet. Its well-built walls are 3 feet thick.
On 8 September Stein finished his survey of the fort to visit the Ziarat of Hazrat of Shah-i-mardan, nearby. Then he headed further down the river to Nut, the Russian outpost across the river from Ishkashm. Nut is located at elevation of 8,400 feet above sea level and 400 feet above the river giving it a fine view of the other side {short description of image}.
On 10 September Stein left Nut to follow the Oxus around its sharp bend to Shughnan. He came upon another walled enclosure on a crest 500 feet above the river about 7 miles from Nut. {short description of image}The walls were of stone slabs with a few loop holes {short description of image}


In the Valleys of Shughnan
. He stopped at the village fort of Rachkala, 8,400 feet and the headquarters of the Mirs of Shakh-dara. {short description of image}. Further on he passed more "kafir' forts and outposts.
On 18 September Stein continued through mountain valleys. There was another ruined fort above Jaushangaz {short description of image}.
On 20 September Stein continued down the Ghund valley passing forts of the Shughnan mirs at Sardim, Wang and Charsim. {short description of image}In Charsim he found an interesting house of the local Ak-sakal just like those in Mastuj.


From Roshan to Darwaz
On 21 September Stein left Shitam to cross the Shitam{short description of image} into Roshan where he camped at 12,600 feet.
At Kala-i-Wamar he examined the home of the Ming-bashi, Mir Shikran.{short description of image} He described this as an example of late Hellenistic and Saracenic design. He was invited to inspect the inside which he described in a lengthy footnote, as being similar to those in Yasin and Chitral. {short description of image}The neighboring castle had thick outer walls of stone reinforced by heavy timbers.
On 30 September Stein reached Rokhar, the main village of Wanj at 5,600 feet where he found another ruined castle.


- Past the Perso-Afghan Border
The following sections are about the fortifications Stein found in south east Persia - Sistan. This map shows he routes and names many of the ruins he found. {short description of image}And this one shows the locations of many watch stations described below {short description of image}Along the way he passed ancient forts and shrines such as this madrasah built by Shah Rukh in 1444.{short description of image} and {short description of image}.
On 20 November Stein halted in Bamrud, a village said to be immune from Afghan raiders due to payment of protection money, since a current Afghan raid of the area was in progress. He passed a large fortified ruin at Tabbas-i-Mazena. {short description of image}


Into the Helmand Basin
Readers now who have served in Afghanistan may be interested to learn that the Helmand River, the scene of much fighting, flows south-west into Iran where it disappears in marshes.
On 27 November Stein passed another ruined fort at Duruh village and a larger one at Ghala-koh, on a bold, issolated peak .{short description of image} A few miles further he came to a 6,200 foot peak on which was Ghalakoh fortress. The inside was composed of rooms about 11-12 feet square. There was a rock-cut cistern. The outer walls remained to 5 feet high.


- The Remains of Koh-i-Khwaja - see map {short description of image}
This section may prove of considerable interest. However I have omitted Stein's very detailed descriptions of each section and building in this large complex.
On 6 December Stein departed from the British Consulate at Nasatabad to visit Koh-i-Khwaja{short description of image} an isolated hill containing much-frequented Muhammadan shrines on its top. The ruin at its base was called Ghagha-shahr. The plateau {short description of image}is a mile long and nearly as wide{short description of image}. The cliffs are steep. {short description of image}and {short description of image}and {short description of image}. There is a narrow ridge to the south east. {short description of image}The main fortress wall is built of sun-dried bricks enclosing an area 170 by 130 yards. The gate was on the south eastern corner {short description of image}and protected by one octagonal and one round tower. Inside was a roadway and high wall.{short description of image} Further on was an arched gateway.{short description of image} Beyond the wall was an entrance hall.{short description of image} The hall has an apsidal end.{short description of image}Two more buildings are at {short description of image}and {short description of image}and {short description of image}Buttress walls are divided by narrow vaulted recesses of two stories. {short description of image}and {short description of image}. On another wall were stucco figures in flat relievos of horsemen and a lion{short description of image}. A small room is in the western corner of the terrace {short description of image}. Stein found a Doric column on the second buttress. {short description of image}and {short description of image}.


Remains on the Hill-top
This section is a detailed description of the extensive fortifications, cemetery and other buildings remaining on the top of Koh-i-Khwaja. Stein provides a few photos as well. The northern fortress wall {short description of image}The plateau edge is 200 feet above the top of Ghagha-shahr ruins. {short description of image}There is a road up.{short description of image}It leads to a small walled ruin Kok-i-Zal. {short description of image}An area of square, vaulted rooms totaling 50 by 30 yards is enclosed by massive brick walls of large sun-dried bricks designed to protect the area below from attack from above. Ascending further from the dip along the wall for 50 yards one one finds a small mound {short description of image}Stein concluded this was the remains of a defensive tower designed to guard the road. Another 160 yards is another tower{short description of image} just above the end of the Ghagha-shahr wall, below. {short description of image}Moving west along the plateau edge 1/3 mile one finds a ruined fort called Chihil-dukhtaran (40 maidens) on the southern end of a tongue precipice and valley with access to the plateau which the fort was to guard. This fortress wall is of solid bricks in an oblong about 40 by 30 yards. The wall is loop holed. There is a gate in the east face flanked by two small round towers of which one still has its vaulting below the second story. And there are round bastions on the corners. There is a long hall, formerly vaulted, along the inside of the western wall. About 80 yards to the north are the remains of another, square enclosure of rough stones and there is a series of similar rooms 20 more yards north. Elsewhere on the plateau are remains of Buddhist and Muhammadan worship - the cause of the place being deemed sacred. {short description of image}shows graves and shrines. The plateau is visited by thousands of pilgrims each year.


Remains at and near Shahristan
Shahristan is among the oldest sites with remains near the Helmand delta. It is on a north-south detached ridge about a mile long above the plain{short description of image} and {short description of image}The fortified area on the south side is 800 by 250 yards. The massive walls are of sun-dried bricks {short description of image}with towers and bastions. At the northern end where the slope is easier there are two ruined walls. Toward the south there was also a citadel 140 by 80 yards. All the walls were greatly decayed indicating their ancient age. The bits of pottery found there also indicated a very ancient age, predating Muhammadan occupation and even Sasanian times.
Stein next visited ruins at Atish-kadak (the fire temple). These are on the northern end of another ridge some 6 miles from the former site. {short description of image} On top of this ridge there was an enclosure 72 feet square with walls 4 feet thick. {short description of image}Next to it was another enclosure 32 feet square. Inside was a circular tower. At the northern end was a more impressive structure. {short description of image} A hall 35 by 27 with walls 5 feet thick rising in places to 20 feet.. Stein found more towers in the vicinity.


The Site of Zahidan and Later Ruins to the North-west
Zahidan was an important ancient and medieval city, the capital of Sistan that was captured by Timur in 1383 AD. It was about 6 miles north west of Shahristan on another ridge. It was abandoned not long after Timur's attack. Stein provides a plan. {short description of image}The best preserved ruin there is the citadel with its massive towers and bastions. This structure was an oblong fort with massive towers and semicircular bastions plus two outer enclosures.{short description of image} They were built of sun-dried bricks 12x6x2.5 inches on top of a stamped clay foundation. The walls of the outer enclosure formed another irregular obling cut off at its sosuthern end. It was over1.5 mileslong with maximum width of .75 miles. These walls were a rampart of stampedclay that had held a parapet of sun-dried bricks. This outer wall also had semi-circular bastions plus quadrangular towers were the gate had been.
He also describes other ruins in the general area. About 300 yards NE was another, smaller walled enclosure known at Kala-i-Timur with walls about 4-5 feet thick{short description of image}. More ruins are shown here.{short description of image}and {short description of image}and {short description of image}and {short description of image}


In this section Stein describes ruins south of the Helmand River delta. The area was some times part of Afghanistan. (Actually the 'border' between Afghanistan and Iran was very fluid over the centuries.) He describes many ruins, some of them forts or fortified villages, such as Kundar {short description of image}and another near Hauzdar {short description of image}.{short description of image} and {short description of image}. Hauzdar remains still reached 23 feet high and it was 50 by 35 feet circumference. The sun-dried bricks were 22x12x4 inches. Surrounding the central mound was an oval wall 50 to 70 feet from the mound with massive walls 10 -11 feet thick of bricks 20x12x3 inches in size. The potsherds indicated great age, but it was also occupied during a later, historic era.
About 1.25 miles further south Stein found another ruin, Pai-kash-i-Rustam, {short description of image}about 100 yards wide with a 20-foot high rampart, 40 to 80 feet thick. Only 6 yards from the rampart was a rotunda with wal 6 feet thck of bricks 17x8x2.5 inches. {short description of image}Its interior was 14.5 feet across. Stein found pottery remains he dated to Sasanian era. Two miles from Hauzdar Stein found Machi ruins.
There he found a "Chigini {short description of image}(windmill) and a nearby a fortified mansion {short description of image}and {short description of image}At Ramrud he found another fortified village. {short description of image}and {short description of image}. At {short description of image}Kalat-i-gird, {short description of image}3 miles from Ramrud, he found an almost circular fort with diameter 160 yards and walls 8 feet thick of bricks 13x14x3 inches. He found later repairs indicating renewed occupation. And near this location he found more structures. {short description of image}West of the walls of Kalat-i-gird he saw {short description of image}terraces that reminded him of the Lop Desert. This area was rich in ruins mostly from Muhammadan times.


Remains of Prehistoric Settlements
In addition to Muhammaden ruins Stein found copious amounts of pre-historic potsherds and other bits and pieces lying on the open ground. Since this section is focused on the prehistoric material found on the ground, he only mentions the fortresses in passing, but he does mention them here and then describe them in more detail in the next section. He photographed another ruin called Burj-i-chakar {short description of image}and {short description of image}which he discovered was the first in a while line of watch towers. He found a section at {short description of image}. Two miles further he found another mesa {short description of image}on which was more pottery and then another outpost {short description of image}Further south west there was a small fort {short description of image}and {short description of image}. All of these and others Stein describes in detail along with the items found at them, many of which are also shown in the plates in Vol III. In conclusion Stein notes that the geographic location of Sistan between the Indus civilizations to the east, Mesopotamia to the west and the Caucasus - Caspian area to the north makes it a likely location for the intermingling of these societies.


- Ruins of an Ancient Border Line - map {short description of image},
Stein notes that these ruins were in the area in which he found the prehistoric pottery and bones described in the previous section. So in this section he focuses back on the forts themselves. First noted is Burj-i-chakar (RRiv), located approximately in the center of the line, {short description of image}and {short description of image}with walls to 25 feet high and 7 feet thick. {short description of image}It was a two-story square, 60 feet on each side with 10 foot wide towers in the corners. The interior was divided into three parallel vaulted chambers 31 feet long, the central chamber 14 feet wide and the two side chambers 10 feet 4 inches wide. The sun-dried bricks for the walls were 24x13x4 inches. And there were remaining curved bricks for the vaulting 28x7x2 inches.He found traces in the SE corner of a former stairway to the upper floor. The second story rooms appear to have had windows.
Three miles to the north was another ruin (RRv){short description of image}and plan 59 again. This one was 48 feet square with round towers in the corners. It was about a mile and half behind the line of the wall at the nearest tower RRxvii. The enclosing walls were 21 feet high in places, 4 feet thick of bricks 25x13x4.5 inches, and it also had a second story.
Starting to the north-west Stein found RRxvii about 1.75 miles away. {short description of image} and plan 59. It was 60 feet square with walls 14 feet high in places, 5 feet thick of bricks 20x12x4 inches, with quarters outside and a walled enclosure around the whole place. The entrance was on the south side. To the south and north of this fort and close by Stein found remains of other walls 4 feet thick enclosing large areas. All these rined structures indicated that this post had been very important. Stein devoted extra labor to excavation. The block of quarters marked b near the south east corner measured about 110 by 55 feet. Stein found no datable artifacs in the two rooms, but sleeping benches, fire place and a place for baking bread. Stein concluded that this large enclosure had formed a main garrison location.
Next fort to the north east was RRxvi. It was similar, with three internal chambers and walls of 22x12x4 inch bricks. Another 1.5 vmiles north west was a similar post RRxviii. The walls were 12 feet high in places, 4 feet thick of bricks 24x12x4 inches. A further 3 miles was RRxviii with walls 12 high in places. One more post RRxix was near the Hamun. Stein presumed this was the last one in that direction.
Returning to the southern part of the line of watch -stations, Stein found the next post (marked RRiva)a half mile from RRiv. It was almost totally decayed, but Stein estimated it had been 64 feet square. Another 1.25 miles east was ruin RRxii, about 43 by 40 feet in size. The next post, RRxiia, was a mile to the SSE. After another 1.25 miles Stein found RRxiii, 64 feet square with remaining wall sections 10 feet high. The next station , RRxiv, Plan 59 was another half mike south west was 77 by 54 feet with towers in the corners and a fifth on the eastern side. The bricks were 24x13x4 inches. Another ruin, RRxx, 45 by 42 feet, was 1.5 miles further south. {short description of image}
Continuing south west Stein found RRxxi, which seemed to be the last post at this end of the line there.
But after crossing 4 river beds Stein found several more numbered RRxxii, RRxxiii, ( bricks 24x12x4 inches), RRxxiv and RRxxv. {short description of image} This last one was the best preserved, with walls 6 feet thick. Stein saw the wall continued to the south east, but further into Afghanistan.
In total I count about 35 watch towers or forts in Sistan that Stein mentions or describes in detail. Stein's conclusion was "A border line of this character can obviously no have been meant to ward off attack by organied forces, but only to protect the cultivated portion of the Helmand delta against nomadic raiders." He could not reach a conclusion about the age of the border line nor its builders, but believed it was built well before the Muhammaden era. .


In early February Stein finished his exploration of Persian Sistan and headed back to India - Baluchistan. He reached Koh-i-Malik Shah and then followed the main caravan route. One of the small posts {short description of image} is shown here.


Return to Xenophon.