The discovery in 1923-24 of evidences of an early, highly developed, widespread and hitherto unknown civilization in the Indus basin as exemplified by the discoveries at Harappa in the Montgomery District of the Punjab. and at Mohenjodaro in the Larkana district of Sind excited the liveliest interest and gave rise to . many conjectures as to its date and origin. After Professor Sayce had pointed out the close resemblance between many of the objects from these sites and certain Proto-Elamite antiquities from Susa and when later Messrs. Gadd and Sidney Smith' gave a detailed comparison of the pictographic scripts found in both the Indus valley and Babylonia showing the existence of likenesses which could hardly be accidental, attention was naturally directed to Baluchistan, the country lying between these two important river basins and where connecting links between the two cultures might reasonably be expected to be recovered.
In each of the twelve District Gazetteers of Baluchistan mention is made of artificial mounds locally called dambs, which everywhere dot the country and references to mounds occur also in the accounts of early travellers but with little detailed information on which to base any conclusions as to their respective dates or comparative importance.
The only reliable information concerning any of these mounds is that contained in Dr. Fritz Noetling's' report on certain prehistoric mounds in the Zhob valley visited by him some thirty years ago, and in Sir Aurel Stein's' report of a survey, made in 1904. Of actual excavations carried out in Baluchistan records are scanty, and none, save Mockler's account of his operations in Makran over fifty years ago, are at all detailed or informative. Baluchistan, therefore, appeared to offer a seemingly limitless and almost virgin field to the practical archaeologist, the only difficulty being to decide between the conflicting claims of so many sites, for it was plain from such records as did exist that all these dambs were not of the same age or equal importance and some, indeed, seemed referable to the Buddhist period.
It was resolved finally to limit excavations to two sites only and to explore first the Sampur Mound at Mastung, some thirty-three miles south of Quetta as this was reported to be " the most noteworthy mound " in Sarawan, and to be strewn with pieces of ancient pottery and to yield beads and occasionally large earthen jars, and then to proceed some two hundred miles southward to examine the Sohr Damb at Nal in Jhalawan, the site which had yielded the beautiful pottery described by Sir John Marshall in the Annual Report of the Archaeological Survey of India for the year 1904-5. The operations at these two sites form the subject of this Memoir.
Archaeological exploration in remote parts of so sparsely populated a land as Baluchistan is possible only with the help and co-operation of the local officials and the success of our expedition was due in no small measure to the assistance received from The Hon'ble Sir Frederick Johnston, K.C.I.E., C.S.I., I.C.S., Agent to the Governor General and Chief Commissioner in Baluchistan and his officers. In particular we are indebted to Lieut.-Col. T. H. Keyes, C.M.G., .C.I.E., Political Agent, Kalat, Nawab Sir Mir Shams Shah, K.C.I.E., I.S.O., Wazir-i-Azam, Kalat State, and Mr. H. J. Todd, Assistant Political Agent, Kalat, who not only evinced a lively interest in our work but spared no effort to further it by arranging for transport, accommodation and supplies. Nal lies in the jurisdiction of the Bizanjau Chief, Sardar Faqir Muhammad. who procured for us local labour and assumed responsibility for our protection while in his territory. In acknowledging his assistance it would be ungrateful not to recall also the friendliness displayed by the tribesmen and the cheerfulness and honesty of the Brahui workmen.
Our most grateful acknowledgments are also due to Colonel Deas, I.M.S., Chief Medical Officer, Baluchistan, for medical assistance and vaccine sent out to us during an outbreak of small-pox at Nal.
During our stay in Quetta Mr. Clinton Bond, Curator, McMahon Museum, was untiring in his endeavours on our behalf. He placed at our disposal the resources of the museum, supplied valuable information concerning ancient sites in the vicinity of Quetta and in countless other ways rendered us his most arateful debtors.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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