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Full text of "Journeys In Persia And Kurdistan ( Vol.Ii)."

70                      JOURNEYS IN PERSIA           LETTER xvni

robbed from them by three, who in their turn were
obliged to surrender it to some passing Ilyats, from whom
he recovered it. While he was resting at night he was
awakened by hearing some Lurs who had joined them dis-
cussing the practicability of robbing him, but when one
told the others that he had found out that " the Feringhi
has six shots," they gave it up. At this camp we are only
a few days' march from classic ground, the ancient Elam
with its capital of Susa, and the remains of so fine a
bridge, with the unusual feature, still to be distinctly traced,
of level approaches, the adjacent ruins, and the tradition
of an old-world route, a broad road having followed the
river-bed to the plains of Lower Elam, all point to an
earlier and higher civilisation. Overlooking the bridge on
the left bank of the Ab-i-Basnoi a large square enclosure,
with large stone slabs inside, was found, which had pro-
bably been used for a cistern, and outside there were
distinct traces of an aqueduct.

The " Sang Niwishta" (inscribed stone), which has
been talked about for a hundred miles, and promised to
be a great discovery, was investigated by a most laborious
march, and turned out a great disappointment. It
was to be hoped, indeed it might have been expected,
that a journey through these, till now unexplored, regions
would have resulted in the discovery of additional records
of the past carved in stone, but such is not the case.

Still, it is something to have learned that even here
there was once a higher civilisation, and that in its day
there was great traffic along the Basnoi road, and that
every route through this Upper Elam, whether from
north, west, or east, from the Persian highlands to the
plains of Arabistan, and the then populous banks of the
Kerkhah, must have passed through the great gap below
Pul-i-KuL

The Gokun, Sahid, G-uwa, and any number of other