348 JOUKNEYS IN KUEDISTAN LETTER sxxn top of which are graves covered with heavy stone slabs with inscriptions on their sides, and head-stones eight feet high inscribed with epitaphs in Kufic or early Arabic, we descended upon the great plain of Bahwan, separated from the plain of Mush only by a very low ridge, which, however, is a remarkable water-parting, dividing the drainage systems of the Tigris and the Euphrates. On this solitary plain there are the ruins of a magnificent building, known as " the Persian Khan," built of large blocks of hewn stone. Parts of it are still available for shelter during snowstorms. It has courtyards with stately entrances, domes, arches, and vaulted chambers, and is a very striking object. Two other khans are placed as refuges in the valley nearer Bitlis. Shortly afterwards we reached the meeting-place of three valleys and three roads, leading respectively to the plain of Mush, the lake of Van,,and Bitlis. It is in this neighbourhood that the eastern source of the Tigris is situated, and here there is also the great interest of coming upon one of the landmarks on the retreat of the Ten Thousand. Scholars appear to agree in general that this gallant band must have come up by these eastern sources of the Tigris, for then, as now, the only practicable entrance into Armenia from the Karduchi territory, the modern Kurdistan, was by this route.1 The march was very long and fatiguing, and as we 1 It does not present any difficulty to me that Xenophon omits all mention of the lake of Van, for a range of hills lies "between it and the road. I have travelled over the track twice, and failed to see anything in the configuration of the country which would have led me to suppose that the region to the eastward was anything hut a continuity of ranges of hills and mountains, and if the Ten Thousand took the route from the eastern head-waters of the Tigris to the Murad-chai at the farther end of the plain of Mush, directing all their investigations and inquiries in a westerly direction, there are very many chances against their having been informed, even by their prisoners, of the existence of the sea of Van.