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The restoration of this leve! would regain the originaI superb spaciousness of the mosque, and therefore ought to be taken into consideration. Finally let us mèntion the results of the excavation in the so-called Muzaffarid extension to the North. A construction of considerable inter-

ed by a column decorated in stucco which had already been identified by Galdieri and dated by him to the Sassanian period, leads us to ,think that the courtyard of the mosque most probably corresponds to a formerly-existing open &pace. In order to verify this hypothesis, as welJ 'as to determine the presumed subsequent expansions of the mosque, the research campaign for 1974 has as its object the cutting of a wide trench across the width of the courtyard. The excavation in the area of the sanctuary (190) has ascertained that the column of Sassanian type is certainly in positionand that its base rests directly on the foundation plinth (fig. 5). Thus two factors of considerable interest have come lo light: A) neither the base nor the foundation of the supposed column of the Arab network, corresponding to I 1 in Galdieri's scheme, was found, but in its pIace there is a huge fall of unbaked bricks; B) a wall was discovered which is orientated obliquely and belongs to a fairly important building with polychrame stucco decorations which are comparable with the stuccoes of the Friday Mosque of Nayin and with those discovered recently in the SIraf mosque (cf. D.E. WHITEHOUSE in Iran, VI, 1968, pI. VIII b) (fig. 6). The £Ioor-line of this wail is much higher than the base of the "Sassanian" column, which, hovever, could have been "utilized" in the later construction. Tbe wall with polychrome stucco decoration was intersected at its southern end by the foundations of the Seljuq sanctuary. These factors lay open to debate the theory that the Abbasid mosque of the ,£irst third of the 10th century extended as far as the present southern boundary. This was perhaps not definitely included in the mosque until the Seljuq periodo Tbe excavation in the sanctuary area has also yielded up fragments of mud plaster with painted decoration, unfortunate!y in rather bad condition. The decorations consist of vegetaI motifs and Kufic inscriptions painted in blue, various shades of red, black, green, and gold. These rragments, judging from the position in which they were found, probably belong to the 'pictorial decoration of the mosque before the interventions at the time of Malek Sah. We are also of the opinion ,that some interesting stucco fragments executed ina vigorous and sensitive style, which come from the "sanctuary" area ,as well, may likewise belong to the pre-Seljuq mosque (figs. 8-10). The excavation in the zone southwest of the prayer hall has enabled us to confirm that the originaI floor leve! in this area was ,at least 50 cm. below the present one, that is, about the same as the Seljuq leve! in the sanctuary (fig. 7).

est has begun

to be revealed



a small

palace with centraI courtyard and iwan. The decoration attributable to this building presents a combination of remarkable features which in some ways are reminiscent of Sassanianart, while other technical aspects and the choice of decorative motifs c10sely recall proto-Islamicart. Our present hypothesis is that it must bea protoIslamic monument which paves the way for the subsequent development of the Buyid architecture, as is known to us, for example, in the Gorgir portaI. Chronologically the building is without doubt earlier than the Abbasid mosque, on the evidence of the walls of the precinct in mud brick (which up till now we have good reason to believe belong to the first third of the 10th century) since some of these walls have been incorporated in the large perimeter wall which marks the northern boundary of the mosque. Shahr-i Sokhta. The Italian Archaeological Mission conducted a research campaign in Sistan in the period October-December 1973 under the leadership of Prof. Umbert:o Scerrato. In the absence of Dr Maurizio Tosi who was detained by other engagements in Italy, Dr Marcello Piperno was appointed acting Field Director in charge of the excavation at Shahr-i Sokhta, with the archaeologist Dr Raffaele Biscione and the anthropologist Praf. Edoardo Pardini, as wellas Mr Sebastiano Tusa, student; Mr Gabriele Graziani, assist:ant; Mr Guido Regoli, restorer; Miss Patrizia Zolese, photographer; the architect Dr Luca Mariani, topographer and draughtsman. The Iranian Archaelogical Service offered, as usual, its valuable aid. In this campaign its representative was Dr Ahmid KhatibShahidi who took an active part in the excavation and gave his efficient collaboration on every occasiono During his sojourn in Sistan with the Mission, Praf. Scenato, together with Mr Graziani and Dr Khatib-Shahidi, conducted surveysat Qal'ah-i Sam, Qal'ah-i Tepe and Dahan-i Ghulaman in order to control certain points and to programme ,additional research in view of the final publication of the excavations which he has carried out there in previous years. The main centre of actìvity in this campaign at Shahr-i Sokhta was the area of the necropolis, where the excavation of the trenches begun in the 1972 campaign was completed, that is the extensiveexcavations in thearea IR and in the squar;:


IPV-IUB. In addition, two new trenches were opened in the 'areas HTW.HYC and IR, to the south of the square IPV-IUB and to the west of the extensive excavation respectively. Tbe area HTW -HYC was chosen on account of a concentration of potsherds found on the surface as welI as a slight prominence in the soil at the centre. The area IR was chosen to extend a trench which was believed sterile when begun in 1972 (fig. 12).

of a male of the age of 45-50 and a female of about 25 years. They were wrapped in two different sudaria, of which a good part is still preserved.

During tbc 1973 campaign a total of 50 new burials was discovered. They can mostly be dated to Periods II .and III (phases 7-3 of the new sequence), though thereare two graves attributable to phase 2 (the phase of transition between Periods III and IV) and some to phases 10-9 (Period I). Tbe graves discovered are no different from tbe types already identmed in the 1972 campaign. The extensive excavation and the area IR are completely homogeneous as regards both the typology of the graves and the furnishings. Shaft graves, catacomb graves, and shaft graves with a lengthwise partition walI are common to both the areas. The furnishings consist mostly of pearshaped beakers, polychrome vases, components of lapis lazuli and turquoise necklaces. A new shape, a goblet with a low foot and a wide base, was found in grave 37. In some graves, which in 1972 were thought to have been disturbed or to be without skeletons, the real burial has been revealed underneath (e.g., in grave no. 14). This burial contained the skeleton, of male sex, with the furnishings next to it. Therefore the items of grave-furnishings found in the 1972 campaign (a bronze bowl, a dagger, a pottery bowl, a small jar, a neckIace) must be regarded as offerings placed on the tomb. In the area IPV-IUB, which is characterized by graves dug in gravelIy soil, there is a remarkable concentration of graves, 21 in 100 sq. m. (fig. 13). The most common type is very similar to the shaft graves with a dividing walI such as were revealed in the extensive excavation. The graves were orientated in an east-west direction, with the skeletons and furnishings placed north of the walI. The earliest graves so far discovered at Shahr-i Sokhta can beattributed to this type. The furnishings generalIy consist of large bowls, jars with painted decorative patterns of the Namazga III type (fig. 15), bronze disks - probabJy mirrors, neckIaces made of alabaster, cornelian and calcite. Lapis lazuli and turquoise are almost completely lacking. These furnishings are remarkably homogeneous. It is surprising how welI organic substances are preserved in this trench, especially in the case of grave 112. This is a double burial, that 419

In the zone which had already been used in the more archaic phases, two more recent graves were dug which can be dated to phase 2, the transition phase between Periods III and IV. The more noteworthy of the two is grave 118 (fig. 14). This grave is bounded on the north side bya large walI running in an east-west direction and on the other sides by a thin wall in the form of a semi-circle, built of bricks placed on edge. On the inside of the north walI there is a niche, and alI the other sides of the tomb and the fIoor were plastered with clay. At the head and feet of the skeleton, that of a man of more than 50 (one of the oldest persons buried in the graveyard) 19 vessels were arranged. These contained a great deal of organic material, including a large proportion of grape seeds. The trench which was dug in the squares HTW-HYC reveals features which can be linked with both the extensive excavation and the area IPV-IUB. In fact, in the western part the soil is sandy and gravelIy with graves of the type brought to light in thearea IPV-IUBj in the eastern part the soil is compact and sandy with shaft graves, catacomb graves, and shaft graves with a dividing walI. The furnishings of these tombs dug in the sand whol1y resemble those found in the extensive excavation. There is however a peculiarity in grave 406: in this grave, of the shaft type with a dividing walI, the skeleton was buried as usual on the north side of tbe walI but the furnishings, instead of being placed beside the body, were placed in the southern part of the grave. The principal aim of the restorations carried out in the 1973 campaign was to preserve the most interesting graves uncovered in the last two campaigns. Graves 19 and 44 were reinforced and protected by the Duilding of structures in unbaked brick with roofs of Iranit. Grave 118, mentioned above, on account of its singular construction, was enclosed in a man-high structure of bricks and Iranit. The four sides of this struci:ure have been fitted with large glass panels which allow complete visibility of the interior. The skeleton and the furnishings have been reinforced and left in situo One of the most promising results of the 1973 campaign is the outcome of the anthropological researches carried out by Prof. Pardini of the Florence University. The osteological material gathered has been the subject of every possible osteometric and morphological examina-

Palace of Sultan Mas'iid III andat Tapa Sardar; and in addition, work on chapel no. 23 at Tapa Sardar (see EW, XIX, 1969, p. 545, figs. 6, 7; XXII, pp. 383-84; M. TADDEI, in South Asian Archaeology. Papers from the First International Conference of South Asian Archaeologists held in the University of Cambridge, London, 1973, pp. 203-13) has almost been completed by mean$ of a screen of movable wooden planh. During the winter season this ensures that the interior is protected during bad weather and can also be seen (fig. 16). As in former years the Mission acquired a number of objets d'art, mainly Islamic. Others were given to the Mission by private citizens, and among donors we should like, gratefully, to record the names of Dr Muhammad Yakub Sultani of the Ghazni Military Hospital, Mr Muhammad Yunus and Mr Wali Muhammad, of Ghazni.

tion in order to identify the somatic characteristics of the ancient population of Shahr-i Sokhta and, by means of the analysis of the anthropological type, to inquire as far as possible into their likely origins. At the same time Pro£. Pardini carried out an anthropometrical .and haematological examination of the people of Zabol and the surrounding villages, particularty of the three ethnic groups, the Persians, the Beluci and the Brauhi. They turned out to be quite clearty distinguishable, even from the anthropometrical viewpoint, and notably different from each other in some features. Both these examinations are dearly very important, especially in view of further researches which will be determinant for the study of the genesis of the population of Shahr-i Sokhta.

During the Mission's period of 'activity at Ghazni, Pro£. Taddei, together with Dr Zemariale Tarzi, Director GeneraI of Archaeology in Afghanistan, paid a visit to the main architectural monuments in the Ghazni area to choose those for the restoration of which the IsMEO will be responsible, according to an agreement sub$equently $igned. According to the sameagreement an Archaeological Museum will be built by the Government of the Republic of Afghanistan and IsMEO in the town of Ghazni. It will house most of the finds of the I talian Archaeological Mission and other objects from that region.

Archaeological Mission in Afghanistan In the period October-November 1973 the Italian Archaeological Mission visited Afghanistan to carry out a very restricted programme of activity. The Mission consis'Ìed of the FieldDirector, Prof. Maurizio Taddei, with Mr Nicola Labianca and Mr Elio Paparatti as draughtsman and restorer respectively. The Afghan Institute of Archaeology kindly assigned Mr Muhammad Ehsan Aram as assistant to the Mission which once again this year wasable to avail i'Ìself of the help of the W orks Supervi$or, Mr Ghulam Naqshband, of Ghazni. The main purpose of the Mission was to

check .and -

where necessary -

Archaeological Mission in Pakistan

repair and In October-November 1973, in collaboration with the University of Trieste, the Italian Archaeological Mission of IsMEO resumed work in the Aligramaarea of the Swat Valley where ground soundings .and excavations have been carried out ever since 1966 (see EW, XVI, 1966, p. 385; XXII, 1972, p. 384). The excavations were directed by Prof. Giorgio Stacul with the valuable cooperation of Mr Nazir Ahmad Khan, Curator of the Swat Museum and representative of the Archaeological Department and of Mr Abdul Ghafur, Supervisorat the same Museum. On the hillsides whichslope gently down towards the valley bottom where the Swat river flows, two excavation soundings were made: trench C (6X 3.50 m.) and trench D (9.50 X 3.50 m.) (figs. 19-22). The purpose of these trial trenches was to ascertain the extent of the protohistoric settlement that had been discovered

strengthen the roofing covering the various excavated areas, and also carry on the work of cataloguing and restoring the Tapa Sardar finds housed in the store-room. Nevertheless, it waspos$ible to proceed with (though not complete) the cleaning of niche no. 76 (see EW, XXII, 1972, p. 383, fig. 14) from which were extracted some fragments of a stucco figure in the round and various heads in unbaked clay including that of the main image. These heads reveal copious traces of paintingand gilding superimposed on each otherand thus relating 'Ìo different periods. Study of them is very important for increasing our knowledge of the life of sculptural monuments at Tapa Sardar and the activity of craftsmen producing them (figs. 17, 18). As regards the protection of architectural monuments excavated by the Mission in the past, the usual operations were carried out on the 420

Fig. 12 - Shahr-i Sokhta. Area IR: partial view of the excavation (graves 301307, 309, 310) (Neg. no. Dep. CS 10843/4; P. Zolese).

Fig. 13 - Shahr"i Sokhta. Area IPV-IUB, south side: graves 107-109, 111, 114, 117, 118 (Neg. no. Dep. CS 10855/3; P. Zolese).

Fig. 14 - Shahr-i Sokhta. Grave 118 (Neg. no. Dep. CS 10851/7; P. Zolese).

Fig. 15 - Shahr-i Sokhta.

Furnishings of grave 114 (Neg. no. Dep. CS 10813/3;

P. Zolese).




IsMEO New Series, VoI. 23 - Nos. 3-4 (September-December 1973)

Ismeo activities 1973