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Brahmanabad, Hyderabad District, Sindh. Heaps of earth upon fields

Brahmanabad, Hyderabad District, Sindh. Heaps of earth upon fields

Photographer: Cousens, Henry

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1896

Shelfmark: Photo 1009/4(1521)

Item number: 1521

Length: 11.2

Width: 15.3

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of heaps of earth upon fields at Brahmanabad in the Hyderabad District of Sind in Pakistan, taken by Henry Cousens in 1896-7. The mounds in the photograph are those presumably gathered together by local villagers to transport to their own fields. Cousens complains about the practice in his initial report, suggesting that the work should be contracted out: this, he argued, would allow the authorities to control the work and prevent damage to the remains, as well as removing the surface earth and allowing archaeologists access to the ruins of the older city beneath. He also explained in Brahmanabad-Mansura in Sind, Archaeological Survey of India, Annual Report 1903-04, "Perhaps the most interesting of deserted city sites in Western India is that usually known as Brahmanabad in Sind...It lies upon the open sandy plain, in rolling heaps of brick debris...the cementing material in the brickwork would appear to have been mud; and it is this, the accumulation of ages, before the final downfall of the city, that forms the greater mass of the present mounds. This earth, impregnated with certain salts, the result of human occupation for so many centuries has been found to be of use as a manure, and thus the present site is periodically harried by the people of the surrounding villages, who carry it away in great quantities to fertilize their fields. This annual process of denudation of the site has long ago obliterated all landmarks that might have proved useful in the identification of the same, or of the buildings that that once jostled each other for room over its crowded area; and it is now surely wiping out every trace of the lower courses of the walls, which, hitherto protected within the mounds, are being uncovered and demolished by the destructive hoe of the cultivator. Former mounds are now represented by low ridges of loose brick bats, all that is left of the walls, and any testimony or objects of interest they may have contained are lost forever."

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