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To British archaeologists, the hill-forts in France are likely to be second in interest only to those in this country; they also form natural attractions when touring. For the southern sixsevenths of the country, however, information about these sites is very sparse, while plans or detailed directions for access are almost entirely lacking. In these circumstances the following notes may be of use. The accompanyingplans, save where noted, are merely pace-and-prismatic sketches, but give a better indication of the character of the remains than would be possible by description alone; for ease in comparison, they are reproduced to 1/2500 or some simple multiple. They are believed to be fairly correct representations, but it must be noted that many of the sites are very thickly overgrown. It must be emphasized that this is in no way a systematic study of French hill-forts, but merely the results of a brief tour made in 1966 to gain some personal knowledge of what the sites are like, supplemented by a few additional notes made during other visits.
The Indus script has been known for a little over 40 years, and it has so far resisted all attempts at decipherment. This is not surprising in view of the fact that the inscriptions are all very short, and that no long connected texts are preserved. It is also not known what language lies behind the writing: bilinguals are nonexistent, and given the historical circumstances, not likely to be found. In the period since the discovery of the inscriptions a number of attempts at decipherment has been made, but none has carried conviction. Quite recently there has been a number of fresh attempts, of which the most sustained and ambitious, by a group of Finnish scholars, has been described in the previous issue of this journal. It is based on the assumption that the language spoken in the Indus cities was a form of Proto-Dravidian. The detailed methods used in this attempt at decipherment have been briefly described in the previous articles, and they need not be repeated here. Instead it is proposed to examine the handling of the Dravidian material, which, as will be seen, is open to considerable criticism
It has long been known that irrigation agriculture played a significant role in the history of civilization in the Near East, and it is not surprising, therefore, that many researchers have concentrated their efforts on the study of problems connected with early irrigation, based both on the evidence of literary sources (Jacobsen, 1960), and that provided by archaeology and palaeogeography. Probably the most interesting work of this kind is the systematic research which has been carried out in the Diyala river basin, which covers a wide chronological range (Adams, 1965). However, the thick sedimentary deposits in the Tigris and Euphrates valleys, and on the foothill plains and intermontane valleys in many regions of the Near East, have resulted, in most cases, in the ancient irrigation systems lying deeply buried and inaccessible. Very recently, as a result of joint archaeological and palaeogeographical investigations in southern Turkmenia, we have succeeded in discovering very early irrigation constructions in the region, where, in the 6th-2nd millennium BC were situated sites belonging to the painted pottery cultures-the Dieitun culture (Berdyev, 1965) and the so-called Anau culturewhich comprise the northern limits of the Near Eastern cultural world (FIG. I) (Pumpelly, 1908; Kuphtin, 1954; Masson, 1962, 1966 ; Sarianidi, 1965; Khlopin, 1963).
A number of relatively recent works concerned entirely or incidentally with early horse gear call attention to the fact that various features of this are still imperfectly understood. At the same time, new discoveries have shed new light (Anderson, 1961; Childe, 1954; Hančar, 1955; Jope, 1956; Karageorghis, 1962, 1965, 1967; Nagel, 1966; Potratz, 1966; Salonen, 1956). J. A. H. Potratz, notably, despite great familiarity with bit material, fails to recognize the functional or genetic implications of some of its details.