The Helmand Sistan Project

Rud-i Biyaban

This distributary watercourse runs almost 100 km west from Chahar Burjak on the Helmand River to the south end of Hamun-i Helmand in Iran. It is presumed to be the course of the Helmand during the Bronze Age and has had more recent canals dug through it to irrigate its course. The massive site of Trakhun is situated in the center of the riverbed. Aurel Stein found numerous archaeological sites at the western edge of the riverbed in his 1915 survey, and Walter Fairservis’s team found about 30 sites along its course during his 1951 intensive survey. We surveyed this area very briefly in 1975 and visited three visible sites.

Several other intermittent watercourses flow into or through Sistan. The Harut Rud, Farah Rud, Khuspas Rud, and Khash Rud flow from the north into the hamuns; the Sena Rud travels northwest from the Helmand near the Qala-i Fath area; the Khusk Rud flows to the south from the Rud-i Biyaban; and the Shela Rud connects the Hamun-i Helmand to the Gaud-i Zirreh.

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Rud-i Biyaban with the site Trakhun in mid valley.