8: Islamic Period

8: Islamic Period

Northern Las Bela, Balochistan
After Mohammad Ibn al-Qasim had conquered Makran and Sindh in 712 CE, many sites continued, or started, to flourish (113, 114, 115, 116). However, as during the previous times, very little is known about the peripheral and remote areas.

In Sindh Kohistan, the Hab Valley, and in the plain of Las Bela we found the remains of a few settlements or fortifications which can be dated to the 12th/13th and the 17th/18th century CE, but in the Kanrach, Bahlol and Loi Valleys no such sites were discovered.

The only remains are hundreds of camp sites, marked by a few stones which were aligned to benches, and by a few potsherds (117, 118, 119).


The pottery is similar to types found in southern Sindh, in the Indus delta and in Banbhore. The date applied to this red micaceous, black painted pottery ranges between the 13th and 18th century CE.

Whether this shift to pastoralism is related to the immigration of the Baluch tribes from the west, to the invasion of Turkish tribes such as the Ghaznavids and Mongols who destroyed the oasis cultures of interior Makran and caused larger population movements towards Sindh, or to an overall change in the economic, social and political structure is unknown.

In the 17th century CE, Mir Ahmad, the leader of a Brahui tribal confederation founded the Ahmadzai Khanat of Kalat, to whom the Jam of Bela paid tribute.