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0474 Innermost Asia : vol.1
Innermost Asia : vol.1 / Page 474 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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362   TO TUN-HUANG AND AN-HSI   [Chap. X

dark centre dot ; border, red, lined purple. R. robe, purple, bordered gold, lined white (?) ; flounce purple (?). Asana, green, blue, red. L. lower corner missing. 027. Flesh and hair as preceding, eyes wider open. R. upper robe green, bordered red, lined purple. L. robe, pink, bordered green, lined white. Asana, green and red with rosettes of seven purple dots. Flounce purple. Upper and lower L. corners missing.

All from same mould. Size complete I r" x 6" x


Ch. 023, 024, 026, 028. Clay relief plaques ; monk seated in European fashion in niche as Ch. or, with both feet flat on mat. Shaven but region of hair black. Eyes open, dreamy and slanting. Mouth open in painful smile, showing white teeth.

Under robe covers breast, loosely open at neck, crosses over body from L. to R. and hangs in heavy folds over R. arm. Upper robe covers L. shoulder and arm, is drawn loosely across to R. hip, covering lower part of body and legs to ankles. Small portion drawn over R. shoulder from back. Flounce of under robe hangs below, caught up over feet. Knees and feet wide apart, and partly opened scroll on knees by hands which grasped rolled portions R. and L.

023. Flesh pink ; hair, eyebrows, upper eyelashes and pupils of eyes, black. Under robe purple with white overlap at neck, green border ; red waist-band ; purple

flounce ; green lining. Upper robe, pink, bordered white. Shoes black, mat pink, scroll white.

024. Flesh green-grey with purple neck and patches, hair, &c., as preceding. Under robe, purple to red ; girdle, thence downward, green. White overlap at neck. Upper robe, pink, bordered dark green (?). Shoes, mat and scroll as preceding, but scroll has eight lines of finely written Chinese characters. Niche complete.

026. Flesh, pink ; hair, &c., as preceding ; under robe as 023. Upper robe, dark purple, bordered red. Shoes black ; mat buff. Niche missing at lower L. side.

028. As preceding, excepting under robe bordered dark green ; girdle light green. Upper robe, light green with spot pattern composed of three straggling patches of colour, red, blue and green, suggestive of the Chinese characters on robe of Ch. 031 ; border, red. Niche complete. rod" x 6f". Pl. XLIX.

Ch. 034. Clay relief plaque. Figure of same type as Ch. 023, &c., but pose of ` royal ease '. Rosary clasped against centre of body. Scroll completely rolled up, in L. hand on knee.

L. foot on mat which appears as four vandykes, each composed of three or four overlapping layers in purple, red, green, and blue. Under robe purple-brown, bordered red. Upper robe light green, bordered red ; no portion on R. shoulder. Niche complete. rol" x 61". Pl. XLIX.

Departure from Chien-fotung.

Purpose of surveys east of Tun-huang.

Boggy ground N. of road to An-hsi.


On April 8th I left the sacred caves after a very cordial parting with their priestly guardian. I had, four days before this, started R. B. Lai Singh south-westwards up the slope of the high range with instructions to reach, if possible, the defile through which the river of Tun-huang debouches on to the huge gravel glacis of the Nan-shan. Thence he was to carry his survey across its outlying hill chains to the Ta-shih river ( Map No. 38. D. 4) and then to rejoin me at An-hsi. I had arranged to send all spare baggage by hired transport from Tun-huang to that place along the main road, already surveyed in 1907, and myself to strike across the desert to the north-east.

My object was to reach the line of the ancient Limes near a point east of the ruined watch-station T. xxxv, up to which in March, 1907, we had been able to trace the border wall of Han times,' and then to follow its remains through to An-hsi. This little town, the southern bridge-head as it were of the Chinese high road ' to the ` New Dominion ', was to serve also as a rendezvous for Muhammad Yàqûb, whom I had sent from Tun-huang to carry a survey down the Tang-ho to its junction with the Su-lo-ho and then along the right bank of the latter to An-hsi. The ground over which my own proposed route would take us, between the course of the Su-lo-ho on the north and the Tun-huang—An-hsi road on the south, had so far remained wholly unsurveyed, and the inquiries made during our stay at Tun-huang had failed to elicit any information whatever about it.

On the day of our start we made our way from the mouth of the Chien-fo-tung valley, across a barren alluvial fan of gravel, to where subterranean drainage breaks out in marshy springs near the lonely roadside station of Ko-ta-ch`üan-tzû.la Next morning, after filling our two water-tanks, we set out to the north-east with a view to eventually striking the line of the Limes in the vicinity of the dune-covered area where seven years before we had lost its traces. Progress, first over

1 See Serindia, ii. pp. 605 sq.   la See Map No. 38. e. 4.