of minor pieces which could be treated at Srinagar, the wall-paintings of my third collection have not been included in the Descriptive Lists of the present work.
This collection as a whole, in accordance with the orders of Government, will be housed at the New Delhi capital, excepting representative specimens to be presented to the British Museum." Reference to the originals will therefore not be practicable, except in rare cases, for those students in the West who are interested in researches bearing upon Central-Asian and Far Eastern art and civilization. This consideration rendered it all the more important that all entries in the Descriptive Lists should be exact and adequately detailed.12 For this purpose Mr. Andrews was provided with the assistance of Miss F. M. G. LORIMER, who, as one of the assistants engaged on the objects collected in the course of my second expedition, had acquired ample experience in dealing with Central-Asian antiquities. The efficient help rendered by her at Srinagar during the years 1919-22 proved once again of considerable value. I ought to add that while the Descriptive Lists have thus been prepared by competent hands, their contents have been throughout carefully checked and, where necessary, revised by myself, when dealing in the present Report with the observations on the sites and objects concerned.
After my return in 1916 from the explorations recorded in these volumes I was placed on special duty for the purpose first of completing Serindia, the detailed report of my second expedition, and then of carrying through the varied work entailed by the elaboration and record of the results of the third expedition. This arrangement, which the constant friendly support of Sir EDWARD MACLAGAN, then Secretary to Government in the Education Department, and Sir JOHN MARSHALL, greatly facilitated, has since enabled me to devote myself wholly to these labours. During the years 1916-18, spent partly on deputation to England and partly in Kashmir, Serindia claimed most of my time. The preparation of the present work, which followed, was necessarily interrupted during 1920, when the heavy task of passing the volumes of Serindia through the press kept me fully engaged for some eight months at Oxford. This visit to England was utilized for temporarily transferring to the British Museum the manuscript materials recovered on my third expedition and arranging for their examination and cataloguing. During 1921 I was obliged to devote most of my time to the publication of The Thousand Buddhas, the much-needed complement of Serindia, which deals with the pictorial treasures recovered from Tun-huang, and to the preparation of my above-mentioned Memoir on Maps of Chinese Turkistan and Kansu.
Work on the Report steadily carried on in 1922-3, together with the completion of the Descriptive Lists of Antiques, made it possible for me, with the sanction of Government, temporarily to transfer in 1924 to the British Museum that portion of the Collection from which the specimens now comprised in the plates illustrating this Report had to be selected for reproduction. For the exacting task of making these selections and assuring the proper execution of the plates while on deputation in England, I fortunately had again the benefit of Mr. F. H. ANDREWS' expert help.
n This does not apply to the literary remains, for which deposition at the India Office Library and at the British Museum, on the lines followed in the case of those from the second expedition, is under consideration.
12 The arrangement of entries in the Descriptive Lists closely corresponds to that followed in the case of Serindia and explained there, i. p. xv, note 16.
'The numerical order of the ` site-marks ' has been followed throughout. These were entered on the objects at the time of discovery, acquisition, or unpacking. Hence this numerical order nowhere represents an attempt at systematic
classification. Site-marks' given at the time of discovery
show the initial letter of the site, the number of the ruin, room, &c., followed by plain Arabic figures, e.g. N. in. x. 15. When the objects had been marked by me on the spot only with the place of the ` finds ', and consecutive numbers in Arabic figures have been subsequently added, whether in the course of the journey or at the time of unpacking, these numbers are preceded by a zero, e.g. L.M. n. iii. 02.
The abbreviations R. and L. indicate the right and left side of objects as they are seen in reproductions, except where the right and left proper of the human body are referred to.