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FROM KHOTAN TO LOP
SECTION I.—ANTIQUES FROM KHOTAN SITES
I WAS obliged to make a short halt at Khotan town for various purposes, among others to provide winter equipment for my large party and to raise a sufficient quantity of silver to meet all financial needs until my arrival next spring in distant Kan-su. Moreover, a rest was needed by all, both men and animals, who had shared the hardships of our desert expedition. I employed the six days' stay to gather such antiques as my ever-willing old friend Badruddin Khan, the Ak-sakal of Indian and Afghan traders, and the ` treasure-seekers ' dispatched by him, had collected from Yôtkan and from desert sites in the vicinity of the Khotan oasis. The sites named as the provenance of these antiques had almost all been visited by me on my former journeys, and the various classes of objects ascribed to them correspond in their character to the collections previously obtained. Since the latter have been fully described and illustrated in Ancient Khotan and Serindia, a very brief synopsis of the new acquisitions will suffice here.
As regards their provenance a word of caution may well be repeated.' Obviously objects brought for sale to Khotan town or obtained from ` Taklamakanchis ' cannot be assigned to particular sites with complete assurance. But their comparison with the proceeds of my own former search at the sites named supports the belief that the local distribution of the several series of objects shown in the List below may be accepted as correct on the whole.
This applies particularly to the large and interesting series of antiques, mainly terra-cottas, purporting to come from Yôtkan, the site of the ancient Khotan capital,2 and marked with Yo. The terra-cotta figurines and decorated pottery remains show the closest agreement with those obtained by me on previous occasions at the site itself. An endeavour has been made to arrange them in definite groups for description in the List below, and this will facilitate comparison with the corresponding objects in my previous collections, as well as with those which Dr. Hoernle has described in detail. Among vessels, complete or fragmentary, special attention may be called to the fine and excellently preserved terra-cotta bottle (Yo. 01, Pl. I) having the shape of a pilgrim bottle and resembling Samian ware ; the large pottery jug `treated' by a recent hand (Yo. 0158, Pl. I) ; the fragment (Yo. o8, Pl. I) showing a Bacchic figure appliqué, of unmistakable Gandhara type, with wine-skin and rhyton ; the handles with fine palmette ornaments (Yo. of I-15, Pl. I, III) ; the spout with an appliqué human head (Yo. 017, Pl. I). Among appliqué fragments may be noticed the well-furnished Gorgoneion face (Yo. 018, Pl. I) ; the pieces (Yo. 20 a-d, PI. III), illustrating an interesting development of leaf ornament ; the grotesque masks (Yo. 042, 055-7, Pl. I) ; the head of rat type (Yo. 040, Pl. I). The series of terra-cotta heads (Yo. 048-54, Pl. II, III), male and female, comprise several specimens interesting for their type of coiffure. Among animal figures camels and horses (Yo. 065-78, Pl. II, III) are well represented, some retaining their riders or loads ; Yo. 065 (Pl. III), with its mounted monkey, is very cleverly modelled. Figures of winged horses and other grotesque animals, mostly from terra-cotta handles (Yo. 079-99), show several curious types (see PI. I-III). As in the former collections, representations of monkeys, often in
1 Cf. Ancient Khotan, i. p. 203 ; Serindia, i. p. 97. 2 See Ancient Khotan, i. pp. 190 sqq.