Sec. iii] FINDS AT SITES NEAR DOMOKO 131
the attribution of these antiques may well be correct. It is otherwise with the large fragment of a carved and painted wooden nimbus U.M. 01 (PI. XIII, XIV), which was brought by Badruddin Khan and said to have been obtained from Ulûgh-mazar, and which has been shown accordingly in the List below. The conditions observed by me on the ` Tatis ' around Ulûgh-ziarat, together with the fact that this area was occupied down to the early Muhammadan period, make it appear unlikely that a relic of Buddhist worship such as this could well have survived there. The carving is painted on the reverse also, which shows that it belonged to a statue detached from the temple wall. The painting on the back represents a seated Buddha and is of interest, as in spite of the faded surface it still shows ` high lights ' boldly applied.
On both my previous journeys the visits paid to the string of small oases between Chira and Changes in
Keriya had afforded opportunities of observing some recent striking changes in the position or position of
level of the springs that furnish the principal supply of water (kara-su) for their irrigation. When recording these variations at Kara-kir and the Domoko-yar in Ancient Khotan and Serindia, I pointed out that the displacement of the cultivated area consequent on such changes may furnish a plausible explanation of the peculiar frequency with which old sites in the neighbourhood of these oases have been abandoned at different periods.l7 The observations in question thus claim a direct archaeological interest, and on this account I may briefly record here another instance, which my rapid passage on December 3rd to Keriya town allowed me to notice, of subsoil water coming to the surface in fresh springs and giving rise to a displacement of cultivation.
At Achma, the colony ` newly opened ', as its name indicates, some twenty years before on the New culti-
appearance of the Kara-kir springs, the area under cultivation had remained stationary since my vation at
first visit in 1901 ;18 for the number of households, about eight hundred, said to be in occupation of it, had not changed. Nor was any change apparent in the extent of the older and much smaller cultivated area of Laisu which adjoins it on the east. But farther on, when passing through the width of the great Keriya oasis, my attention was attracted by the wide and deep bed, known as Sai-bagh-yar, which the road crossed to the east of Sisaghlik.19 It was said to have been eroded three years before by a big summer flood of ak-su. The considerable stream formed by the springs whose waters collected in the bed was now being utilized for opening a new colony at Kara-khan, situated some seven miles beyond the northern edge of Keriya cultivation as observed in 1901, and then wholly desert. The advent of this new water-supply was hailed with all the more satisfaction by the people of Keriya that their oasis is otherwise almost wholly wanting in kara-su or spring-fed irrigation.
OBJECTS EXCAVATED AT KUDUK-KÜL
Kuduk.köl. ox. Fr. of carved circular wooden halo. Outer border of flame pattern. Within, narrow bands of alternate seed and zigzag pattern, the bands slightly twisted, cablewise. Within these borders, the upper parts of three Buddha figs. and halo of fourth. The centre one of the three has L. hand raised in Abhaya-mudra. All face to front, having Usnisa, long cars, and nimbus. I-Iair treated as mass without markings. Carving extremely fine and good. Prob. originally painted. Back plain and convex, with traces of paint. Broken edge seems recent. 5r x r i" x i". Pl. IX.
17 Regarding the springs which appeared south of Kara-kir and led to the opening of new cultivation at Achma, cf. Ancient Kholan, i. pp. 459, 467 sq. For the formation of the Domoko-yar and the resulting colony of Malak-alagan,
Kuduk.köl. 03. Turned wooden finial, as M. Tagh. c. o6, but slightly elaborated. Tenon central. Very cracked but hard. Remains of pink paint over whole. 8f" x 3 ". 'Tenon 2h" x r f„ x g„
Kuduk.köl. 04. Turned wooden finial, vertical section of, exactly similar to Kuduk-köl. 03. Tenon 3" long.
Kudok•köl. 05. Stucco relief fr., from border of vesica. Band of imbricated lotus petals with flames on outer edge, as Ser. iv. Pl. XV, Kha. vii. oor, 004, and Anc. Kholan, ii. Pl. LV, D. r r. 55. Colours visible,
see Serindia, i. pp. 202 sqq.
18 Cf. Serindia, i. p. 211.
19 See Map No. 14. D. 3, near the village tract of Pondara.