Sec. i] THE RUINED FORT OF L.K. 187
or to find remains of such objects as might have been left behind in this building. That it may have been intended for public use as a kind of official residence or rest-house appeared to me probable
from its size. I searched in vain near it for rubbish-heaps such as might, from our experience at other sites, have been expected to survive better than the building. Nor did we discover any refuse deposits elsewhere within the fort, except a comparatively small one, v, under the north-west wall. Apart from dung of horses, only a few small pieces of felt were found there. It must, however, be remembered that lack of time and labour precluded any attempt at a complete clearing of those parts of the interior, mainly along the north-east wall, which were covered by heavy drift-sand.
The long dwelling 1 in the southern portion of the area had suffered less from erosion, probably owing to the protection afforded by the drift-sand which had spread over it from the lee side of
a better-preserved portion of the north-east wall. As the panoramic view (Fig. 128) taken before
clearing shows, many of the posts of the timber and wattle walls still stood upright. But the plastered walls that they had supported rose nowhere to more than three or four feet, except in the
rooms iii and iv to be presently mentioned, lying close to the dune-covered wall. As soon as we
had pitched camp at the site and Afrâz-gul with a small party had been dispatched on a reconnaissance to the north-west in search of more ruins, the excavation of I was started. The walls in
all rooms proved to be built of a rough but strong framework of Toghrak wood, with a vertical
wattle of closely packed tamarisk branches which were secured to cross-beams joining the posts of the framework (Figs. 138, 139). The plaster laid on both sides of the wattle to a total thickness
of 8 or 9 inches was coarse on the surface, but showed remarkable consistency. The straw mixed with the plaster was that of reeds only. The construction of the framework and wattle showed close resemblance to that observed at the ruins of the Niya Site, though the materials used were throughout rougher.
The clearing of the westernmost room, i (Fig. 134), measuring 27 feet by 20, brought to light an interesting object in the shape of the double-bracket capital, L.K. i. 03 (Pl. XV), well carved
in hard Toghrak wood and close on 3 feet long. In the arrangement of its four members and in their decorative treatment it shows the closest resemblance to the wooden capital L.M. 1. iii. 0i from the site discovered north-west of L.K. and described in the next section. With its two scroll-shaped brackets recalling Ionic volutes it suggests close affinity also to the wooden double brackets
found at the Lou-lan station L.A., as well as to the double brackets that crown the stucco pilasters decorating the base of the Mirân shrine M. ii. In discussing these pilasters in Serindia I have
already pointed out the clear relation between the double brackets of Lou-lan and Mirân with
their turned-down volute-like ends, and the corresponding features of capitals represented in Gandhâra relievos and their Persepolitan models.'6 I have also fully stated there the chronological
evidence that may be drawn from a comparison of these double brackets of the Lou-lan sites and Miràn with later developments of the same architectural ornament illustrated by double brackets from the sites of Farhad-Bég-yailaki and Khâdalik. The description given by Mr. F. H. Andrews in the List below of the decorative features of our L.K. find renders it unnecessary here to analyse details. But emphasis may be laid on the fact that even in the absence of other evidence these features would suffice to establish the closest chronological relation between the ruined fort and the sites of L.M. and L.A.
Apart from the practically intact fold of the door leading into room i and the plastered fireplace in the opposite corner, the finds made here were confined to a piece of well-made hemp rope (L.K. i. oi) and a pestle of hard stone. Nor did the clearing of the other rooms in this western portion of the dwelling yield more than a few small objects, like the two glass beads L.K. 1. 03,
16 See Serindia, i. pp. 486 sq., 491 sq., with Figs. 99, 120.