278 REMAINS OF ANCIENT LOU-LAN
It was consequently a relief when, towards 7 p.m., we heard our united shouts answered in the distance. It was Abdurrahim, who with unfailing forethought had left camp to seek for us. Notwithstanding all the care taken to keep our little party together, one of the men lagged behind and lost us in the dark. So, after Abdurrahim had safely guided us to camp, a search-party had to be sent out. It failed to discover the hapless Khotanlik. But as by chance he was carrying Lâl Singh's fur coat, he had some protection from the bitter cold of the night, and next morning he was able to rejoin us, not much the worse for the exposure.
March Our march next day to the north-east led first across a series of shallow flood-beds with scanty
decacrossomposed patches of thorny scrub. After about two and a half miles we reached a deep-cut torrent bed
ridges. descending from the Ulun-tetnentu hills far away to the north (Map No. 29. D. 2). It looked as if
it had not held water for a long time past ; but its steep stony slopes made it difficult for the camels to cross and necessitated a detour. The ascent of a small cross spur, with rocky ledges cropping out in lines, brought us to the decayed obo or cairn marked on the map. Here we struck what evidently is the track regularly followed by the hunters of wild camels when proceeding to Altmishbulak, as shown by numerous little stone heaps and other marks that we noticed farther on. It led first over gentle slopes of decomposed rock, and then across a plateau covered with a succession of worn-down rock ledges. Finally, from the top of a transverse ridge rising over a hundred feet above the general plateau level, we sighted the little oasis of Altmish-bulak sheltering by the western edge of a wide water-worn depression.
We reached it after a march of over eighteen miles, and all greeted with joy its modest expanse of luxuriant reeds and tamarisks (Fig. 176). There was an ample sheet of good ice at each of the four main springs and abundance of fuel to melt it with. The water of the westernmost spring proved just drinkable for the camels and saved the men the trouble of melting ice for them in such quantities as would have been needed to slake their thirst of weeks. So contentment was general and adequate rest assured for men and beasts during the few days' halt, before we set out to reach the lifeless shores of the ancient sea and to cross its dried-up bed.
OBJECTS FOUND ON ERODED GROUND NW. OF L.A. (C. xcIv)
C. xciv. oi. a—u. Twenty stone frs., comprising eighteen ` blades ', long, narrow ; and frs. of two cores from which similar flakes have been split. Dark grey, green, and purplish stone. Gr. length (blades) a 2A".
C. xciv. 02. Fr. of glass, translucent, champagne-coloured, cut. 16" X A" x
C. xciv. 04. Carnelian bead, round, red. Diam. -a", h. Pl. XXIII.
C. xciv. os. Pottery handle, circular with adjacent fr. of body of vessel. Very coarse clay, badly weathered. 1 "x
if" X II". Pl. XXIII.
C. xciv. o6. Pair of bronze tweezers ; complete, good condition ; cf. Kao. ni. 0164. Length 2ÿ", width near grip ;", width at loop é". Pl. XXIII.
C. xciv. 07—g. Three stone ' blades ', long narrow. 07
OBJECTS FOUNT) BY LAL SINGII ON MARCH Lal S. ot. Fr. of pink stone. 2" x r X I".
Lal S. 02. Fr. of bronze, irregular. 1" x I" x
Lai S. 03. Hard paste ball, dark, similar to L.K. 047, &c. Diam.
pink sard, curved downward at rounded point ; bulb of percussion at butt. o8, 09 (frs.) grey. Gr. length (07) 2g". Pl. XXII.
C. xciv. oio. Bronze finger-ring, decorated with double row of punched dots. Diam. I", width c. 1". Pl. XXIII.
C. xciv. 01I-13. Three bronze arrow-heads of type L.J. or ; triangular in section, with hexagonal bases. Part of iron tang remaining in oz.r and 013 ; 02'2 has point ground off. onz and or3 corroded ; 012 in good condition. Gr. length (oz3) Ii". Pl. XXIII.
C. xciv. 014. Bronze ring and ferrule, in one piece. Fine hard green patina in patches. Length ii", diam. of ring is". Pl. XXIII.
C. xciv. 015. Stone ' blade ', long, narrow, black ; broken in two. Length of whole 14".
ALONG KURUK-DARYA, BETWEEN CAMPS 77-8o
Lal S. 04. Glass bead, ovoid, dark blue, translucent. Length I", gr. diam. .g".
Lal S. 05. Glass bead, tubular, opaque, pale yellow. Length i", diam. i".