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394 IN SEARCH OF THE LIMES TO SU-CHOU [Chap. XI
tomb sculptures and generally to figures which M. Chavannes in his great work on ancient Chinese sculptures reproduces as representations of protecting genii. If Mr. Andrews' comparison holds good we may find in this little carving the true explanation of the wooden stakes, like tent-pegs, painted with grotesque faces, of which numerous specimens have been brought to light at Limes stations both on my second and third journeys."
T. XLIII. k, the next post to the east, was only half a mile distant. The tower, apparently built of stamped clay with intervening reed layers, had decayed into a low mound. But deposits of refuse in two places, one io yards to the south and another farther off to the south-west, yielded plentiful relics of ancient occupation. Of Chinese records on wood, some twenty slips were recovered, many broken, but others complete. [One among them, T. XLIII. k. 032, contains the official formula regularly used under the Han to introduce an imperial decree, as found also in Chavannes, Doc., No. 140, of 58 or 56 B. c. T. XLIII. 031 is a receipt bearing a date corresponding to November 6th of 2I B.C. The date shown by the incomplete slip, T. XLIII. 029, may correspond to 86 B.C., 48 B. c.,
or A. D. 89. The signal post ' (or company?) Tsêng-hu i is mentioned in T. XLIII. 027, and
a record relating to the postal service preserved in T. XLIII. 037.] Among miscellaneous objects found here are several fragments of lacquered wooden bowls, T. XLIII. k. 04-8, 026 (Pl. XLVII), and spatula-shaped wooden pieces, 010—I2, 014, 023 (Pl. XLVI), which may possibly have served the same purpose as modern Chinese eating-sticks.
From this point the wall changed its direction to the east-north-east ; it was for the greater part in a state of fair preservation, and after running over slightly rising ground, brought us to the large conspicuous tower, T. XLIII. 1 (Fig. 221). This stands to a height of 24 feet and is of very solid construction. But closer inspection showed that though its core may go back to Han times, it had undergone additions and repairs down to comparatively late times. To this recent period must be also assigned the enclosure, 83 feet square, of which, as the plan (Pl. 15) shows, the tower now occupies the north-west corner. The original tower appears to have measured about 24 feet square at its foot. It is built of solid stamped clay, reinforced by a framework of big Toghrak beams and posts. To this has been added a massive revetment, built of stamped clay and brushwood layers, enlarging the tower to 35 feet at its base. This revetment, slanting inwards, has been carried to a height of 14 feet from the ground and leaves at its top a berm 3 feet wide around the original tower. On the top of the latter were found the remains of a small room built of bricks placed vertically and manifestly of late construction.
The enclosure above mentioned is formed by a stamped clay wall, 4 feet thick, which is best preserved on the south face, where it still stands to a height of io feet. It was moreover possible on that side to trace below it a foundation of brushwood fascines and timber. The west face has been completely eroded, and this, in conjunction with corresponding observations along the Yingp`an section of the Limes, suggests that the strongest winds blow into this depression from the side of the Su-lo-ho valley. The position of the west wall was marked by solid accumulations of refuse, mainly reed-straw and dung, which had grown up against it within the enclosure. That most of this refuse, if not all, was deposited at a later period is proved by the remains of porcelain bowls and glazed hardware of which specimens are described in the List. As the note on T. XLIII. 1. 06-9 (Pl. XLVIII) shows, the porcelain fragments close by resemble pieces picked up at T. xi on the Tun-huang Limes, which had been used as a roadside station till medieval times.12 Relics of an earlier occupation of the post may lie hidden in layers of refuse lower down ; but we did not succeed in discovering such deposits.
11 Cf. Serindia, ii. p. 767 sub T. ooz ; iv. Pl. LII ; also Pl. xI.vII ; T. xLIII. h. 013.
above, p. 393 ; below, pp. 416, 423, for T. RXII. d. 027, 12 Cf. Serindia, ii. p. 667.