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0523 Innermost Asia : vol.1
Innermost Asia : vol.1 / Page 523 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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built up so as to form a facing on both sides for a mound of coarse gravel, the width of the whole being 8 feet at the top.

There could be no possible doubt that we were once again on the line of the Han Limes, and my Continua-

regret was great that the necessity of proceeding that day towards Mao-mei precluded any attempt   f

Limes line

to trace its continuation also to the west. But after our return to Mao-mei in September, the initial to WSW. marches of our journey across the Pei-shan offered an opportunity of revisiting this ground, and the continuation of the line was then determined for over fourteen miles to the west-south-west of the point where we had first struck it. The direction proved exactly that which would take it to the section of the Limes discovered amidst dunes and tamarisk-cones north of Ko-ta-ch`üan-tzti (Map No. 42. AC. 4).

After having followed the wall eastwards for about a mile we came upon the ruined tower Towers T. XLVI. a rising on a small rocky knoll about 3o yards to the south of the line. It was built of T.xlvl.a,b. stamped clay with brushwood inserted between successive layers on a base 16 feet square, and still rose to a height of about 9 feet. On the top the clay was reddened by fire. All round, pieces of mat-marked Han pottery could be picked up in plenty, and in the slight refuse at the foot I found two much-decayed fragments of wooden ` slips ', no longer legible. Continuing for a mile along the wall, which was clearly traceable, we reached a small knoll, T. XLVI. b, bearing two heaps of stone. No structural remains were found on it, but from a refuse heap on the eastern slope some 20 feet lower down two Chinese records on wood were recovered, besides a few uninscribed wooden pieces. [One of the former has proved to be a fragment of some text on arithmetic.]

A mile and a half farther the mound marking the agger brought us to a small rocky ridge about Remains of

°arch posts

6o feet high, T. XLVI. c ; its flat top about 55 feet across bore remains of roughly built stone walls.

T. XLVI. c,d.

The grey granite blocks of which they were constructed had been brought from elsewhere. An extensive accumulation of rubbish on the eastern slope yielded two fragmentary Chinese wooden records, a bronze arrow-head of the Han type, T. XLVI. c. 05, besides a few miscellaneous small objects. Of a tower, T. XLVI. d, which had crowned a small conspicuous ridge about a mile farther on, only a decayed mound of bricks remained. It measured about 18 feet by 7 and stood to a height of 4 feet. Layers of reeds separated the courses of bricks, which were 17" X 8" x 4" in size.

Beyond T. XLVI. d the line of the Limes leaves the region of broken rocky hillocks and passes Line of

into an open gravel Sai. It was traceable here, with a slight change of direction to the SE., as Limes

marked by

a straight but much-decayed mound from 4 to 8 feet in height. A cutting made showed that the mound.

agger had been built here of layers of brushwood, which, however, through the action of moisture

had decayed into mere reddish earth. A broad dry flood-bed coming from the hills accounted for

this moisture. Farther on, where the direction to the east was resumed, it was interesting to observe

that a double line of white shôr cropping out near the top of the low mound clearly marked the

original width of the agger as approximately 8 feet, just as it did along completely decayed sections

of the wall on the Tun-huang Limes and elsewhere.5

It was only after proceeding more than three and a half miles that we came again upon traces Remains

of a watch-post at T. XLVI. f, and this, again, was marked only by debris of Han pottery. At of watch-

T. XLVI. g, a mile farther on, a small shapeless mound of clay, no doubt the remains of a completely T. XLVI. f, g.

ruined tower, was found to occupy the north-eastern angle of a small enclosure, measuring S7 feet

by 79 inside. Its walls, which were reduced to low mounds, had been built of layers of gravel and


More interesting were the remains at the watch-post T. xLVI. h, which we reached after advanc-

ing another mile. Here a tower, built of bricks with layers of reeds between the courses, had

5 Cf. Serindia, ii. p. 570, note 9.