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0139 Innermost Asia : vol.2
Innermost Asia : vol.2 / Page 139 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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v. I. oI, the central portion had completely decayed, but enough remains to show that the cover was made up of a piece of polychrome figured silk decorated with medallions of ` Sasanian ' style, and of a plain silk frill. The body below the outer shroud of blue silk was certainly not wrapped in miscellaneous rags such as were found at Ast. iii. Yet evidence of the intention to use only valueless materials for the last dress of the dead was afforded by the shoes, v. i. 03 (Pl. XCIII), made up of waste paper with Chinese writing on it ; one shoe was found within the chamber, the other outside. We may, no doubt, account in the same way for the bands of painted paper, v. 1. 04. a, b, made up of several thicknesses of Chinese manuscript waste. They may have been intended as substitutes for a girdle or cross-belts.

The long inscription found outside this tomb Ast. v. z. 07 (Pl. LXXIV), showing twenty lines of Chinese characters painted in red on a dark ground, has been fully translated and annotated by M. Maspero in Appendix A. It records an elaborate obituary eulogy of dame Chia ty, the widow of Fan Yung-lung a ÿ n ,15a described as having held the rank of general of the guard' illegitimately, i. e. under the former dynasty before Kao-ch`ang was annexed to the Empire. The lady is described as being a native of Kao-ch`ang, in Hsi-chou IN AI, and the daughter of a chung-Zang C#4 115 under the former régime. She is said to have died in the second year Chien-fêng, corresponding to A. D. 667, at the age of seventy-five, and to have been buried by the side of her husband in the burial-ground to the north-west of the town. This location correctly corresponds to the bearing of the Astàna cemetery from Idikut-shahri. The burial in one tomb with the deceased husband has been fully illustrated by M. Maspero in a note to Appendix A, by references to Chinese ritual texts which mention this ancient custom. In this particular instance the inscriptional record of a common place of burial leads us to assume that the tomb must have originally contained a second body. This assumption seems to find support in the fact that one of the large paper shoes was found in clearing the trench, where it may have been left when the coffin with the second body was dragged outside to be searched in daylight. I must, however, point out that no other remains of this body were discovered there. I had no special reason to doubt that the place where the inscription was discovered had been correctly indicated, though neither Afrâz-gul nor myself was present at its discovery.

The tomb Ast. v. 2, to the west of v. i, contained the remains of two bodies, one of which was still fairly preserved and recognizable as that of a woman. Both were wrapped in shrouds of plain white fabrics in cotton and silk, of which v. 2. 04 is a specimen. Underneath this the woman's head had a cover made up of a piece of polychrome figured silk, v. 2. of (Pl. LXXVIII, LXXXI), with a frilled border of plain white silk, v. 2. 03. The figured silk portion is very interesting by reason both of its design of ` Sasanian ' type and of its weave, and fortunately very well preserved but for a missing part of the lower half. It shows two oval medallions one above the other, each holding two different pairs of confronting animals, and in the spandrels other pairs of confronting animals. Certain important points brought out by Mr. Andrews' detailed description in the List below will be noticed in our general survey of the Astâ na textiles. In the mouth of the woman's body was found a silver coin too much decayed for exact identification, but from its size and design recognizable with certainty as a Sasanian piece. In conjunction with the inscriptional record from the adjoining tomb, Ast. v. i, this coin contributes to prove that this group of tombs is approximately contemporaneous with the group Ast. i. In the hands of both corpses were Vajra-shaped pieces of wood like those described above from Ast. i. 6 which furnished the inscribed slab of A. D. 632. Two small rags of creamy silk suspended from pegs in the corners were all that remained of the hanging which was probably placed on the back wall of the tomb.

15a [Thus read by Dr. L. Giles on the original slab.]

Tomb inscription of A. D. 667.

Textile finds in Ast. V. 2.