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0616 Innermost Asia : vol.2
Innermost Asia : vol.2 / Page 616 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

New!Citation Information

doi: 10.20676/00000187
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OCR Text







THE finds made during Sir Aurel Stein's third expedition in Central Asia included amongst other things a small fragment of a paper manuscript containing writing in Turkish runes' (marked Kao. 0107 ; see Pl. cxxiv). The paper shows writing only on one side ; but on the other side there are traces of drawings, among which are plainly seen one or two faces above a dress in red or with a red outline. Besides the left edge of a page, that is to say, only the ends of its lines (i), the paper contains, to the left of this, another, entire, page (ii), tolerably well preserved. The characters are unusually small compared with those in documents of a similar kind ; hence the writing has become blurred in several places. It is further rendered indistinct by the fact that the manuscript has apparently been wetted, whereupon it has received some creases which cannot be smoothed out. This renders the reading very difficult and uncertain in many places.

In form the characters correspond with those of the other documents found in Eastern Turkestan, thus I for .f is kept distinct from the vertical stroke I = s2. At the top there seems to have been a heading in larger letters of which, however, only one character, a d2, is well preserved and clear ; the following character, the last of the line, is tolerably visible, but cannot be interpreted with certainty (it resembles a q most of all ; or has it originally been a z the right part of which may have disappeared ?). The rest of the heading has entirely disappeared.

In its present state the document contains fifteen lines, the first of which has, however, been lost except for the last character in p. ii. Whether there have been some additional lines at the bottom cannot be ascertained, the paper having been torn off here. In the left-hand page (i), preserved only in part, the first ten lines have been written in red ink, the last five in black ; in the better preserved page to the right (ii), the first ten lines are in black ink, the last five in red. If the black and the red part of the two pages have at first been of equal size they must have contained twenty lines each. The document is quite plainly of Manichaean origin (cp. nuyosäk in line 14 and possibly in line 2), and seems to have contained a fragment of a legend or tale concerning the conversion to Manichaeism of one Prince Singqur.

I now give the text in transcription so far as it is readable. I add a small I to the letters which are only used with back vowels, and a small 2 to those only used with front vowels. Square brackets [ ] denote characters that are missing or so much blurred that the reading of them is, in fact, hypothetical. In round brackets I have placed the designation of sounds which are not expressed in the manuscript but must be supplied in the transcription. The text is accompanied by an interlinear translation, the context being too uncertain to admit of any other form.