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0065 Innermost Asia : vol.2
Innermost Asia : vol.2 / Page 65 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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all of which had probably once been painted, had disappeared, but at a height of about three feet from the floor parts of a fine fresco composition were recovered and safely removed. An account of them must be left for a later publication. The western wall had been completely destroyed and the dimensions of the cella or passage could not be determined. The only find made in the course of clearing was the fragment of a Chinese inscription on a burnt clay slab, Kao. 11. oi, the longest of the six lines of which still contained eight characters. It has not yet been interpreted. A small room which adjoined the cella to the north, measuring about twelve feet square, retained only scanty traces of frescoes on its badly broken walls.

Our other clearings were made in the remains of structures which, being agglomerations of small vaulted rooms, closely resembling the ground-floor kemers of modern Turfân dwellings, could easily be recognized as quarters. Two of these, Kao. iv, v (see Pl. 24), in the south-eastern portion of the town, being situated in the vicinity of some large and much-dilapidated temple ruins, may have served for the accommodation of attendants or pilgrims. In Kao. iv the clearing of the northernmost ` kemers ' yielded only the well-preserved iron arrow-head, Kao. iv. of (Pl. LXXI). In Kao. V, a structure situated about fifty yards to the north (see plan, Pl. 25), three vaulted rooms filled with debris were cleared. The objects discovered here included eight wooden pegs of small size, Kao. v. 02-9 (Pl. LXXI), two of them bearing a few Uigur characters, evidently resembling those pegs which Professor Grünwedel mentions as still used in Lamaistic sacrifices ;5 fragments of combs, v. oI, 014-15, and miscellaneous textile remains, among which the figured silk, v. 018. c, with a scrolled pattern, and the piece of woollen tapestry, v. 019 (Pl. LXXXVII), showing a conventionally treated leaf-and-stem design, may be specially mentioned. Finally, in clearing small decayed quarters built at two points on the northern town wall, Kao. vi, vit, some small fragments of Uigur manuscripts and large pieces belonging to one or two Chinese documents were recovered.

Among the ruins outside the walled town the most conspicuous are the two groups of sepulchral monuments, situated to the south of the high road where it passes beyond the north-eastern corner of Idikut-shahri towards Toyuk and Lukchun, and commonly designated as Kosh-gumbaz. Professor Grünwedel has furnished sketch-plans of both groups and described the interesting constructive details of the Stûpa-shaped hollow domes which are striking features of this necropolis.6 Though some of them, as Fig. 307 shows, have outwardly suffered less than most of the ruined shrines within the walls, their interior decoration has everywhere been long ago destroyed and the contents rifled. This has also been the fate of the numerous graves near them, the approaches to which were found all dug up, indicating exploitation at one time or another.

At the northern and more extensive group (Fig. 304) the much-decayed ruin of a Stûpa attracted my attention by its large size and octagonal shape. With its enclosing walled court, it forms the south-western corner of the group and appears duly marked (c) in Professor Grünwedel's sketch-plan.' As a first superficial examination revealed small fresco fragments lying near the top of what remained of a circular wall on which the dome once rested, I decided upon a careful excavation of the masses of debris surrounding the well-like interior of the ruin (Fig. 308). This soon disclosed a marked difference in constructive plan between this Stûpa and the others. The circular wall, 5i feet thick, that enclosed the tomb chamber and supported the dome above it, was found to be separated by a narrow passage from an outer enclosing wall, a little over 6 feet thick, which continued the octagonal outlines of the base, as shown by the ground-plan in Pl. 25. Though this outer wall still rose to a height of over 12 feet above the debris covering the floor of the circular chamber within, no definite indication was found as to the superstructure that it must once have carried. There can, however, be little doubt that this superstructure was domed and contained

5 See Grünwedel, ibid., p. 6o.   6 See ibid., pp. no sqq.   ' See ibid., p. 113.


Finds in small vaulted rooms.

Ruined tombs of


Sepulchral structure, Kao. In.