648 THE ANCIENT CEMETERIES OF ASTANA [Chap. XIX
in the tomb were a large roughly made eating tray, with remains of food deposits, including bones of a sheep and a grape stalk, and a number of jars and bowls in wood or pottery (Fig. 320), ranged along the walls on the north and south. Their decoration with bands of white discs, painted in tempera, closely resembles that of vessels from Ast. i. r, 2. Those of turned wood, as the specimens Ast. i. 4. oi-8 show, had their interior solid with only a shallow depression at the mouth, a clear indication that all the vessels found in these tombs were specially intended for sepulchral use. A curious object is the pottery fragment Ast. i. 4. 012 (Pl. XC), in the form of the short leg and hoof of an animal, with incised lines and circles.
Textile Tomb i. 5, which lay nearest to i. r in a southerly direction, was found to contain three bodies,
finds in lying with their heads to the south. The one next to the entrance, a, was big, obviously of a man, while
Ast. i. 5.
the one in the middle, b, was small and probably that of a woman. The fabrics covering these bodies were much decayed, except the cap-like face-cloths found on the heads of a and b, and some shreds from a lined silk garment found on a. From the mouth of a a thin gold coin (Pl. CXX) was recovered, derived like the one in Ast. i. 3 from a type of Justinian I, but struck only on one side and manifestly a more distant imitation ; and from over the eyes the silver spectacles' Ast. i. 5. a. 02 (Pl. LXXXIX)., The central portion of the face-cloth i. 5. 03 (Pl. LXXVI) consists of a piece of polychrome figured silk, remarkable for its fine design of pure ` Sasanian ' style and fortunately well preserved. I t shows a very stylized boar's head in powerful angular treatment, enclosed within the characteristic pearl border of ` Sasanian ' figured textiles. From the same body were also obtained the fragments of figured silk fabrics i. 5. a. of (Pl. LXXXIV), among which the damask c is of special interest as being worked in a pattern of undoubtedly early Chinese origin. The face-cloth of b was made of a polychrome figured silk, i. 5. b. oz (Pl. LXXIX), which presents features of special interest in its design by combining ` Sasanian ' composition with Chinese motifs. Here, too, silver ` spectacles', i. 5. 04 (Pl. LXXXIX), were found.
Painted The head of the body c, which was apparently that of a youthful male, was wrapped up in
silk cover several layers of thin silk fabrics all badly decayed. Of the outermost wrap of blue silk, which had of head.
apparently been wound also round the body, enough, however, survived to show that the portion covering the face had been painted with two faces in profile, one on each side, drawn in clear and bold outlines over an inlonaco of white chalk. When the head was brought outside the tomb for closer examination, parts of this painted silk broke off in the gentle breeze before a photograph could be taken. This outer silk wrap as well as those below it crumbled into dust on being touched when their removal was attempted. One of the latter appeared to have also been painted with a kind of ` spot ' pattern of red circlets, &c. The eye-holes were found covered with small circular pieces cut from thin wood or the side of a gourd. The fragment of a finely cut wooden comb, i. 5. 07, suggests that toilet articles may also have been deposited in the coffins that once contained these bodies.
Inscription The adjoining tomb, i. 6, is of special interest. The inscribed brick Ast. i. 6. o8 (Pl. LXXV),
of Ast. i. 6, found in the approach trench and well preserved, gives the exact date of the burial of one of the dated A. D.
632. two bodies found in it, and the similarity of the burial practices illustrated here and in the other tombs
of this group proves that they all belong to approximately the same period. This burnt clay slab has its inscribed face coloured light blue and shows Chinese characters painted in vermilion over white within small compartments divided by horizontal and vertical lines. The inscription, of which a translation has been kindly furnished by M. Maspero,6 contains an obituary eulogy of the official Chang M, a native of Tun-huang, who served the Kao-ch`ang State in a military capacity, and died, at the age of seventy-three, in the ninth year of the local Kao-ch`ang Nien-hao Yen-shoal,
6 See below, Appendix A.