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0141 Innermost Asia : vol.2
Innermost Asia : vol.2 / Page 141 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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vi. 2. 05 (PI. CIV) ; a pair of imitation shoes of silk and waste paper, vi. 2. o8 (Pl. XCIII) ; and an imitation dagger-sheath, vi. 2. 09 (Pl. XCIV), similarly made up.

About 500 yards to the north-west of vi. 1 there lies a small group of tombs (see Pl. 31) close to the extreme edge of the cemetery area, and across a shallow depression in which overflow water from the stream at Sengim-aghiz had pushed down a thin sheet of ice at the time of our visit. Notwithstanding the vicinity of this moisture the contents of the tomb Ast. vi. 3, which was reached at a depth of some 16 feet, proved quite dry. The two bodies found in it had suffered much damage at the hands of plunderers, but were still recognizable as those of a man and a woman. Both bodies were wound in miscellaneous ragged fabrics, some of them, as the specimens vi. 3. 02, o8 show, remains of garments of plain silk, padded with silk wool and lined. Both had their feet cased in shoes, made of waste paper and covered outside with silk. Another pair of shoes, vi. 3. 013-14 (Pl. XCIII), wholly of paper, had, like the silk cuffs vi. 3. 019 and the paper hat vi. 3. 04, formed part of the sepulchral deposits. To these belonged also the wooden box vi. 3.011 (P1. XCIV), ornamented in lacquer ; the wooden food tray vi. 3. 010 (Pl. XCI), with fish-tail handles and two Chinese characters on the reverse ; the boat-shaped food bowl vi. 3. 017 (Pl. XCI), of a type common among the remains of the Han Limes, &c.

The textile remains from the bodies comprised inter alia the fragments of crimson silk vi. 3. 03 (P1. LXXVIII), dyed with a dotted pattern by ` resist ' process, and the fine silk muslin vi. 3. 09. The piece vi. 3.07 (P1. LXXVIII), resembling in character the ` shoulder-piece ' vi. 2.04 (Pl. XXXVI), is of special interest. I t is made up of blue silk spotted white with an ` all-over ' lozenge pattern and of two rectangular panels of embroidery attached to it on opposite sides. The design, similar on both, is worked in chain-stitch and is of a stylized floral type, manifestly Chinese.

Finally special mention must be made of the paper painting vi. 3. 05 (Pl. CVII), done in bold outlines and roughly coloured, which was found at the entrance of the tomb. I t shows in two registers a festive scene probably placed in another world. It includes, besides an important personage seated on a platform and in the act of taking a cup, attendants in various poses, musicians and a dancer, as well as the representation of an orchard and of a bullock-cart arriving. The whole, as pointed out by Mr. Andrews in his description below (p. 700), is a rendering of a scene often seen in the relievos of Han tombs. The costume worn by the figures clearly indicates that the artist followed models derived from that period.

Ast. vi. 4, a fourth among these scattered tombs to the north that we examined, lay about 200 yards to the south-east of vi. 2. Its chamber, 8 feet square, had its conical roof cut into superimposed squares exactly after the manner of that described at vi. 1. Here too the smooth-surfaced walls of fine conglomerate had been whitewashed, and showed a painted dado three feet high with a succession of panels running round three sides of the chamber. These paintings were executed mainly in bold outlines with crude patches of colour here and there, in a style somewhat resembling the paper painting from vi. 3 (Pl. CVII). On each side of the entrance there was the representation of a lion-like monster. On the southern wall, to the right of the entrance, were displayed the figures of some horses, sheep, an ox and a camel, besides a gateway resembling in shape a Chinese memorial arch, and beyond this a woman apparently engaged in preparing food. The wall facing the entrance was occupied by a scene in which were seen a man seated on a carpet, his wife and her three attendants facing him, and three servants approaching from behind with offerings. The men's black head-dresses recalled the tailed caps seen in some of the Chien-fo-tung paintings. The dado of the northern wall showed a tree and, beyond a blank panel, a bullock-cart below and a camel and some other animals above. I regret not to have had the means of reproducing these spirited if rough wall-paintings by photography or otherwise.

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Clearing of tomb

Ast. vi. 3.

Decorated fabrics from Ast. vi. 3.

Painting on paper Ast. vi. 3. 05.

Painted dado on wall of Ast. vi. 4.