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0142 Innermost Asia : vol.2
Innermost Asia : vol.2 / Page 142 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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Finds in   The badly damaged remains of a single body were found in a corner, where they had been

tomb   thrown in a heap by those who had previously made a thorough search of the tomb for valuables.

Ast. vi. 4. This accounted for the broken condition of the articles, most of them of wood, here recovered. Among these are wooden figures, rudely carved and painted, of men and women, vi. 4. 03-8 (Pl. CIV) ; pieces of furniture models with legs ending in a lion's claw, vi. 4.023,027-8 (Pl. XCI) ; fragments of a model carriage, vi. 4. 0I0—II, 019-20, 022 (Pl. XCIV), &c. The circular wooden boxes, vi. 4. 024-5 (Pl. XCIV), deserve mention on account of their painted ornamentation. An article of particular interest is the excellently worked shoe of silk tapestry, vi. 4. 01 (Pl. XCIII), woven to shape. Its design consists of three bands, each composed of oblong panels showing a standing goose with wings extended, both panels and figures executed in counterchanging colours. Other bands with small Chinese characters are worked in at the toe.

Textile   The tombs Ast. vii. 1, 2, which were next examined, lay to the east and west respectively of

remains   the ruined structure situated approximately between the two main portions of the Astäna cemetery

from tomb

Ast. vii. 1,2. (P1. 31). In clearing the approach trench of vii. i two fragments of paper in Brâhmi script and

probably Kuchean language were found. They were the only specimens of non-Chinese manuscript found at Astâna, and looked as if they had been torn from some documents. The tomb chamber contained three bodies ; two of them, still in fair preservation, though thrown down from the platform, had shrouds made up of plain cotton and undyed silk ; the third, which may have been stripped by the plunderers, lay completely broken up in a corner. The fragments of striped or painted silk vii. 1. 02, 03, 05 came from this body. The heads of the other two corpses retained face-covers made, as usual, of a piece of polychrome figured silk and a frill of plain silk around it. In vii. I. o6 (Pl. LXXX) the figured silk shows a fine lozenge lattice pattern in a modification of ` Sasanian ' design that is specially interesting on account of the heart-shapes decorating the border. Underneath this a pair of silver spectacles covered the eyes. The feet of this body were cased in shoes of lacquered canvas, with upturned toe and well made, as the description of vii. 1. 07 (Pl. XCIII) shows. The face-cover of the other body, vii. 1. o1 (Pl. LXXVII), was made of a piece of figured silk, also ` Sasanian ' in design but coarsely woven. Some torn pieces of paper with Chinese writing on them were also found near the bodies.

Stucco   The tomb vii. 2, situated about 200 yards to the north-west of the ruined structure, was one

figures from of those which had been previously searched by Mashik and in which he remembered having seen Ast. vii. 2.

clay figures. It proved, as seen in the plan (Pl. 34), more elaborate in construction than any of those examined, comprising two tomb chambers with platforms and, besides a front passage, a square anteroom flanked by two additional rooms over 7 feet square. The conical roofs of the tomb chambers proper rose to the unusual height of II feet. These chambers were found empty but for badly broken remains of bodies, which seemed to have been wrapped in plain shrouds of cotton and silk. Fragments of Chinese paper documents, which probably came from their coffins, were lying in the outer tomb chamber and also in the adjoining anteroom. Most of these fragments, according to information kindly given by Dr. Lionel Giles, are from official reports. Some bear seal impressions in red, but none appear to show a definite date. The two side rooms flanking the latter once held a considerable number of clay figures of the same type as described from Ast. iii. 2, but almost all these figures had suffered much damage at the hands of those who successively searched this tomb for valuables. Among those still fit for removal may be mentioned the fragment of a finely modelled dragon, vii. 2. 01 (Pl. CIII) ; the head of a demon, of grotesque human type, vii. 2. 03 (Pl. CI), humorously treated ; several horses, vii. 2. 05-7 (Pl. C), accoutred exactly after the previously described fashion ; figures of riders, one of which, vii. 2. 011 (Pl. CII), is shown as playing on a pipe. The roped bundle represented in vii. 2. 08 (P1. CI) had evidently