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0242 Innermost Asia : vol.2
Innermost Asia : vol.2 / Page 242 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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of a man, that on the right as that of a woman, obviously the wife. Their heads, both grey-haired, were covered with pieces of plain silk, once white. The bodies were also wrapped in silks, both white and red, over shrouds of a coarse material, apparently woollen. On removing the outer silk cover the heads were found swathed in strips of white silk ; these were secured by a crimson silk band, close on an inch wide, which was drawn over the forehead 10 Over this band there lay in a row three small metal discs, apparently gold, Ying. III. 2. 03-8, which had been sewn. to the head-band by means of two small holes in each. Below the woman's head was found an embroidered cloth of crescent shape, III. 2. 02 (Pl. XLV), made of buff canvas and doubled to form a kind of cushion cover. The embroidery work is executed in chain-stitch and shows highly stylized floral patterns together with birds and beetles. The mouths did not contain coins either in this or in any of the other graves.

Sepulchral   Above each of the heads was placed a wooden food-tray, III. 2. 017-18 (Pl. XXVIII), with the

deposits.   head and leg-bones of a lamb, the tray near the man's head being circular, the other elliptical.

Alongside the bodies were found the remains of a bronze bowl, III. 2. 09 (Pl. CX), lined inside with lacquer over canvas, and of a lacquered bowl with graceful handle, iii. 2. 010-14 (Pl. CX) ; the well-made wooden cup III. 2. 015 (Pl. CX) ; a pottery jug of coarse clay, III. 2. 016 (Pl. CX). All of these had probably held food-stuffs. Thick white felts had been spread below the bodies. There was nothing to indicate how the two bodies came to be buried in the same coffin. That they were those of husband and wife can scarcely be doubted. But did they follow each other in death about the same time, or was the coffin in which the first of the couple had been laid to rest kept unburied until it could receive also the second ? The grey hair of both showed that they were an aged couple, and the provision of a common coffin might have been less strange in such a case.

Contents of   The third grave opened, III. 3, lay between the two previously described. Here the covering

grave   planks of the coffin had decayed, and the contents had suffered more in consequence. The head

Ying. III. 3. was that of a bearded man, and the body was covered with white silk laid over a shroud of a coarse woollen fabric. A piece of silk covered the head, which was swathed with strips of white silk, just as the heads in iii. 2. A narrow crimson band passed across the forehead, and on it were fastened three small discs, iii. 3. 03-5, either gold or gilt. To the right of the head stood a tumbler of transparent greenish-white glass, iii. 3. o6 (Pl. CX), found intact with traces at the bottom of some fluid which might have been wine or grape-juice. It is ornamented with bands of hollow-ground spots, and is of some interest as the only complete piece of glass ware found by me in the course of my explorations. Above the head lay the bones of a lamb deposited without a tray, and the small lacquered wooden vase iii. 3. 07 (Pl. CX).

Less careful   Other small groups of graves could be traced on the edge of the Sai terrace about half-way

burials.   between those just described and the Stiipa-crowned plateau. Here water erosion had cut up the

terrace edge into three narrow ridges ; on the summit of each of these there were from two to six graves, marked by posts in the same fashion as noted at III. I-3. In addition to these, a number of similar graves were to be found along the southern foot of the ridges and on the slopes of the small gullies dividing them. Debris of Toghrak wood washed down to the level ground at the foot afforded evidence that occasional flooding from the glacis above had destroyed other graves at this point. Among the dozen or so of graves on the top of the ridges which were likely to have suffered less by moisture, about half were found opened. They seemed to have contained only hollowed-out Toghrak trunks, not regular coffins, a circumstance pointing to less careful burials. This was confirmed by the contents of a grave, Ying. III. 4, excavated by us near the end of the

10 For fragments of these, see Ying. III. 3. or in List.