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0063 Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1
Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1 / Page 63 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000195
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ÖRDEK and his companions did the same. These objects are described as Nos. I I29 in the lists on pp. 171 f.

The burial site which ÖRDEK at the beginning of the tour described so vividly could not be found. We moved higher up the river again and made lake Pataliq-köl our new starting-point. This is a freshwater lake near to the south of Qum-darya and connected with it by a narrow channel. Our camp here bears the number B 64.

It soon became evident that ÖRDEK was unable to locate the burial site. As time went on he contradicted himself more and more, and even had resource to supernatural powers to explain the "disappearance" of the cemetery, so that I began to regard it as existing only in his fancy. SÖDERBOM, however, with his shrewd understanding of Central Asian mentality, refused to abandon the chase. He finally induced ÖRDEK to begin searching from the south, i. e. from the old course of the lower Tarim, from which he had started out when first visiting the place, and he also succeded in persuading ÖRDEK to associate with some other Turks, which he had been unwilling to do before. Without the clever aid of my old friend GEORG SÖDERBOM the burial place migh have remained an unsolved riddle hidden in the desert.

It would take too long to recount all that happened here. Suffice to say that we spent nearly one month searching for the main burial site.

Before ÖRDEK returned from his last reconnaissance, on which he finally located the main site coming from the south and guided by some shepherds, we learned from other shepherds, who had recently reached Qum-darya from the south, that there existed a few graves near the river. They were said to be situated still higher up, not far from the main camp of the expedition, the first one near a small lake called Yarliq-köl. In the field this grave was designated as Grave A, and as such it is treated in my preliminary paper (Bergman 1935 a, p. 58 f) but it has subsequently been found convenient to call it Grave 1o.


Before discussing the individual graves it is appropriate to give a brief account of the surveys of graves that have been undertaken by previous visitors to the desolate Lop-nor wastes.

ELLSWORTH HUNTINGTON was the first to observe the presence of ancient graves in the Lop desert. When, in January 1906, he travelled from the Lou-lan station westwards he found a grave in the zone of piedmont gravel close to the north of the then dry bed of Quruq-darya. He made no excavations, however.

Thorough excavations were undertaken by Sir AUREL STEIN in 1914, when many cemeteries were discovered containing different kinds of graves. The one grave