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0079 Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1
Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1 / Page 79 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)


[Figure] 12 Coffin 5 A. A) from above, lid removed. B) side view, lid in place. C) section of middle part. D) end view.

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doi: 10.20676/00000195
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Fig. 12. Coffin 5 A. A) from above, lid removed. B) side
view, lid in place. C) section of middle part. D) end view.

corresponding convexity, Fig. 12. The planks lean against each other, the ends touching, thus forming a lenticular space between them; there are two narrow vertical boards fitted into grooves at the ends of the planks. There is no bottom, and no nails or dowels have been used to fix the different members.

At the burial the dead had been placed in proper position on the ground, the coffin then being assembled over him.

The tight-fitting hides had protected the wood so perfectly that it looked quite fresh, and no sand had entered the coffin.

The body, that of a mummified young man, was resting on its back with the head at the eastern end of the coffin, which was just big enough to enclose the dead. Except for the face and the feet, the entire corpse was wrapped in a coarse mantle of yellowish-white wool (Pl. VI a) measuring 210 X 155 cm., and having a thin fringe formed by the warp threads along the lower end. Near the head the right edge of the mantle was tied up into a small bag containing grains of wheat.

The head was covered with a large rounded head-dress of thick white felt, Pl. Jo: 2, with five feathered pegs inserted as a decoration on the left side and kept together by a cross-piece wound with sinew-fibres. The head-dress reached below the ears, and was fastened by means of a cord under the chin.

Round the hips he wore a narrow loin-cloth, only 5 cm. wide, of the same woollen material as the mantle, and having long fringes at both ends, Pl. I I : 3. It was tied in front on top of the penis, which was placed upwards. A red thread is inserted at each end. The mantle, too, has two short red stripes in the weft. Can there be any meaning in these single, red elements in the otherwise undyed fabrics? They are too insignificant to be regarded as embellishments.

The feet were dressed in a kind of clumsy shoes or moccasins of ox-hide with the hair remaining. They were tied around the ankles with thick strings, and in the knots small feathers were inserted. This footgear had never been in actual use. The-same observation was made in two other cases. The same type is shown in Pl. 26: 6 from Grave 36. The headgear also looks quite unworn.

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