highly probable, but it would be only guesswork to try to explain them. We meet the same step-like (zig-zag) design on the loin-cloth Pl. 13 : 4.
The technical skill necessary for the manufacture of these small baskets is considerable, and it must be admitted at once that the Lou-lan people have mastered this side of the fabrication perfectly. The sense of form and proportion in the decoration is also worthy of admiration; it successfully competes with the graceful incised ornamentations on all sorts of pegs from this site. From a purely technical point of view these baskets stand on the same high level as those of the aboriginal American basket-makers.
These baskets from Lop-nor are a typical product of a primitive people, and we may safely ascribe them to the people buried on the hill. The only instance I know of, where one of these baskets has been found outside an indigenous grave, is STEIN'S L. C. 05 from an otherwise Chinese mass-grave near Lou-lan.
Only on one specimen (5. I: I ) is the edge finished with a coiled border, otherwise there is no special edging.
All of them have had string handles, except 5. D: 2, where no traces can be detected. Four specimens have a more or less well preserved handle consisting of several twined cords fastened on the outside of the wall in a row of vertically placed coils, Pl. 13 : Ia. (5 : 70, 140, 141, 146). The remaining ten baskets have, or have had, a handle of a single string of twisted white or brown wool, which has been threaded through the wall a little below the edge, Pl. 14 : 4. The existence of these handles makes it highly probable that the baskets were articles for daily use and not only made to serve as sepulchral offerings.
Those excavated from the coffins and having their felt cover still in place over the mouth contained remains of the food supplies deposited in them for the benefit of the deceased. Basket 5. F: I contained a few grains of wheat and millet besides a dried-up substance. The careful chemical examination undertaken by Mr. HJ. LJUNGH has proved it to be a porridge of millet. In the basket 5. A : 6 a small amount of a similar substance was found, but no grains of cereals.
Besides the small baskets there is only one object of basketry, the flat fragment Pl. 14 : 3, probably from a sifter basket or from such a round basketry plate with thin weave that for instance the Chinese of our day use when steaming their bread. No. 37 : 3-4 are two fragments of a similar kind found in the second mass-grave in the delta of Qum-darya.
There is only one wooden vessel from this place, the cup Pl. 12 : 15, made of a single piece and probably having had a handle fastened in the four holes. It may thus have served as a scoop.
Of pottery only one insignificant sherd was found; it was of reddish earthenware and was lost before the collection reached Sweden.