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0119 Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1
Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1 / Page 119 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000195
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the same material. Among this brushwood we found the skull of a sheep. In the bottom of the coffin four stout legs were inserted, giving it a curious appearance, but in this way the coffin was made to stand firm. The inside of it measured well 2 m. in length.

A pole nearly 2 m. long probably stood as a funeral mark or monument on the grave.

The corpse was now lying outside its proper resting place, Pl. XI a. This must he the work of plunderers, probably ÖRDEK. It was the most marvellously preserved mummy I ever saw in the Lop desert, and therefore did not seem to have been exposed very long to the destructive elements of the atmosphere. It was that of an elderly, stately gentleman with a small white beard, a thin moustache and white hair. The face was long and narrow with a very firm, broad, square chin, big, well-preserved teeth, and a high nose. The nostrils were shut with a pair of "stoppers" of wool wound with red silk, Pl. 25: 9-10. These were probably placed there to prevent effusion.'

The parched skin of the mummy was of uniform, yellow-brown colour resembling very dark sunburn, and preserved all over the body, Pl. XI b.

The feet were enclosed in low boots of red leather and of the same cut as those from Cemetery 5 and Grave 36.

Only some rags remained of the dress, a long gown of thin, undyed silk in plain weave, which had an edging of strawberry-coloured silk, 5-6 cm. wide. Since the dressing remains this silk stuff gives the impression of being some kind of gauze. There are some fragments of a belt made of the same material as the gown; on Pl. XI b it is seen knotted round the waist. The strip 7. A : 4 is of cotton material, i. e. probably of Indian origin. Tied on to it is a narrow strip of red silk, figured in batik with small lozenges. This technique is originally Indian. (Cf. Stein 1928, Ast. VI. I.02).

The most interesting part of the dress is the collar, sewn together from seven pieces of four different kinds of polychrome silks with bold designs and wonderfully bright colours, Pl. 18: I. I do not intend to anticipate Miss SYLWAN'S treatment of this highly suggestive and important piece of textile work, which, for the discussion of the relation between East and West in the textile art is of outstanding significance. For the description I refer to the list below, written by Miss SYLWAN. From a study of the weaving technique she has discovered the remarkable circumstance that the patches a and d (Fig. 20) are of Western, but the pieces e and f of Chinese manufacture (f is a loose piece not marked on Fig. 20). Stylistically the

1 The closing of all apertures of the corpse by inserting specially formed jade objects, a custom developed in China during the Han dynasty, jade being used on account of the belief in its ability to preserve flesh from decay and thus immortalize the body, may be a symbolic development of an originally hygienic procedure. This custom of closing the apertures with some kind of substance has been, and still is, practised among several peoples.

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