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0135 Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1
Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1 / Page 135 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000195
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4: I.   Bunch of coarse black-brown human 4: 4.   Two fragm. of cotton fabric, original-

hair.   ly white, discoloured to fawn, each

sewn together with a ribbon of silk, also discol-

4:2.   Several very frayed fragm. of fine red oured. Both cotton and silk in plain weave. 16.7X

woollen fabric in tabby weave.   and and 7.2X1.9 cm.

4: 3.   Pieces of silk, packed together, origin- 4:5.   Piece of silk, originally yellow, now

ally yellow. Blood-stained ?   reddish.


These three minor burial places along The Small River — where future explorations will certainly reveal still more — differ sharply from Cemetery 5.

There are several types of coffins, but none similar to those in No. 5. The minor places lack impressive wooden monuments, and the whole grave deposit, both shrouds and accessories, are distinctly unlike what was met with at No. 5. Very little is of local make, all the silk and cotton fabrics, for instance, being importations from China and India respectively. For some of the silks of which the collar 7. A : 6 is composed we have to assume a Bactrian or Iranian origin.

It is not impossible that at least some of those buried in this way were real Indians. But whether Indians or not, they were no doubt of a social standing far above that of the autochthons buried in Cemetery 5. This distinction in social status does not exclude a chronological difference.

Like much else of the Lop-nor material the dating of these graves is attended with considerable difficulty. The close resemblance to some of STEIN'S Chinese graves nearer to the Lou-lan station makes it highly probable that the same chronological limits are valid, i. e. approx. Ioo B. C. and approx. 33o A. D.

The Small River with its narrow channel, which nevertheless furnished the whole water supply for those living in this part of the Lop desert, must be very sensitive to fluctuations in the water amount of its mother river, Oum-darya. It is not out of the question that The Small River dried up completely before Qum-darya became quite dry, and if so the region around The Small River became uninhabitable earlier than approx. 33o A. D.

The map Fig. 18 gives an idea of the general situation of the burial places in the region of The Small River. None of them is placed immediately next to the river-bed but some distance away from it. Cemetery 5 lies isolated, which stresses its difference from the small cemeteries.

If the burial sites were thus placed some way off from the river the dwellings of the living must have been situated near the water. But of these no structural remains were found.