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0208 Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1
Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1 / Page 208 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000195
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geometrical lines forming an open enclosure, a trident-shaped figure, a ring with a central dot and some unclear lines. The lower edge lies about 1.5 m. above the brook, the height of the carved surface being 1.9 m. The lines are broad and shallow.

The filling with white colour does not always do full justice to the engravings, as all the pictures have become equally white. In reality they are of different shades. The elements of the highest level have, however, a homogeneous appearance. Not so the other parts. Some other visitor who cares to undertake the labour of filling in the pictures will no doubt arrive at a different number, because I did not fill in the most uncertain ones, and as I worked in November the light was not always of the best. Even on some of the photos I can now discern animal figures which I have not filled in with white. In any case they give nothing but a quantitative addition.

Having finished the description of the pictures on the cliff, we now turn to those on three large boulders lying a little upstream on the other side of the brook.

The first boulder lies close to the water and has one side covered with a confusion of obscure carvings where only one camel and some curved ibex-horns could be distinguished. Two "elfin mills", i. e. small cup-shaped hollows, were clearly defined. Under better light conditions these figures may stand out more clearly. In November the sun never reached this block.

The middle boulder has a carving which is distinct at both ends, whereas the centre is impossible to interpret. To the left is a man, one hand stretched out to grasp the tail of or to carry a big bird ( ?) with hanging wings and raised head. The right extremity shows a deer, a camel, a crane, and a walking man. In the centre there may be, among other things, a man and a couple of camels.

The lines are thick and the broader surfaces of the figures are hollowed out. This carving makes a modern impression. The animals recall some of the middle level on the main engraving, but the movements of the human figures are much more lively. This carving seems to correspond, in point of style, to the one from Langar-kisht on the Panja in the Pamirs (Tallgren 1933, Fig. 17).

The third boulder, finally, has a few engravings as shown on Pl. XVIII c : three hands and some incomplete elements, one of which may be an animal.

These stone blocks must have been hidden in the detritus which covered the lower part of the cliff when the upper level of its pictures were engraved, and the pictures on the blocks must therefore be younger than this oldest facies. To make any further chronological distinction is difficult, but it may be added that the figures on the central boulder look relatively fresh whereas the others are weathered.

For those seeking the explanation of this extended rock carving at Buyantubulaq in Quruq-tagh, Prof. TALLGREN'S paper in ESA 1933 affords excellent