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0253 Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1
Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1 / Page 253 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)


[Figure] 52 Miran, Grave 3. Plan and section.

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doi: 10.20676/00000195
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Fig. 52. Miran, Grave 3. Plan and section.

Grave 3.

The coffin in this grave, lying only 0.35 m. under the ground, was most curious, consisting of a hollow trunk that totally enveloped the skeleton. The upper part of the skeleton was disturbed, as if the deceased had been forcibly turned round in the coffin in such a way that the spinal column had been broken, and the cranium displaced. The trunk was open at both ends, and contained no funeral deposits. Fig. 52.

A similar coffin from Qum-darya (cf. p. 55) had both ends closed with wooden lids.

Grave 4

was of the same construction as Grave I, the bones were displaced and the cranium broken. It contained nothing else and was apparently plundered.

The heads of the skeletons were placed in the following directions : N 25°E, S 6o°W, N 40°E, S 45°W.

From Grave I the whole skeleton was taken, and from Grave 2 and 3 the craniums. They have been handed over to Prof. G. BACKMAN for anthropometric examination.

Unfortunately the objects found in Graves 1 and 2 are too poor to allow of any definite chronological determination, but the comb Pl. 38: 18 is of the common Han type used in Lou-lan, and the silk fragments, too, might very well be of that age. It is therefore likely, though far from proved, that these graves belonged to the people inhabiting Miran in the Lou-lan time. The older Miran ruins date, as shown by STEIN, from the third and fourth centuries A. D., but there are also two temples from the fifth century or a somewhat later date. The fortress was occupied during