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0262 Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1
Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1 / Page 262 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000195
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mm.). The seeds are surprisingly well preserved, both within and on the outside. The bare grains have agglomerated in heaps. Nevertheless they are easily distinguishable as soon as the mass is softened in hot water. Here and there, however, the grains have formed such a solid mass as to be no more separable.

It is evident that the seed corns have grown on the Asiatic grass, Panicum miliaceum (sanguineum) or millet. Hence it is to be assumed that the contents of the basket were once millet grits with some corns still left unground. If the substance in the basket may thus be considered to have been millet-porridge it is of some interest to add that it also contains salt, sodium chloride, but traces only of soluble sulphates.


This sample, already washed, consists of two specimens of wool — one of them, dyed in a somewhat reddish, nice brown rather dark hue, is spun and twisted to form a two-strand twine, each strand containing about 180 filaments; the other one is spun and twined to a much looser and very bulky yarn of uncertain light brown-yellow colour.

The wool hairs have a thickness of 13-27 ,u, and concerning the dark dyed hairs even a little more, or up to a trifle above 30 ,u. Furthermore, as a matter of fact, we not infrequently found hairs in the mass with a length of more than 50 mm. All these hairs have a well preserved wavy structure and scaly surface, showing the characteristic serration of sheep wool fibres. There is no resemblance to the wool hairs of the camel. But it must be remembered that such a thin and really fine fleece is produced only by extremely good or improved sheep races. It is therefore a question as to whether this fleece has been shorn from the home sheep or imported — perhaps (this is in any case not quite impossible) with returning silk caravans from Bactria, where in those times very good fleece was procurable. Compare also "Sheep wool from the Kucha district" !

Yet the case is here still more complicated. Together with the fine fleece there are quite a number of pieces of thick hairs, 90-130 ,u, many of which are crushed and spread out in one plane to something about treble the breadth. Some of them show a rather rapid transition to the thin form and appearance of the fleece hairs. These big hairs are mostly broken into pieces, in this condition resembling fragments of overhairs from an antelope's pelt. If they did belong to this animal, the fine fleece would perhaps be hairs from the fur, i. e. the underwool of a common antelope. As in Sweden it proved impossible to find an antelope skin with underwool( !) I applied to the British Museum and got from there top hairs and underhairs of two antelope skins (Gazella gutturosa and Gazella Prjevalskii). I was thus enabled to establish the unmistakable and obvious difference between the fleece in question and the antelope fur, and I was also able to show that the underhairs