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0263 Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1
Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1 / Page 263 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000195
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of the two antelopes are considerably coarser than the fleece of all common deer animals (family Cervidae). It was also established that the big hairs of the sample are so-called "kemps" or "dead hairs" from sheep. But the presence of the "kemps" tells us that the wool must have been taken from an adult sheep and can not belong to the first and finest clip of the "lambs' wool" from animals of eight or ten months old.

  •  Hence it is here assumed that the wool had been imported.


The powder is in no wise fatty, but it can not be mixed with water — it does not get wet. On the other hand, it takes ether very readily, but nothing is extracted by this solvent. In reality there is no organic substance in the powder. If heated, the mass blackens only for a moment, giving off a distinct smell of burnt leather, then it assumes a very characteristic brown-yellow colour, as does the common painting-colour, white lead. Following this indication it was easy to show that the powder could be dissolved in nitric acid, with the exception of a considerable part of it which proved to be sand (probably from the desert), and another part which could be dissolved in strong hydrochloric acid and which proved to be antimonious oxide. Sulphur is not present.

When the lead nitrate was formed, carbon dioxide was set free. Then the nitrate compound was precipitated by sulphuric acid and determined as lead sulphate in the ordinary way. The powder possesses a high degree of dispersion and adheres strongly to rough surfaces. As the use of white lead as toilet powder was common in the civilised world as early as the 4th century B. C. we are justified in assuming that the find may have been once used for such a purpose.

Concerning the wool round the small powder-bag it may be added that among the hairs of the ordinary sheep wool I was surprised to find some bigger hairs showing a striking resemblance to the hairs of a gazelle, Gazella gutturosa of Kansu.


The fragment shows a simple wickerwork, i. e. a weaving in which the warp is rigid and the weft flexible.

The rigid warp here consists of pretty round (diam. 1.5-1.8 mm.) and straight strands of a dicotyledonous stem. All small twigs have been carefully removed, but in some places the bark is not peeled off altogether.

The flexible weft forms a plain weaving over single warps. The surface is smooth. Near the upper rim three triplets of neighbouring weft-strands are drawn