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0033 Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1
Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1 / Page 33 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000195
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historic stone artifacts in the small dune accumulation on the western side of the springs that supply the village and are situated near to the south-west of it. On the western slope of this sandy elevation in the ground, where reeds and tamarisks grow, partly forming mounds, we located three different spots near each other that marked the sites of ancient dwellings. There the sand was coloured by soot and ashes on spots 1-5 m. in diameter. On a couple of these places where fires had been burning the ground was a little higher than the surrounding. In the sand pebbles and small boulders were found. These were very brittle from the effects of heating. They were not arranged in any special order but had apparently served as hearths. One of them contained some much decayed bone fragments, a couple of potsherds and a quartzite knife, the finds being made to a depth of to cm. Most of the loose material that once covered this site had blown away, and the artifacts were therefore found lying on the ground together with various unworked stones. They had, so to say, sunk to the bottom. Only where the surface was protected by the somewhat more resistant hearths had part of it been preserved. This is thus an example of dune dwellers.

The potsherds found are of brownish or reddish ware, not very coarse, and of a general neolithic appearance. Only a couple of them have an incised line or applied nipples as decoration.

I found twenty-three cores or nuclei of flint or flintlike stones partly fragmentary, and over 300 small elegantly shaped flint flakes, most of them with sharp edges, others having retouched edges.

The drills Pl. 4: I-2 are made of this kind of small flakes, their tips being retouched from alternate sides, the ideal 'cross section of the tip forming a parallelogram or rhomb. The small finely trimmed piercer or awl of white flint shown in PI. 4: 3 is of a unique shape.

The most interesting group among the implements is comprised by the arrowheads, which occur in an unusually large number and show an admirable workmanship, Pl. 3: I-17. The slender willow-leaf shape is also very elegant, and some of them have an extremely sharp tip. Pl. 3: 12-17 are less sharply pointed, and as some of them are of a coarser make they are probably unfinished. There are also fragments of arrow-heads both of greater and lesser perfection.

This type of arrow-head is known from the Lop desert (Pl. 4 : 13 and Stein 1921, Pl. XXX, C. 122. 0054, and Stein 1928, Pl. XXII, L. I. 012 etc.). I have never encountered this type in Inner Mongolia.

The small flint objects Pl. 3: 19-20 I call knives because one edge is straight and the other convex, though they may easily have served as arrow-heads as well. This type is known from Inner Mongolia and the Kansu corridor. Pl. 3 : 2I-22 show two somewhat larger knives.

It is hard to distinguish between fragments of this kind of knives and fragments of the larger arrow-heads.