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0042 Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1
Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1 / Page 42 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000195
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slightly marked narrow-sides. This is also true of the three jade axes which PELLIOT obtained at Qum-tura near Kucha. The largest of these is 14.6 x 7.4 cm. and corresponds to our Pl. 5 : 16, the other two are 5.8 x 4 and 5.7 x 3.2 cm. respectively and correspond to the ordinarily sized Lop-nor axes. The exact finding places of PELLIOT'S axes are not recorded. If they were found somewhere near to Kucha, where they were purchased, they indicate that the stone age culture which is known from the Lop desert was distributed over a large area of the Tarim Basin. In their general shape the small ones call to mind the axes found by ANDERSSON in the Sha-kou-t'un cave together with Yang-shao painted pottery. This circumstance does not necessarily imply any cultural or chronological connection. Though the straight edges in both cases denote late facies. It might be worth mentioning that this short but broad axe-type is missing in Inner Mongolia — at least in those parts where I have travelled — and also in Honan and Kansu (Bergman 1935 a).

Though the general type of the flint blades and cores from Lop-nor is the same as that occurring in the other Sinkiang localities and in Inner Mongolia, they may easily be distinguished when placed side by side. The Lop-nor objects are as a rule much sand-worn, showing that they have been lying exposed to wind erosion for a considerable length of time, whereas corresponding articles from the other sites mentioned show few or no traces of being sand-worn. Moreover, the raw materials in the Inner Mongolian objects are much more varied.

No petrographic analyses have been made of the Lop-nor material. Dr. T. DU RIETZ has, however, kindly undertaken an ocular examination of some of the worked stones from here. Most of the stone material passes under the name of flint. Agate, jasper, chalcedony and chert also occur. In the market most of the stones here called green chert would pass as jade, and I at first labelled them as jade.

There do not exist any stones in the lacustrine and fluvial sediments of the Lop-nor basin. Raw material for the manufacturing of tools and weapons had to be brought from the surrounding mountain regions, i. e. Quruq-tagh in the north or Astin-tagh in the south. NoRmN has found a geological formation containing siliceous beds at the base of the Cambrian (lydite, radiolarite), which stretches along the whole length of Quruq-tagh from Korla to Altmish-bulaq. Some Lop-nor objects are made of this kind of "flint". It seems likely that siliciferous stones suitable for making artifacts are to be found in the Astin-tagh as well. (Cf. the site Chiqin-sai). The Quruq-tagh formation was in any case the nearest place where flint could be "mined".

As seen from the above the finds of worked flints from the Lop-nor region are rather few, both in number and types, and as there is practically no ceramics no definite chronological deductions can be undertaken. All stratigraphical evidence is lacking, and in many cases we do not know from what kind of deposit the objects originate. No traces of palaeolithic implements have been met with; such can only be ex-