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0099 Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1
Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1 / Page 99 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000195
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Wooden objects of uncertain use.

Pl. 7: 1-7 depict some curious objects the meaning or function of which is obscure. The simplest form is seen in Pl. 7: 1, there being two similar specimens. It is a wooden peg, flattened, and tapering towards one end. On one of them there is a small oval hole with burnt edges, and on the other a charred hollow near the middle.

Pl. 7:6 is a more elaborate specimen. At the broader end one side is flattened and provided with two parallel grooves, and behind these a rectangular depression. A big bunch of horse hair is tied with brown woollen strings round the middle part of the handle. The pointed end has a small step or ledge. The curved shape may be accidental.

Pl. 7: 4 is carved according to the same pattern, but on Pl. 7: 3 the two grooves do not reach the end of the peg. This is also the case with Pl. 7: 2, and there the depression is surrounded by small drilled holes; near the pointed end there is a lashing of brown wool. The fragmentary specimen Pl. 7: 5 has no sunken part but eight transverse incisions instead. When the other fragmentary specimen, Pl. 7: 7, was found, a layer of feathers were attached with red wool to its back. The complete ones are from 53 to 63.5 cm. long.

In coffin 5. C a fragmentary specimen of this kind of object was found which would seem to indicate that they used to be buried with the dead.

The only objects of a shape somewhat similar to the more elaborate specimens are some Siberian Shaman drumsticks; but our specimens are rather long, and there seem to be too many of them. It is, however, more than likely that they had a function in some cult performance.

Another type of object is unknown in existing collections. Some specimens have already been mentioned above. It is made of wood in two similar halves, the flat surfaces laid towards each other, and the members joined with two string lashings. The upper part is more or less spool-shaped, whereas the lower end terminates in a carving representing a horse's hoof or a cow's foot, Pl. 8: 3-5, 7-8. Some of them have a notch at the "front" edge and, as a rule, there is as group of slightly incised transverse lines on the flat sides, clearly visible in Pl. 8 : 8. On the specimens Pl. 8: 7-8 the flat sides are charred in on place near the upper end as if the objects had been used to catch some red-hot metal. The length varies between 21.5 and 28.2 cm. Three pairs, Pl. 8 : 3-5, were found in coffins; in all five complete and one half set were found. I can see no practical use for these "leg" representations.

Pl. 8: I, 2, 6 and 9 represent another kind of compound articles consisting of two similar halves which have been tied together with a woollen cord wound round the sunken middle part. The insides of the halves are hollowed out. On Pl. 8: 6 is