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0100 Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1
Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1 / Page 100 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000195
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shown a complete specimen though part of the wool has now decayed; between the wool and the wood was a layer of feathers. In its hollow inside were lying a few bones from the skull of a large lizard. We cannot state whether the others have had any contents; the half depicted on Pl. 8: I was painted red on the inside.

The general shape of these objects is that of a phallus and it is reasonable to regard them as a kind of amulet or to place them among the paraphernalia of the fertility cult.

Two complete specimens and three halves were recovered, ranging in size from 9 to 11.5 cm.

The two snake representations, which also belong under this heading have been discussed on p. 73.

Three slender pegs Nos. 5: 50, 52 and 88 (Pl. 9 : 3) of uniform thickness but with a thinner part at one end vary in length from 19.8 to 26.5 cm. The specimen 5: 51 has both ends thinner than the middle, and has been wound spirally with a ribbon of some sort. The thinner part has probably been inserted into some hole or socket, but the proper use, of these pegs is obscure.

Miscellaneous small articles.

A small oblong, slightly curved piece with transverse incisions is made of dental-bone, Pl. 15 : 7. One end is incomplete. The use of it is unknown.

A pair of similar bone objects, Pl. 12 : I0-1I, are also of unknown use, and so is the bone fragment Pl. 12 : 7. In the latter case we might think of a part from a compound bow.

Cord-wrapped bunches of stiff grass, Ephedra twigs, sinew fibres and so on (5: 170-173) may possibly be labelled as some sort of amulets (Stein 1928, Pl. XXVI, L. S. 6.03 is of the same kind). The splendid specimens on Pl. I I : 6 have already been referred to, and we may also recall such originally wrapped objects as the supposed phallus representations Pl. 8: I, 2, 6 and 9. Especially from North America parallels to these wrapped objects are known with a core of various materials from the plant and animal kingdoms. The composition of the contents suggest a magical use of these bunches.

STEIN has also noticed how this provision of small packets of Ephedra twigs formed a part of the regular funeral practice among the autochthon population of Lou-lan.

In some instances there are striking resemblances between the articles made of perishable materials, e. g. feathers, straw and strings, from the Lop-nor graves and those from N. American Indian sites — at least, judging from the reproductions