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0137 Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1
Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1 / Page 137 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000195
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The same type recurs among STEIN'S finds (Stein 1928, P1. XXIX, L. H. oi) as well as HUANG'S from Lop-nor (Huang 1933, I, Fig. 28) ; our 6. D: 1-4 also belong to this group. The smaller specimens may have been used as drinking vessels, whereas the larger ones may have served as scoops or the like. Most of them show traces of having been in use for a considerable time.

The fragmentary beaker Pl. 19 : 7 is of rather plain make, and is reminiscent of Stein 1928, Pl. XXVII, L. M. I. 035.

A cup-like vessel of squat shape and of more refined workmanship is shown in Pl. 21 : 4; it is three-legged and painted in black, red and yellow. The edge is repaired in two places with small bronze rivets, now much corroded. The ring-shaped handle with a flat piece on top goes back to a Hellenistic-Iranian type which came into vogue in China especially during the T'ang dynasty. When placed in the tomb this vessel contained some kind of liquid (food?) of which there are still some dried-up remains.

A round shallow bowl Pl. 19 : 8 shows traces of having been lacquered, its rim having possibly been covered with some other material, maybe silver. This vessel, too, has been repaired in ancient time, rather clumsily, with two iron plates.

There are also two fragments of another round lacquered vessel.

The small oval box Pl. 20 : 6 is very fragmentary, but it has once been a nicely lacquered double-bottomed case for the preservation of a lady's toilet or fancy articles. One part is divided into three partitions. A symmetrical ornament of thin bronze has been fastened to the outside of the cover. STEIN had found two oval cases in the graves L. C. and L. H. (Stein 1928, Pl. XXIX) but they are larger and did not furnish any guidance for the reconstruction of the fragments described above. The only exact parallels known to me have been excavated from Chinese Han dynasty tombs in S. Manchuria and Korea, i. e. Nan-shan-li and Lo-lang,1 (Shimada 1933, Pl. XXXII and Hamada 1934, Pl. LXII). These finds originate from the later Han dynasty, and the last mentioned tomb from the latter part of this period. The bronze ornament on our oval box, Fig. 28 c, does not correspond so closely to those on the similar boxes just mentioned and here reproduced as Fig. 29 b-c, as with the bronze fittings on a rectangular box and on the famous painted basket, Fig. 28 a-b. Our ornament is an intermediate type between those mentioned. When used on round or square articles this ornament takes the shape of a symmetric quatrefoil, as Fig. 29 a from WANG Hsü's tomb at Lo-lang, and as such it often occurs as a central decoration on Han dynasty mirrors, on round lacquer vessels,

1 Lo-lang or Lak-lang was a military colony in Korea founded by the Emperor Wu in io8 B. C. It remained the centre of Chinese authority throughout the Han dynasty. Japanese archaeologists have, with most praiseworthy care, excavated a number of the Chinese tombs at Lo-lang, and their labour has been rewarded with wonderful objects of art and handicraft. These have been published in a model way. The lacquered vessels found in the tombs here bear dates covering the period between 85 B. C. and 52 A. D. ; these pieces were made in the western part of Szuch'üan not far from Chengtu. Lo-lang is another example of Wu's active frontier policy as manifested in the north-east and a striking parallel to his activities in the north-west.