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0185 Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1
Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1 / Page 185 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000195
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Three fragments from one and the same bronze mirror are seen on Pl. 30 : 20. This mirror is of "the hundred nipples, stars and clouds" type, which first appears in the earlier Han dynasty.

Two small fragments from the thickened rim of mirrors (K. 13379 : 14 and K. 13409) may be of about the same date as the one first mentioned — at least they cannot be older. One has the border decorated with a double "saw tooth" pattern like Pl. 28: I, though smaller.

STEIN collected three complete and twenty-six fragmentary bronze mirrors in the Lop-nor region. Eleven of the total number come from the Lou-lan station. Among his reproductions there are for instance three TLV-mirrors, one with "four animal design", two or three of the same type as our Pl. 28 : 2 and one with a lapidary inscription with eight characters reading: "When you see the light of the sun the world is very bright" quite a common sentence on inscribed mirrors.' A study of the originals might reveal more types. Those mentioned above were corn-mon in the Han dynasty. Most of them seem to be small, and as far as can be judged from the illustrations they are of about the same quality as ours. These relics acquire antiquarian interest from the fact that they are no doubt importations from China proper. The fragment No. 8 : 3 seems to be from a small, plain mirror, which may be of local make.

Girdle and strap fittings.

The bronze buckle Pl. 30 : I was found by HÖRNER in the southern part of the Lop desert. I have reproduced it once bef ore (BMFEA 7 Fig. 7) and labelled it as belonging to the nomad style bronzes. The hook projecting from the front part of the rim is large, but curiously enough turned "inwards" instead of "outwards" as in ordinary cases. This shape might be partly due to wear ; because of the thick verdigris it is impossible to get any definite impression of possible damage. There are

1 It is rather interesting to find that a small Chinese bronze mirror which has been excavated from a South Russian barrow is of the same type as this Lou-lan mirror and carries the same inscription (Ebert's Reallexikon 13, Taf. 4o C, and Stein 1928, Pl. XXIV, L. C. 013). A certain number of Chinese jade objects (fittings for sword sheaths) also reached Sarmatian South Russia (Ebert's Reallex. 13, Taf. 4o D f). Besides Chinese silk stuffs found in a Crimean tomb not posterior to the first century A. D. and the Chinese silks excavated in Palmyra from tombs not posterior to the third century we know of a couple of most interesting cases of Chinese exports from the time of the existence of Lou-lan. In the Dane John at Canterbury, England, a bronze vessel of the type Hu with Huai style decoration has been dug up (Ashton & Gray, Pl. 14) and another Huai style Hu was found in Rome (Vessberg in BMFEA 9). Both are good specimens and real pieces of art, and their presence in Europe at the beginning of our era goes to prove that the Chinese exported not only silk stuffs but also other art products, such as were in demand e. g. by the Romans. Some finds of Chinese wares in graves dating from the Roman time are said to have been made long ago in the region of the Rhine. None of the objects is preserved, and it is doubtful if we have here to deal with an ancient import of Chinese goods. A pottery vase depicted in Bonner Jahrbücher XV (1850) Taf. III : 1 cannot be of such a great age. LAUFER has drawn attention to several of these ancient but uncertain finds (Globus July loth 1905 ; reviewed in TP 1905, pp. 511 f).