National Institute of Informatics - Digital Silk Road Project
Digital Archive of Toyo Bunko Rare Books

> > > >
Color New!IIIF Color HighRes Gray HighRes PDF   Japanese English
0506 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 506 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

New!Citation Information

doi: 10.20676/00000182
Citation Format: Chicago | APA | Harvard | IEEE

OCR Text



up in different parts of the central base as well as before the corner images, evidently deposited by the same person, anxious to propitiate all the divinities. The variety of this collection vividly reminded me of the wonderful display of rags that graces the approaches to the resting-place of Imam Ja`far Sadiq, and swings from high staffs over the supposed tombs of other saints throughout Turkestan. Islam has indeed little changed the popular type of ex-votos which were in vogue during Buddhist times, and which in this case has provided for us a sample collection of ancient fabrics of no small archaeological interest. Among the specimens carefully described by Mr. Andrews in the list below, and partly reproduced in Plates LXXVI, LXXVII 18, there may be mentioned the little pennons (E. i. 016, 017), made up of silk pieces of different colours and qualities, several of them strongly ribbed. The heavy silk brocades (E. i. 018, 019) show remarkable mastery in weaving technique and in the harmonious mixing of colours. To do full justice to the latter in the reproduction could, owing to the number and delicate blending of the different shades, have been attempted only at a prohibitive cost. Examining in the original even so small a shred as E. i. 020, with a ground of deep gold colour and a pattern in white, red-brown, deep blue, and green, some idea can be gained as to the artistic richness of these garments. Loosely-woven silk fabrics are E. i. 02 I, 022, and the muslin-like piece E. i. 024. Another silk of this kind (E. i. 02 7) shows a pattern in satin stitch. Excellent workmanship is displayed by the finely-woven white cotton or linen, E. i. 023, with its lozenge diaper pattern. In E. i. 026 we have a sample of plain cotton cloth dyed

dull violet-brown.   Finally the peculiar technique of ` knot-dying ', still largely practised in
North-western India, is illustrated by the piece of blue cotton cloth, E. i. 029, sewn into what seems to have been a small bag, and ornamented by flower-like patterns executed in knot-work, white on blue.


Immediately after the clearing of the temple had been completed on the morning of February 23, I excavated the row of small rooms marked E. II, situated to the north of it, at a distance of about 5o ft. The walls here too were built of a timber framework with plaster just as in the cella, but had decayed badly, as the cover of sand was only from I to 5 ft. in height. On the north there adjoined a walled-in courtyard which seemed to have been used once in part as a cattle-shed. In the easternmost room there was found a cavity constructed in the floor adjoining the south wall, about 4 ft. long, 3 ft. broad, and 4 ft. deep. Its sides were all carefully plastered. Its purpose could not be definitely established ; it might possibly have served as a grain store. That in all probability this dwelling had been-tenanted by a small monastic establishment became evident by the finds in the room next to the west.

This little apartment, measuring only 8 ft. by 42 ft. (marked E. ii. in plan, Plate X X X V I ), had its narrow south wall decorated with an elaborate fresco painting, still retaining in part its original vivid colours (see Plate X). Of the central figure, which was about life-size and probably represented a Buddha or Bodhisattva, there remained only the feet and the lower portion of the robe, since the wall had broken away above 4 ft. from the floor. The oval vesica painted behind the figure showed small representations of seated Buddhas or saints, all painted

Excavation of building E. II.

Fresco in chapel E. ii.

18 I may note that the Plates show in most cases only small sample cuttings, after the fashion of a draper's catalogue.