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0123 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 123 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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Sec. it]   THE RUINS NEAR KHAN-UI   81

The ruins of Maud-Tim occupy a conspicuous position at the extreme point of an isolated tongue of high ground which slopes down towards the edge of the plains from a low bleak ridge of conglomerate. The latter stretches eastwards of Little Artush, and ultimately loses itself in the sandy expanse some miles w the east of the site. Considering the exposed situation, the good preservation of the ruins—and in particular of the Stupa which forms their most characteristic feature—was a pleasant surprise. The small gravelly plateau on which the ruins rise, extending for a length of about 50o feet from north-west to south-east, and only about 100 to 150 feet broad on the top, could never have been utilized for cultivation. While the structures were thus safe from being partially buried through a gradual rise of the adjoining ground, they lacked the protection which the accumulation of drift-sand would have afforded at true desert sites.

It appears to me that the relative immunity enjoyed by these ruins from the destruction which has overtaken so many similar remains in these regions must be attributed to a combination of two circumstances. On the one hand, the Mauri-Tim ruins seem to have been sufficiently far removed from the dangers which the vicinity of inhabited settlements or much-frequented roads threaten to all old structures. On the other hand, their position under the shelter of a hill range has manifestly protected them from the full erosive force of the desert-winds and the sand which they move.

The plan of the site (see Plate XXII) shows that its chief remains consist of a Stupa at the end of the small plateau already referred to, and of a large oblong mound some Zoo feet behind it 6. The Stûpa, views of which from the south-west and south-east are reproduced in Fig. i3 and Plate I respectively, rises on a square base, formed by three successively receding stories, the lowest measuring 4o feet on each side, and having an elevation of three feet above the ground. The next two stories are each 5-1 feet high, and recede from the one next beneath by three feet. The highest story is followed by a circular base, five feet high, having a diameter of 24 feet ; and this again bears a drum, five feet in height, and decorated with bold projecting mouldings at top and bottom. From the drum springs finally the Stupa dome, which at its foot shows a diameter of 17 feet, identical with that of the drum. The top of the dome is broken, but as its extant masonry rises to a height of about 14 feet, as shown by the section in the plan, it is clear that the dome or cupola cannot have been hemispherical, but must have shown a bulb shape 6.

It will be seen from the section that the Stupa in its present state still rises to a height of 38 feet. Its apparent height is considerably increased by the fact that it stands on the edge of a narrow plateau, which is itself raised 3o to 4o feet above the adjacent ground, and towards the west and south falls off with steep slopes. The square base of the Stupa shows a close

" Nearly a year after my visit to Mauri-Tim I learned from M. N. Petrovsky that an account of its ruins as well as of the remains in the vicinity of Kâshgar had been published by him in the Proceedings of the Imperial Russian Archaeological Society. I regret that my ignorance of the Russian language did not allow me to consult this article myself, and that pressure of other tasks has prevented me from obtaining indirect information about its contents at a time when that publication would have been otherwise accessible. I must, therefore, content myself with making a bare reference to that article, published, as M. Chavannes informs me, in op. cit., Oriental Section, vol. ix., 1895, pp. 147-99.


s I take this opportunity to correct the erroneous application of the term ' hemispherical ' dome in the description given in Prelim. Report, p. 18, as well as some slight discrepancies in the measurements. These are due to the fact that, within the very brief time allowed for the preparation of the ` Preliminary Report ', it was impossible to have finished drawings of my numerous plans prepared under my supervision. The lithographic prints rapidly produced for immediate use could not be revised by me, and have hence proved occasionally slightly inexact. Their use was discarded by me when engaged on the final publication.


Position of



Mauri-Tins Stûpa.

Dimensions and orientation of Stûpa.