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0515 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 515 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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except within the ruined fort and its immediate vicinity, and we are still far from having the around

means which a systematic classification might afford for the approximate dating of coarse pottery Stûpa.

fragments. The ground around the Stûpa seemed certainly to have undergone far more general and thorough erosion than that around the fort, but I greatly doubt whether, in view of my previous observations in this respect, it would be safe to draw any chronological conclusion from differences of this kind which a variety of physical factors might account for.

Nor can, in the present state of our knowledge, the architectural features of the Stupa itself Survey of

supply any distinct chronological criteria. The exact survey of the ruin (see plan in Pl. XXXVII) Endere

which I effected on February 25, while the excavation of E. III could be safely left to the Stûpa.

supervision of the Surveyor, proved a difficult task, owing to the greatly decayed condition of the outer wall-facing and the destruction caused by the burrowing of treasure-seekers. But by carefully plotting the extant masonry and fixing its central line with the help of the square shaft discovered in the interior, I succeeded in ascertaining the approximately accurate dimensions shown in the ground-plan and section. As already stated, wind erosion had considerably lowered the ground generally around the ruin, and had excavated close to its foot hollows which on the south-west and south-east were fully 15 and Io ft. below the lowest masonry course. This feature is well illustrated by the photograph in Fig. 5i, which shows the Stûpa as seen from the south-west. The foot of the ten-foot rod marks the level where the masonry commences. The Stûpa consisted of a square base, approximately orientated with its corners, and of a cylindrical dome rising above it. The base rose in three stories according to the canonical arrangement previously explained, the lowest story measuring 27 ft., with a height of it ft. But these last dimensions, owing to far-advanced decay, can only be approximate. The next story, receding 2 ft. from the first and 6 ft. high, formed the main portion of the base ; above it the third, only I2 ft. high, also receded by 2 ft. The dome had a diameter of 16 ft., rising with its broken top to a height of 14 ft. Its original height could not be ascertained. Along its central line there descended a shaft I ft. square, down to a depth of 7 ft. from the extant top.

This shaft, which may have once served for the fixing of a wooden mast carrying the Cuttings

` Chattras ' and other ornaments surmounting the dome, had been rendered accessible from below made by


by a cutting made by treasure-seekers into the south-east face of the dome, evidently a long seekers.

time ago. Another cutting had been carried from the north-east side of the base towards the centre and upwards to the level of the topmost story. By connecting the two cuttings in the centre I ascertained that no deposit remained in the few feet of masonry intervening. The whole of the Stûpa was constructed of sun-dried bricks, which looked harder and more closely laid than those of the ruin E. III. The prevailing size seemed to be 5 in. thick and about 18 in. square. But owing to the decay and weatherworn condition of the outer faces it was difficult to obtain a sufficient number of measurements. That the surface of the whole structure had once been covered with stucco was proved by a large piece of this coating still adhering on the north side of the dome.

The extent of the area over which pottery débris could be traced on the eroded bare loess Tati' re-

around the Sta suggested a relatively large settlement. That this, like the ruined fort, had mains near



received its water supply from the Endere stream still flowing past the site within a little over four miles, is certain. There is no archaeological evidence to indicate the cause or causes which led to its abandonment, and even the chronological relation between it and the fort remains cannot be definitely settled. The specimens enumerated under E. 006 in the list below are representative of the undecorated pottery fragments which were the only ancient remains to be