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0593 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 593 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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Among the remaining images of the south-west face (see Plate XIII. b), which could be Remaining

cleared before the slope of the dune rising westwards stopped excavation, R. lxxv proved a ut éessouth-

replica of R. lxxiii, preserving, like the latter, the original dark-red colour of the robe. R. lxxvi west face.

was found broken from the knees upwards ; at its feet was placed a small Buddha figure

resembling those discovered in a similar position near R. lxx. On R. lxxvii, a large image

standing about 6 ft. 3 in. to the shoulders, the surface stucco had peeled off, and with it all

indications of the drapery. R. lxxviii, the last of the series, was a small Buddha figure without

head, and poorly preserved, but apparently a replica of R. lxxiv.

We have now concluded the survey of the sculptural decorations of the enclosing quad- External

rangle as far as my excavations disclosed them. But there still remains to be noticed the relief wall at

work discovered on a thin wall of plaster which was brought to light near the south corner. southcorner.

The extant portions run parallel to the south-east and south-west walls for about 20 ft. and

32 ft. respectively, and at a distance of 9 ft. The thickness of this external wall was only

about half a foot, and consequently but little survived of the stucco sculptures with which it

had been decorated. No continuation of the wall could be traced either to the west or the

east, and thus the question whether it once extended like an outer passage or gallery around

the whole of the quadrangle cannot be definitely answered. In any case it may be assumed

that it was connected with the main wall by a roofing, though no direct indication of the

latter survived.

The south-west portion of this wall was originally adorned with reliefs on both faces, but, Sculptural

as seen in Fig. 66, very little remained of the outside statues. On the inside, too, only the decoration

g•   ~   Y   ~   Y   of external

lowest portions of the large standing figures (R. lxxix, lxxxi, lxxxiii), from the knees downwards. wall. were preserved. The drapery showed in each case close similarity to that of R. lxxxv, seen on Plate XV I I I. c, one of the two large reliefs which still remained on the south-west wall. The skirt-like appearance of what remained of the robes, with the rich folding in wave lines, suggests that the figures represented were Bodhisattvas. Special artistic interest attaches to the remains of the elaborate aureoles which, as seen on Plate XV I I I. c, encircled these statues. They varied but little in details. Everywhere there was a border formed by a cloud-scroll, and within it a broad band showing small plaques of seated Buddhas or Bodhisattvas inserted between wreaths of a very graceful bead-ornament. The latter were gathered at intervals into bunches surmounted by a fleur-de-lis. A second band of small seated Buddhas seems to have filled the space left between the highly ornamental border and the edges of the drapery. A number of the small plaques with figures seated within a lotus-petal vesica could be removed and will be found described in the list (see R. lxxix. z. a-c ; lxxxiv. z, 2 ; lxxxv. z, 2) ; but owing to their very friable material and their thinness few escaped damage in transit. Plate LXXXVII shows two characteristic specimens.

Of two small sculptures on the inside (R. lxxx, lxxxii) little more than the feet and bases could be traced ; the relief remnants beyond R. lxxxv were also decayed beyond recognition. Of the figures traceable on the outer face of the south-east wall only R. xci retained a small portion of its vesica, showing that its decoration was the same in design as that of the inside reliefs.