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0153 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 153 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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As on my previous journey, I endeavoured, during my successive visits to the Khotan oasis in 1906 and again in 1908, to secure any antiques that were to be found either among the villagers engaged in the gold-washing operations at Yôtkan or in the hands of those local agents who are in the habit of collecting such objects as ancient coins, cut stones, decorated pottery, etc., which find their way into the Khotan Bazars. It is certain that the latter receive the main portion of their abundant supply of small antiques from the annual operations at Yôtkan, and only relatively little from chance finds made by the ` treasure-seekers ' who make a practice of visiting the eroded old sites around the oases during the winter months.' It has therefore appeared convenient to treat all the antiques which I obtained by purchase while at Khotan in one place.

All objects acquired by me either personally or through my trustworthy local factotum Provenance

Badruddin Khan, the headman of the Indian and Afghan traders, as avowedly coming from Yôtkan of antiques

bear the distinguishing mark of Yo. in the descriptive list given in the section following. But even acquired at

g   g   P   g   g   Khotan.

in the case of these objects the evidence as to their provenance can obviously not claim the same value as if they were finds resulting from systematic exploration on the spot. As regards antiques

acquired through other channels there is still greater need for caution before making any individual   .1

piece a basis for antiquarian argument.

Yet with this reservation once made it is easy to recognize that the great mass of the objects

are genuine relics left behind by the civilization which flourished during Buddhist times at the

ancient capital of Khotan. So closely do they agree in character, style, and material with the con-

tents of collections previously secured from the ` culture-strata ' of Yôtkan.

Among these collections the purchases successively made for the Indian Government had already Previous

in 1901 received very learned and exhaustive analysis by Dr. Hoernle.2 The acquisitions of Yôtkan collections.

antiques resulting from my previous journey represented a considerable addition to our materials.

Yet their resemblance in general character was so great that in Ancient Khotan I was able to

restrict myself, apart from the detailed entries furnished by the descriptive list of Mr. Fred. H.

Andrews, to brief explanatory notes on the plates which reproduced all characteristic specimens.3

The objects acquired by me during 1906-8 form a collection greatly exceeding in numbers that Description

brought back from my first Khotan journey. But the uniformity in the types of antiques represented of new


is still as great as before, and this fact alone, I think, would have justified succinct treatment even if limitations of time and space did not impose this restraint. In the descriptive list in the following section, which owes much to Mr. C. L. Woolley's careful revision, an attempt has been made to secure as far as possible condensation by classified grouping, and at the same time to indicate such points as may help systematic detailed study hereafter. In the plates illustrating Yôtkan antiques it has been necessary to restrict reproduction mainly to objects which either show departure from previously known types or else help to explain the classification adopted in the case of such abundant materials as pottery ornaments, terra-cotta figurines, etc. Finally, my remarks here are meant merely to serve as a rapid synopsis of the different types of antiques represented and to direct attention to any objects of special interest.

The ` culture-strata' of Yôtkan owe their origin to the natural accumulation of débris at a site Yôtkan


continuously occupied for centuries. Taking into account the fact that such building materials

as old Khotan knew in the shape of sun-dried bricks, stamped clay, or timber and wattle, are

See Ancient Kholan, i. p. 203.   2 Cf. Reporl on C.-A. Antiquities, ii. pp. 42-55•

' Cf. Ancient Khotan, i. pp. 206 sqq.;' ii. PI. XLIII-L.



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