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0221 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 221 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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tion, frequently made also at other sites, how much greater the effect of wind-erosion is upon solid structures than upon frail but pliable materials, which offer less scope to the grinding force of driven sand and on the contrary are apt to catch and retain it as a cover.

And here I may take occasion to mention a curious feature which shows how, even where the destruction done by the winds has run its full course, a structure carried off by them to the very foundations may yet leave behind its outlines clearly traceable on the ground. Often, when the sun stood low, I noticed that the eroded ground on which my tent stood to the west of the ruins showed up distinct lines marking where the walls, about two feet thick, of some large oblong building had once stood. Close examination of these vestiges proved that the soil was composed there of exactly the same fine loess as elsewhere ; in fact, while walking on, or close along, them, they could not be traced at all. The only explanation I could suggest for these strange shadows of walls was that the weight of heavy masses of clay or sun-dried brickwork now completely eroded had given to the underlying soil greater consistency than that found on open ground, and that the slightly different level thus imparted accounted for the faint relief which caught the eye under the slanting rays.

Traces left by walls completely eroded.


Before giving the Descriptive List of the objects which my excavations at Khadalik brought to MS. light, it will be convenient to find space here for some general remarks on the chief classes of materials antiques represented among them, and in particular to indicate briefly their relation to corresponding still under

examina-finds elsewhere. I regret not to be able to include in this rapid review the manuscript materials re- tion. covered from the several shrines. However much my attention was attracted towards them during the actual digging, it was quite impossible for me to find time either then or since even for the most cursory study or description of individual pieces. On the other hand the scholars who since my return have been kind enough to give me the benefit of their expert collaboration on the multifarious manuscript materials contained in my collection, have been kept occupied by the far better preserved and more extensive texts secured from the ` Thousand Buddhas ' cave temples and elsewhere, and have not yet been able to devote to the abundant, but unfortunately very fragmentary, Khâdalik materials that laborious care which their identification, etc., will require. Nor has it been possible so far to assure at the British Museum for all the manuscript remains that expert treatment which most of them need to become safe for handling.

It is in consequence of these facts that at the time of writing I do not find myself in possession MS. remains of exact inventory notes for more than twenty-three out of the hundreds of larger fragments in in Sanskrit. Brâhmi script which the collection contains.' I owe these notes to the kindness of my friend Professor L. de la Vallée Poussin, who has been good enough to undertake the first analysis of the Brâhmi manuscripts containing Sanskrit texts, and who has already published some of his valuable results in the journal of the Royal Asiatic Society.2 The fact that all the fragments described in these notes belong to Buddhist canonical texts fully agrees with the conclusion already reached on the spot that these manuscript remains represent votive offerings, Such favourite sacred texts as the Prajnat pâramita (Kha. i. 81. b, 93, 97, 128, 196, 199• c) and the Saddharmaftuitdarika (Kha. i. 92, 177 ; ix. 15) are only too frequent among them. But there are fragments also of a Buddhacarila

' The total number of separately labelled packets, generally comprising convolutes or broken portions of Pôthis, amounted to about 23o at the time of packing.

z See his Appendix G, andJ.R.A.S., 1911, pp. 759 sqq., Io63 sqq. ; 1912, pp. 355 sqq•; 1913, pp. 569 sqq•

Y 2