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0477 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 477 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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stations of the ancient Tun-huang Limes, while entirely differing from that of the brooms found at Dandan-oilik and the Niya Sites.

As an appropriate pendant a small refuse-heap, too, had survived near the south-west side of Relics from the shrine and about two or three feet below the level of the foundation beam. Besides a refuse-heap. fragmentary Chinese slip and a small torn Chinese record on paper, L.B. II. 2, 3 (Doc. Nos. 893, 939), there were found here numerous rags of fabrics in silk, wool, and cotton, L.B. II. 0018-19, and a piece of stout cotton canvas which had served as a backing for some stucco relievo, L.B. II. 0020.

To the south-east of the shrine the ground was quite clear of débris and eroded down to about Traces of

nine feet below the original surface level. That this area had been once an open court is made courosed

probable by the foundation beam, fully sixty feet long and made up of two jointed pieces of about

equal length, which was found extending over eroded soil just outside the line in continuation of the

south-east wall of L.B. I and at about fifty feet distance from L.B. it (see Plate 27). This beam

showed numerous holes for small posts, but as there was no other débris near, it seems probable

that it had only carried the paling of a court. The other remains traceable in the immediate

vicinity of L.B. I-III were short stretches of rush fences found about a hundred yards to the

south-west and probably once belonging to some enclosure. They obviously owed their survival to

the fact that they lay in the direction of the prevailing wind.

The destructive effect of wind-erosion in this particular area of the site was strikingly Eroded

demonstrated by a small tower-like mound of sun-dried bricks rising over deeply scoured ground, mtü ad.

about one-third of a mile to the east-south-east of L.B. I-Itr. This ruin, seen in Fig. 105, was all

that erosion had left of what certainly was once a Stûpa. It measured about twenty-six feet from

east to west and about eighteen feet across at its broadest. The extant height of the masonry above

the original ground level, as shown by the tamarisk fascines of the foundation, was only ten feet.

The level of this foundation is marked in the photograph approximately by the head of the man,

Mullah, standing in front. The sun-dried bricks measured twenty by ten inches, with an average

thickness of about three and a half inches. On all faces the masonry was broken, and no structural

outlines could anywhere be made out. The bottom of the depression scooped out immediately to

the south of the ruin, as seen in the photograph, lay fully twenty-four feet below the original ground

level indicated by the foundation fascines.


On the afternoon of December 25 I began the clearing of two buildings which stood close together among the western group of ruins, and which soon proved a specially rich mine of ` finds'. They were situated about a mile to the east-south-east of the Buddhist shrine previously described, and had been discovered by Dr. Hedin on his first visit to the site.' He had spent a day there, March 29, 1900, but had been prevented by want of time and labour from undertaking any close exploration of the larger and more important of the two buildings. This ruin, L.B. iv, occupies the top of an isolated terrace, extending for about 170 feet from north-east to south-west and rising well from eight to fifteen feet above the surrounding ground, which, in consequence of wind-erosion, is below the original level. The panoramic photograph reproduced in Fig. 74 shows it as seen from the east after excavation. The ground in the vicinity looked curiously open, as if the

Situation of ruined dwellings.

See Hedin, Central Asia, ii. pp. 620 sqq., with Pl. 67 showing a rough sketch-plan Of L.B. iv, in which the north-south bearing has been reversed by some oversight. Com

parison with it of the ground-plan drawn after excavation (Pl. 28) is instructive.