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0485 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 485 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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Sec. vii]   FINDS IN RUINS L.B. iv-vi   405

Tereks or poplars of the cultivated variety (Populus alba), the only specimens I had seen at the site. One trunk measured forty-seven feet in length, with a circumference of six feet. Their size clearly showed that at this point, in any case, cultivation must have gone on for a long time before the site was abandoned.

On December z8 I visited the ruins which Dr. Hedin's reference had enabled me to trace Remains at

about half-way between L.B. Iv-v and the Stûpa first seen on our approach to the site.15 I found L.B. vr.

them to be situated about two and a quarter miles in a straight line to the E.S.E. of L.B. iv (see Plate 22), and their remains very scanty. Close to a belt of dead Toghraks a small wind-eroded ridge, running from N.E. to S.W., bears the badly-decayed remains of two structures built partly of burnt bricks and partly of the usual timber and wattle. The one to the north-east, L.B. vi, showed a small brick-built room, about i5-1- feet square, enclosed by walls three feet thick and still rising to a height of over two feet, on a foundation of tamarisk bundles. The ground beneath the N.E. wall was undercut by erosion. The bricks measured i6" x to" x 2" and were laid in single courses alternating with layers of stamped clay. Adjoining the S.W. wall was one of timber and wattle, about eleven feet long in its extant portion, of which the foundation beam was at one end overhanging the eroded slope.

On clearing the interior of the cella we found in the southern corner several small and very Relics of

friable fresco fragments, painted in tempera on mud plaster. The largest of them, L.B. vi. 002, Buddhist


now reduced by vicissitudes of transport from six to about three inches across, shows white leaves

with scalloped edges on a pale green ground. On the eroded slope outside this corner there were

recovered, besides some undecorated pieces of wood-carving, two trellis-work panels, L.B. oo19. a, b

(Plate xxxiii), showing a screen pattern of diagonal bars and wheels, which resembles that of

similar panels from L.B. t1 and v ; also a wooden block, L.B. vt. oot (Plate XXxII), decorated in

relievo with an eight-petalled lotus. The design corresponds closely to that of the carved flower

from the cella entrance, M. v. oot 2 (Pl. XLVII), and that of the other represented on the lintel of

the palace gate in the painted frieze of the Miran temple M. v. (Fig. 134 ; see below, pp. 514, 518).

These finds, scanty as they are, make it quite certain that the structure had contained a small

Buddhist shrine. The other building, occupying the south-west end of the same eroded terrace and

about twenty yards off, seems to have been larger, but had suffered even more decay. Only on the

south-west side could a line of wall, about twenty-seven feet long, be distinguished, marked by a single

course of burnt bricks which seem to have served as a foundation. Among the confused heap of

timber near it there were massive beams showing lengths up to twenty-five feet and a thickness

of fourteen by ten inches.

Plentiful pottery débris of the local type strewed the ground close to these two structures and Ancient

towards the shapeless mound of sun-dried bricks which was found about a furlong further east, and brick-kiln.

which evidently marked the position of a completely decayed Stûpa. It measured at its base about

3o feet from N.E. to S.W. and 18 feet across. Its top rose about t i feet above the original

level of the ground. About half a mile to the south-west of this Stûpa remnant, going over

ground where potsherds were abundant, I found another mound about 35 feet in diameter which

by the successive layers of charred tamarisk wood and brick fragments cropping out all round its

sides, could be clearly recognized as an ancient brick-kiln. Its maximum height above the original

ground was about eight feet. But the latter now showed as a terrace, quite 16 feet high on the

south-west, owing to the depth of wind-erosion. Mounds of this origin were familiar enough to me

from the vicinity of old cities in Northern India, where, as round Lahore, they often form a con-

spicuous feature of the environs. But in the Tarim Basin, where the extreme dryness of the

See Hedin, Central Asia, ii. pp. 627 sq.