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0574 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 574 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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sculpture quite as plainly as the large series of relievos excavated at the Rawak Stûpa in I90I. Fig. I2I shows it on the right. Now, too, very soon after the systematic removal of the heavy masses of débris was begun along what proved to have been the north-east side of a passage enclosing the whole central portion of the shrine, there emerged towards its northern corner the colossal Buddha head, M. it 007, reproduced in Plate XLVI and seen also in Fig. 121 on the left. It lay on a level fully three feet above the original floor, and, having fallen with its face downwards on a layer of sand and disintegrated clay, had suffered less injury. It still retained in patches the white surface slip covering the face, and much of the small spiral curls painted black and marking the hair. Apart from the conventional representation of the hair, this head, too, very closely resembled in type the stucco Buddha heads found at Rawak.9

The head measured fully nineteen inches in length from the chin to the remaining portion of the crown. As the material consisted here, as in the other sculptures of the shrine, merely of coarse clay mixed with straw, the safe removal of this heavy and friable mass of plaster presented no small difficulty. Fortunately the wooden core, though rotten, survived within, and the surface plaster, if as soft as the rest, yet derived some consistency from a plentiful admixture of hair. It is due to this and the great care used in the packing that the transport to London was successfully accomplished. A third colossal Buddha head was subsequently discovered in front of the seated torso iv ; but this, lying with its face upwards and embedded in hard débris, was too much battered to retain details of features, though there could be no doubt about the identity of its type with the rest.

The question of the origin of these colossal heads was definitely solved by the complete clearing of the north-east passage of the shrine. This, a little over ten feet wide, proved to have been lined along its outer wall with a row of colossal stucco images seated with cross-folded legs which, judging from the pose of the hands and the drapery in the surviving torsos, could be recognized with certainty as Buddhas. Fig. 123 shows the northern portion of the row (torsos i—iv) and Fig. 124 (torsos iv—vi) the southern. Though altogether the bases of eight statues could be traced, only six among them (numbered i—vi in the plan, Plate 31) retained torsos, and none of these showed more than the crossed legs with remains of the folded hands. The statues measured 7 feet to 7 feet 3 inches across the knees, which reached to a height of a little over a foot. The stucco bases occupied by the torsos were 7 feet 6 inches long and 2 feet 4 inches wide, and rose to a height of 1 foot and 4 inches. The spaces dividing them were only 6 to 7 inches across in front, but widened towards the wall behind.

The pose of these colossal rseated Buddhas must have been throughout that of the dhyitna-mudrd or ` pose of meditation '. But only in torsos iii—v did enough survive of the hands laid one upon another in the lap to prove this. The drapery showed in all that conventional arrangement which we find already fixed for this typical attitude in the Gandhâra sculptures, and which the relievos found at Rawak had abundantly illustrated.10 In all the torsos the central portion of the drapery hung from below the hands in three concentric folds arranged in a festoon-like fashion which is seen both in the Gandhâra and in the Rawak relievos. But whereas in i and ii the folds appear as boldly-raised plaits about an inch wide, they are replaced in iii—v by narrow double grooves. In every case the edges of the robe below these central folds are represented with a crimped wavy outline, just as the edges of the drapery on certain relievo figures of the Rawak Stûpa court." The folds over arms and knees are everywhere indicated in a conventional

" Cf. Ancient Khotan, ii. Pl. LXXXILXXXIV.   Pl. XLIV, XLVII, XLVIII, etc.; Ancient Khotan, ii. PI.

10 Cf. e.g. Foucher, L'art du Gandhâra, i. Figs. 242,   LXXXI, I.XXXIII.

246, 247, etc. ; Grünwedel-Burgess, Buddhist An in India,   " Cf.' Ancient Khotan, ii. Pl. XVI (xlix—Iiii), Pl. xvii

Figs. 112, 116 ; Stein, Archaeol. Survey Annual, 1911-1 2,   (1v11-1xiii).

Stucco material of heads.

Colossal seated Buddhas.

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