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0352 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 352 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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[Chap. VII

Tati' areas northward.

Coin finds on ' Tatis'.

Glass fragments from Tatis'.

the assumption that their abandonment dated back long centuries earlier. And with this the much-worn appearance of the débris inside seemed in complete agreement.

In view of the facts now made clear about the history of the site it appears highly probable that the large ruined Stûpa surveyed in 1901, as well as the Tati' débris which is found in abundance near it and around the walled enclosure to the north-east, belongs to the same early period. That such ' Tati ' patches extend for a considerable distance northward is shown by Prof. I-Iuntington's remarks and by the statements of my local informants.3 But as no structural remains of any sort could be sighted in that direction and Prof. Huntington's experience confirmed the local assertion as to their total absence, I could not afford time for extensive excursions in that direction. Prof. Huntington assumes that these northern ' Tati ' areas must have been deserted earlier. But no positive evidence is available on the point, and it will be well to bear in mind the peculiar limitations which the very conditions of such débris left behind by erosion impose upon the conclusions of the critical archaeologist.4 Finds of coins, seals, and other approximately datable objects, may suffice to prove that the ground where they were found must have been occupied down to a certain period. But considering that erosion here causes relics of widely different ages to lie side by side on the same surface-level, no evidence is thus gained that other remains of the same ' Tati ' do not belong to a much earlier period. Nor do such datable objects by themselves exclude the possibility of the ground having remained under cultivation much later or having been reoccupied at a period subsequent to their own date.

These remarks apply with equal force to the numerous small objects which were picked up during my stay at the Endere Site from eroded ground and which may conveniently find mention here. In the Descriptive List below, those found in the vicinity of the Tang fort have been shown separately from those collected on the ' Tatis ' near the Stûpa and the ancient circumvallation northward. But a comparison shows no appreciable difference in the character of these small ' finds '. Chronologically special interest attaches to the coins, all Chinese and in copper.6 Of those picked up near the Tang fort or between it and the Stûpa most are of Wu-chu types current from the Later Han dynasty onwards. Two among them are of the clipped variety which Chinese numismatists seem inclined to associate with the (Liu) Sung dynasty of the fifth century A.D., but which may equally well be debased specimens of earlier issues. From the ` Tatis ' near the Stûpa and northward come four Wu-chu pieces and one uninscribed coin of a type which is known from the Earlier Han dynasty onwards. In range these finds completely agree with those made during my visit in 1901.6 The total absence of Tang coins shows that the period of resumed occupation which the circular fort attests could not have lasted very long.

Among other small ' Tati ' remains there are specimens of the prevailing pottery, both hand- and wheel-made (E. 001-004 ; E. Fort. oo20), and very numerous fragments of glass and bronze. The fragments of glass ware are of special interest as they include pieces which show in their ornamentation or technique unmistakable affinity to work well known in the classical West from the early centuries of our era. Thus the applied slip-work of E. Fort. 003, 0021 ; E. Stûpa. 001, 002 represents a method of decoration which, as Mr. Woolley observes, was particularly common in Europe in the third century A.D. The fragment of a glass bead, E. Fort. 007, gold-plated like the bead E. vi. 0014, shows a technique which points distinctly to importation from Western Asia. For further details the List below must be referred to. Here it may suffice to add that in the southernmost portion of the site, too, where bare eroded ground was much confined owing to abundant tamarisk-cones and the drift sand caught by them, an interesting piece of decorated glass was picked up. The

3 See Pulse of Asia, p. 214.   6 For a detailed list, see below, Appendix B.

' Cf. Ancient Khotan, i. pp. 381 sq.   6 Cf. Ancient Kholan, i. pp. 429, 577.