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0464 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 464 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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386   THE LOU-LAN SITE   [Chap. XI

once stood here, there survived only small remnants of the timber and wattle walls at the point where four rooms met. Even these would probably have disappeared under the ceaseless attack of Tamarisk erosion if the tangled mass, long dead, of tamarisk growth, seen in Fig. 95 before clearing, had not

growth   afforded protection. These tamarisks must have grown up after the abandonment of the site and


during a period when water still reached the vicinity of the ruins. A much later temporary return of water to the site is attested by the small tamarisk shrub, also dead but of relatively recent appearance, which, in Fig. 95, is seen on deeply eroded ground at the foot of the terrace bearing the remains. Dead tamarisk growth of this later date was also found in wind-scoured depressions near L. A. I and south of L.A. II, as shown by the photographs in Figs. 93 and 102. Temporary as this return of water to the vicinity'of the ruins must have been, its effect lasted sufficiently long to permit of the formation of small rudimentary tamarisk-cones such as are seen in Fig. 102. Near L.A. II I observed, in fact, that part of the tamarisk scrub on a single one of these little cones was still living.

Various   It was of interest to note that of the four walls meeting in the small extant portion of the
methods of ruin, one showed wattle formed of diagonal tamarisk matting just as was found in most of the better

wattle.      built dwellings of the Niya Site,1 another of horizontal reed bundles, and the rest of vertically-placed
tamarisk rushes. This proves that these three methods of wall construction were practised simultaneously at the site. The thickness of the walls when plastered seems to have averaged about 6-8 inches. The corner of the room to the south-west had retained a small layer of refuse, and in this was found the large oblong tablet, L.A. ix. i. I (Plate XXXVIII), showing on both

Small ob- sides columns of Kharosthi writing, evidently lists or accounts. On the eroded ground between

jects in   and near L.A. VIII and ix finds of coins and small objects in stone, metal, and glass were

stone, metal,

etc.   particularly numerous, and it has since occurred to me that they might possibly have been due to

the fact that the entrance through the north-eastern gate of the station passed over this ground. Among these finds may be mentioned the lignite seal L.A. VIII-IX. 00! (Plate XXIX), an iron arrow-head, L.A. VIII-IX. oo8 (Plate XXIX), and a number of glass and stone beads, L.A. VIII-IX. 0017.- 20, 0025.

Remnants   While the clearing of the ruins at L.A. II and III was proceeding, my attention had already

of eroded been attracted by the curiously straight line of what looked like a long and narrow terrace rising rampart.

above the eroded ground to the south of the ruins. On examining the top of the terrace, which was fairly level, I soon realized that it bore the much-decayed remnants of a rampart built of stamped clay with intervening layers of tamarisk brushwood. They showed here a maximum thickness of five feet or so, and still rose in places to a height of four and a half feet. The longest more or less continuous stretch which I was able definitely to trace on this side measured about 26o feet, and its bearing, on subsequent careful observation, proved to be N. 65° E. to S. 245° W., i. e. identical with the prevailing wind direction. Another smaller remnant, about fifty feet long and traceable just south of L.A. VII, fell exactly in the continuation of this line. These scanty remains of an enclosing wall —for as such I could recognize them without doubt—ran along the top of a narrow terrace covered with an unusual quantity of pottery débris which had helped to protect it from erosion. Built against the eastern end of the remnant of the main wall I found the badly-eroded traces of a small structure of timber and tamarisk wattle ; but otherwise the rampart ran clear of buildings.

Segments of   Guided by the indication here given I soon discovered corresponding segments of the wall,

north wall

traced,    shorter but equally distinct in bearing and construction, forming an exactly parallel line on a terrace

north of the main group of ruins. The longer one, badly decayed, could be traced for about 140 feet, and beyond it to the W.S.W. another for about thirty. The latter, less injured, still rose to some eight feet above the original level of the ground, and showed clearly two successive layers of

See above, p. 2 r 5; Ancient Eholan, i. pp. 317, 333, etc.