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0471 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 471 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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Sec. v]   THE RUINED STUPAS OF L.A.   393

0094, 00107, 001 I I, 00118 (all in Plate xxIX), etc., as well as bronze buckles, loops, strap rings, and other fittings for harness (see e.g. L.A. 0013, 0050, 0051, 0053, 0089, in Plate xxxVI), are

plentifully represented. Special mention may be made of the fragment of a bronze dagger,

L.A. 0014 (Plate xxxvi), the bronze button, L.A. 00106 (ibid.), and the large ornamented bronze

boss, L.A. 0020 (ibid.), which is likely to have been fixed on a shield. The small bronze bells of

the ` grelot' type, L.A. 00103-1o5 (Plate XxIX), 00164, resemble those found at the Niya Site.10 A specially interesting piece is the large fragment, L.A. 0066 (Plate XxXVI), of bronze open-work, showing a floral scroll ornamentation and thickly covered with small raised dots which may have served to hold enamel cloisonné.

The frequency of small iron tools, such as L.A. 0042, 0077, 0090-93, etc., is in striking contrast with the rarity of this metal at the Niya Site. The same applies to the very numerous spinning whorls in lead (L.A. 0068, 0097-98, etc., Plate xxix), a metal of which not a single specimen appears to have been found there. Glass beads in varied colours and fragments of glass vessels were, however, found in as great plenty here (see L.A. 00132, 00139, 00165, 00173 in Plate xXIX)11 as at the former site. This fully confirms what we know from Chinese historical sources about glass having been a favourite article of Western import into China down to the second quarter of the fifth century A. n., when traders from ` the country of the Great Ytieh-chih bordering on the north-west of India ', i.e. probably the middle Oxus, first introduced glass manufacture into China.l2 In view of this record, special interest would attach to L.A. 00128, a small broken lump of green glass, if it really should prove to be slag, as in this case we should be led to conjecture that the local manufacture of glass had already, before the middle of the fourth century, advanced as far east as the Lop region. Imports from the distant West may at any rate be recognized in the gilded glass beads, L.A. 00171. a-d (Plate XXIx), which, according to the references supplied by Mr. Woolley, closely resemble a type of bead common in classical Egypt.13 Western origin is very probable also in the case of the paste beads, of which two show decoration with inlaid bands of white ; see L.A. 00132, 00135 (Plate XXIX). Finally reference may be made to an antique of far greater age, the fine celt in green jade, L.A. 00145 (Plate XXX), which was found by my Loplik guide Mullah, when reconnoitring to the east of the ruined station. Its neolithic origin seems certain. Earlier still are the small jasper blades, L.A. 00153-159, and the jasper point, L.A. 0016o (Plate Xxx), which may belong to the lower palaeolithic period.'4


By the evening of December 22 the clearing of all ruins at the ancient Station had been No more

completed. The search made through Mullah and other men whom I sent out with the promise of structural


good rewards for the discovery of more ruins had, just like my own reconnaissance northward, traced. failed to disclose any structural remains still awaiting excavation in the vicinity of L.A. My resumed explorations of 1914 have shown that, as far as the more distant ground to the north-east was concerned, this report was not altogether right. Yet at the time I had reason almost to feel relief at it ; for our ice-supply was rapidly diminishing, and the information brought by the Surveyor on his return from the western group of ruins (Plate 22 ; marked by me L.B.) had shown me that

Other metal fragments.

Abundance of glass.

Stone age relics.

"o Cf. N. 0010 in Pl. XIX ; Ancient Kholan, ii. Pl. LXXIV, N. oo4. e, 00i 2. a.

" See for beads also L.A. 00136, 00139-141, 00165167, 00169-572, in descriptive list ; for glass ware fragments,

L.A. 0062, 0070-75, 00126-128, 00168, 00172.

12 Cf. Hirth, China and the Roman Orient, pp. 2 3o sqq.


" See below, p. 432 ; above, p. 247 under N. x11. ooio.

" Owing to a label having become partially illegible it is doubtful whether L.A. 00153-16o were picked up near L.A. or on eroded ground S.W. of L.B. The point is of no consequence, as the occupation of the whole of this ancient delta during prehistoric periods is certain.