486 THE ANCIENT BUDDHIST SHRINES OF MIRAN [Chap. XIII
male figure to a height of about two and a half feet, with the remains of the drapery spreading in rich folds sideways from the hips. Of other statues only scanty remains of the feet could be traced in the niches ; but detached fragments of stucco, mostly small and badly injured, which turned up in the débris, probably belonged to them. In the case of M. u. 002, which shows the left shoulder with part of the breast and neck, this may safely be inferred from the size. That these statues represented standing Buddhas, resembling in type those of colossal size I had found in great number lining the outer walls of the Rawak Vihâra near Khotan,1 was confirmed by the subsequent discovery of the head M. n. oo6, which in all probability belonged to one of them.2
But what struck me greatly from the first was the decoration of the projecting surfaces with relievo representations of pilasters bearing an unmistakable look of descent from Persepolitan models. The impression they gave me of a comparatively early date for the structure has been fully confirmed by the closer examination which has since become possible ; for their shape in every essential detail agrees with that of the pilasters in Inclo-Persian style which form such a favourite structural element in the decorative art of the Gandhâra relievos. This can be recognized at a glance if we compare the pilasters of Fig. 120 with those relievo representations to which M. Foucher refers where he discusses this element of Indo-Persian style as adopted in GraecoBuddhist sculpture.3 Starting from the base, which is circular and narrows towards its top, we have above it a boldly projecting bowl-like knob, followed by two receding mouldings which form the appropriate transition to the slender shaft. This is surmounted by the bell-shaped capital characteristic of the style, and on this rests again a double bracket, not always the same in size, but uniformly ending in turned-down volutes at each end. Surmounting the whole there appears a narrow abacus. Every one of these features, though not all arranged in the same way, can be seen in Figs. IOI, 102, 103, i8o of M. Foucher's L'art du Gandhâra, which reproduce decorative friezes probably from the bases of small Stûpa models, as well as in many of the relievo representations of Vihâra structures.4
Comparison of the stucco decoration of our base at M. II with the Gandhâra friezes just referred to is particularly instructive in two
A B respects. In the first place, it clearly proves
that the architectural design of this decoration, which places relievo images in niches divided by Indo-Persian pilasters, is one directly borrowed from Graeco-Buddhist art. In those friezes we find that the pilasters regularly flank niches, usually surmounted by the Indian horseshoe arch, which contain small relievo images connected with Buddhist worship. That the same design was common also in the decoration of walls belonging to actual Stûpa bases and Vihâras is
proved by a multitude of ruined shrines excavated in the home of Graeco-Buddhist art, on the Indian
ELEVATIONS OF STUCCO PILASTER . A .
AT SHRINE Mil, MÎRAN, AND
WOODEN DOUBLE CANTILEVER.B.
AT RUINED FORT LK., LOU-LAN.
' Cf. Ancient Kholan, i. pp. 489 sqq.; ii. Pl. XIII sqq.
2 See below, p. 489.
s Cf. Foucher, L'art du Gandhdra, i. pp. 226 sqq., where full references are given to actual examples of such IndoPersian columns in early Indian architecture and to their prototypes in ancient Persian architecture. See also Grünwedel-
Burgess, Buddhist Art in India, pp. 16 sq.
4 Cf. e.g. Foucher, loc. cil., Fig. 76-78,149 ; Grünwedel-Burgess, Buddhist Art in India, Fig. 1, 81 ; Archaeol. Survey Annual, 1911-12, Pl. XLVII (from my Sahri-bahlbl excavations).
Style of stucco pilasters.
Similar decoration in Gandhâra friezes.