514 THE ANCIENT BUI)DI-IIST SHRINES OF MIRAN [Chap. XIII
a slanting fashion probably served to fix it. At a somewhat lower level, but still several feet above the floor of the circular passage, were found the fragment of a large wooden rosette carved in relievo, M. v. oo8, and two lotus-shaped discs, M. v. 009-10, with traces of painting in different colours.
East en- Other interesting remains came to light on clearing the entrance to the shrine which led
through the eastern portion of the square passage. Of the wooden gate which must have closed
the passage, about 5 feet I inch wide, giving access to the cella, there was found besides other panels, once painted but decayed beyond recognition, of which M. v. ooI1 is a specimen, the well-carved block, M. v. ooi 2 (Plate XLVII), which probably had formed the left end of the lintel. It shows a large lotus-like flower in bold relievo, placed partly within a floral moulding, and it may be compared with the carvings L.B. t1. 0014 ; vt. 001 (Plate xxxIi), which are likely to have served a similar purpose. On the lintel of the painted gate seen in the previously mentioned frieze (Fig. 134) a large flower of the type of L.B. vt. 001 occupies an exactly corresponding position.
Remains of The low step leading up to the cella entrance was flanked on either side by platforms about six
stucco inches higher, extending along the inner wall of the passage and 2 feet 8 inches wide. Stucco images
images. g ~ g g P ~ g
must have once occupied these platforms. But of them only pairs of wooden stumps had survived, manifestly remnants of the core or framework for the legs, and a friable stucco fragment, about 16 inches long, which must have belonged to a statue on the north platform, but the character of which could no longer be determined. Its surface showed traces of a diaper painted in bright yellow and green, and probably representing part of a brocaded dress. In this eastern portion of the
passage, of which the width could no longer be exactly determined, was also found the oblong e
wooden block, M. v. 007. The nine holes with which it is pierced were evidently intended to hold incense sticks or small tapers, and the whole, retaining traces of decoration with stucco and paint, had no doubt served for use in worship.
Wall- It will here be convenient to complete the description of the square passage enclosing the
paintings of temple cella by an account of the remains of the tempera paintings that once decorated its inner square
passage. wall. It was only a small portion of the wall facing south, as already mentioned, which retained
enough of this decoration to allow its general character to be determined. Even there the total
height of the still extant painted surface of the wall nowhere exceeded three and a half feet from the floor. The photograph reproduced in Fig. 133 shows the only part of the wall, about three feet long, in which the arrangement of this fresco decoration into a dado of lunettes and a narrow frieze above it was still clearly recognizable. Pressure from the broken masonry behind had caused the painted plaster surface bearing this frieze to bulge forward and overhang, even where it had not altogether destroyed it. After a few days' exposure to the violent winds almost constantly blowing at the time, the surviving portion of this frieze broke away and perished.
Fight of I feel all the more glad that I secured a record of it in the above photograph because the
youth with subject and decorative motifs represented in this fragment are of interest in several respects. We
composite ~ P g P
monster. see in it a young male figure, of strong muscular development and apparently nude, defending him-
self with a club carried in his right hand against a monster which is shown in the act of springing upon him. The head of the monster was unfortunately destroyed by the peeling off of the plaster. But the body, which showed the well-drawn outlines of a lion, with curling tail and wings, leaves no
doubt that a monster of the classical griffin type was intended. Now we know that composite 111
monsters of this kind were favourite subjects in the Hellenistic art of Western Asia from an early date. Sculptured representations of them directly borrowed from it abound as decorative motifs in Gandhdra relievos, though preference is there given to Tritons, Ichthyocentaurs, and other more fantastic beings .4 The narrow neck and the scalloped crest behind it suggest that the missing head
' Cf. Foucher, Earl du Gandhdra, i. pp. 241 sqq.