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Digital Archive of Toyo Bunko Rare Books

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0134 Serindia : vol.3
Serindia : vol.3 / Page 134 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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Finds in   Better results rewarded the clearing, here complete, of two small cellas that lay next on the

cellas v, v. a. north. In v there were found numerous pieces of painted wood-carving, most of which appear to have served for the decoration of the walls. Among them may be mentioned the part of a miniature carved wooden arch, Mi. v. 003 (Plate CxxvIii), formed of two dragon-like beasts supporting a flaming jewel in the centre ; the wooden plank, Mi. v. 008, showing an all-over pattern of lattice-work painted in silver on dark red ground ; the head of an elephant, vigorously carved in wood, Mi. v. 009 ; and about a dozen square blocks of wood hollowed out into a rough representation of a lotus flower, of which Mi. v. oo6, 0010 are specimens. In the adjoining small cella, v. a, about 9 feet square, there survived on either side portions of four seared Bodhisattvas in relievo, showing elaborate ornaments over their breasts and arms and, in spite of the softness of the stucco, retaining a good deal of the bright colouring of the robes. A large seated Buddha figure, which appears to have occupied a central pedestal, was almost completely destroyed.

Clearing of   Nothing was found in the four apartments continuing the line to the north-west. But in front

celas vi, vii. of the last cella the side walls of a large outer room, vi, partly destroyed through erosion of the slope over which it was built, still retained each thé lotus base of a large statue. Of these statues only the upper part of a colossal arm was found, decorated with a monster's head resembling that seen in Mi. xviii. 003 (Plate cxxxviIi), and evidently representing the shoulder-piece of armour such as appears on some of the Lokapâlas in the Chien-fo-tung banners. The stucco fragment was too badly decayed for removal, but looked as if the bases once were occupied by Lokapâlas. A low shapeless mound adjoining to the north-west proved to mark the position of a small cella, vii, with anteroom, almost completely destroyed down to the foundations of the wall, but retaining under its débris a number of interesting relics. First there emerged, from below layers of loose earth and charred wood, a narrow panel' of wood richly painted in floral designs along its bevelled edge and bearing above this five detached lines in large Central-Asian Brâhmi script and Kuchean language. It may have formed part of the frame for a picture painted on plaster over string matting, of which several fragments, none any longer recognizable in design, turned up close by (for a specimen see Mi. vii. 0024).

Painted   Close by, at the foot of an image base occupying a small niche, was found the fine painted panel

panels in   Mi. vii. 0019 (Plate Cxxiv), broken into three pieces but'complete. It shows a well-painted Bodhi-


style.   sattva seated in European fashion upon a throne under a flattened horseshoe arch. All details of

the figure and drapery are drawn in the style of Gandhâra. The columns supporting the arch are decorated in a fashion that recalls late classical motifs. Two other painted panels, Mi. vii. 00'6,0018, 0017, each with the figure of a standing Buddha, were discovered in the same spot ; they are of equally good workmanship, but have suffered by abrasion and in parts by fire. The three panels have a uniform height, and, as the return edge at each side of Mi. vii. 0019 proves other panels to have once adjoined at right angles, it is probable that all three originally belonged to one piece. The wood left bare on the top and bottom of Mi. vii. 0019 suggests a covering framework which might perhaps have joined the whole into a base capable of supporting a small relievo image. There were found also numerous fragments from stucco relievos (Mi. vii. 001-14, 0020-3), some apparently from larger images and the rest likely to have belonged to relievo friezes on the walls of the type to be described further on. What little remained of a thin dividing wall at the back of cella vii showed traces of frescoes with small worshipping figures.

The adjoining cella, viii, only yielded several pieces of wood, jointed but without decoration, which may have belonged to the base of some statue. The next three cellas were cleared without any finds, but an interesting relic came to light in the small shrine ix. Within its walls, still standing to a fair height but washed completely bare by rain, hard clay filled the interior to a height of over

Relievos of carved panel.