enclosing passage were broken much lower down, and its vaulting seems to have sprung from a height of 7 feet or so only. The cella and anteroom had been dug into, but not completely cleared, and information received at Lukchun pointed to this having been done during the flying visit which one of the German expeditions had paid to the site. Fragments of painted stucco, evidently from the cella walls, were found on clearing an approach through small rooms on the east, where they had been evidently thrown out in the course of this operation or possibly by subsequent native searchers.
Both the cella and the anteroom retained a layer of what appeared to be undisturbed débris, and from this careful clearing brought to light more broken pieces of wall-painting and fragments of stucco relievos, showing small seated Buddha figures and evidently once forming part of large vesicas. The outlines of three such vesicas could still be traced on the cella walls by remains of projecting stucco mouldings. Fragments of large stucco figures in the shape of broken hands, fingers, etc., also emerged. All these will be found described in the List at the end of this section.? Among the fresco pieces H. A. 009 ; i. 0021, which represent a dancing child and the torso of a Bodhisattva respectively, are produced in Plate XII. One of the many relievo fragments, a well-modelled hand about life-size, is shown in Plate CXXXIX.'a Numerous small appliqué Buddha figures in relief were found in the south-east passage, which had not been disturbed, and evidently belonged to the decoration of its walls ; these in places also retained traces of fresco work. A thick layer of reed-straw embedded there under débris suggested that the shrine, after its abandonment, had been tenanted for a time, perhaps by graziers, after the fashion illustrated by ruins at the sites of Niya, Lou-Ian, and Mirân. The large linen fragment, H. A. i. 0023, though much decayed, shows on either side traces of a standing Bodhisattva figure painted over a heavy white slip, a technique apparently common among Turfân pictorial remains. The pattern of the silk brocade fragment, H. A. i. 0031 (Plate CXII), with its large circular panels suggests ` Sassanian style.
It may be added that, besides two pieces of painted stucco (H. A. oo6, ooi6) with lines of poorly preserved Uigur writing, there were found several small pieces of Uigur paper manuscripts, including the lower portion of a roll (H. A. i. 4) as well as two tiny fragments of Chinese text. These relics clearly show that worship at the shrine had continued down to the Uigur period, and to this we may safely attribute also the remains of its decoration that were recovered. That the same conclusion applies to the site as a whole was demonstrated by the results of the clearing effected at a consolidated refuse-heap which filled a room (ii) adjoining the south-west wall and close to the west corner of the fort (see Fig. 265). I t evidently had lost its roofing early and been used as a dustbin, after the manner observed in the Miran fort. Among masses of reed-straw and stable
refuse there emerged here eighteen fragmentary papers in Uigur script, all evidently letters or documents, as shown by the cursive writing and, in one or two, by seal impressions in red paint.
The clearing of thin rubbish layers on the floor of other upper-story dwelling-rooms along the face
of the same wall yielded no finds. Nor was any discovery of interest made when excavating a small room near the north-west wall and a larger vaulted chamber in the north corner of the fort, both of
which were filled deeply with débris and drift-sand. This did not encourage hope of an adequate return for the great sacrifice of time and labour which the clearing of the whole of these vaults and cellars would involve. Fire-places were observed only in some of the upper rooms which evidently were tenanted mainly in the winter.
The massive ruined pile iii, which occupies the east corner of the fort and is seen in Fig. 268, was at first puzzling in its character and structural features. On the much-broken north-west face