Of the badly eroded building II, to the south-east of the Stûpa and shrine just described, little more survived than the foundations of the walls, as seen in the foreground of Fig. 269. But the group of small shrines, III, some 5o feet south of it, was much better preserved and yielded some interesting relics. The domed cella i, 7 feet 2 inches square, had evidently been long used as a habitation by shepherds or others, and of its wall-paintings only very scanty traces survived. But. among the débris filling a narrow passage, which adjoins this cella on the north-east, there turned up three pieces of a painting on canvas, H. B. i. 003, showing a Thousand-armed Avalokitegvara with rows of small Buddhas above. Though much of the paint is lost, the whole is of fine and delicate workmanship. Repairs made in antiquity prove that the painting was old when it was last deposited as an offering. From the ruin of another small cella, ii, adjoining the Stûpa on the north, numerous fragments of well-modelled stucco relief sculpture, mostly gilt, were recovered, besides fresco pieces which had found shelter under a shallow layer of sand in the corners near a central image base. Here were found also several fragments of a Chinese Satra text,14 and small pieces of a printed Uigur leaf bearing glosses in Central-Asian Brâhmi script.
A small enclosure, which appears to have once existed round the Stûpa, had lost its walls almost completely through erosion. But it had helped to retain layers of débris embedded in sand near the Stûpa base, iii, and in this was found the wooden statuette of a seated Buddha, H. B. iii. oox, shown in Plate CXXXVIII. Dowels at its flat back suggest that it was once attached to the Stûpa base, and this agrees with the position in which it was found, about 21- feet above the ground. Hundreds of tiny fragments of a boldly written Uigur text, with red colophons, turned up along the south. foot of the Stûpa base, evidently torn up intentionally ; but whether for the purpose of votive deposit as at the Endere shrine rb or as an act of vandal destruction could not be made out. There still remains to be mentioned a small shrine, iv, with a completely ruined Stûpa, situated about 3o yards to the north-east of the central ruin II and seen on the right in Fig. 269. Of the Scapa only the two lowest bases could be traced, the rest having apparently been destroyed in the course of treasure-seeking operations. ,Within the débris filling the cella there were found fragments of stucco relievo, some from a life-size statue ; a few fresco fragments, including two with remains of Uigur inscriptions ; and a small, but complete and well-preserved, Tibetan printed leaf. More Tibetan and Uigur fragments emerged from the débris surrounding the Stûpa base.
The manuscript remains recovered from the shrines of Kichik-hassâr prove that the site was a place of Buddhist worship during the Uigur period, and make it highly probable that it continued as such at least as long as the occupation of Chong-hassâr. Considering that even at the time of Shah .Rukh's embassy the greater part of the Turfan population was still Buddhist,'° and taking into account what experience elsewhere shows about local worship clinging to sites otherwise deserted, it is difficult to say when the little temples may have seen their last pious visitors. I could find no traces of a settlement of any size having existed in the immediate vicinity. But considering the shortness of my stay and the necessity of keeping close to the ruins while excavation proceeded, mere ` Tati ' remains, such as alone are likely to survive from agriculturists' dwellings on this eroded ground, may well have escaped attention amidst the low dunes. It is worth noting that the route from Lukchun to Singer passes close to the east of the site, and this may possibly help to account for the detached position of the shrines.
Leaving Bash-tam on November 18, I proceeded north to the townlet of Toyuk (Map No. 59. c. s), famous for its grapes. In the picturesque gorge above it, lined with Buddhist shrines and caves
Relics from enclosure of Stûpa, iii.
Uigur MS. fragments, etc., from shrine iv.
Occupation of Kichikhassâr site.