The first ruin cleared, F. I, comprised a series of rooms mostly of small size, grouped in several Finds in
courts round a still clearly recognizable square tank (see plan, Plate 57). The walls, whether of ruin F. r.
timber and wattle or of brick masonry, were found broken down to within a foot or two of the ground. But outside the area occupied by the house lines of fenced enclosures • and the remains of an orchard with trees planted in regular rows could be traced quite clearly. Fireplaces and sitting-platforms by their side, built of mud plaster, survived in some rooms. In one of these, marked a, there was found.a well-preserved wooden tablet measuring 12 by 4 inches, bearing on each side five lines of Sanskrit in clear Brâhmi script (F. I. a. I, Plate CLI). In the small oblong cella, b, finds of a few appliqué relievo fragments in stucco, like F. I. b. 006-7, and of the interesting little fresco piece, F. I. b. 008, made it possible to recognize what seems to have been a domestic shrine. Small fragments of ornaments in bronze paste, etc., also turned up in the débris. Objects of personal or domestic use found elsewhere in this ruin (F. I. ooi—io) included inter alia a toy bow and arrow, a bag made of leopard's skin, and whisk-brooms of the type first found at Dandân-oilik.
F. u was a ruin comprising a badly eroded shrine of larger size with dwelling quarters, Remains of
situated about half a mile to the west of F. I on a large and conspicuous erosion terrace. The small shrine
dwelling, arranged in two wings set at right angles, proved to be filled with drift-sand to a height
of over 6 feet and to retain a number of interesting relics. Fig. 3 t shows its corner portion as it appeared at the commencement of excavation. In room i, there seen in the centre, the presence
of an image niche set into the south-west wall, but opening to the outside, was a peculiar feature.
There remained of it, at a height of about 42 feet from the ground, the decorated wooden panel, F. II. i. 005 (Plate Xvli), 31 feet long, forming the plinth for a stucco image base on which remains
of two feet standing on a lotus in relievo could still be distinguished. The ends of the plinth had
grooves for fixing side panels and also two sockets in which the projecting ends of the door-folds
once turned. There was a wooden platform behind, measuring 31 by 21 feet, on which the stucco base and image once rested. Curiously enough there were found no supports for the platform, which rested merely on drift-sand. Evidently the posts or frame of wood once supporting it had been removed after abandonment, when the building had already been invaded by sand but was still accessible. A. mass of ex-voto fabrics and Brâhmi manuscript remains eaten by mice survived under the left foot of the image (F. II. i. ooi).
Within the room i there were found a number of wooden tablets, both of oblong and of wedge shape, some well-preserved, some broken. Their writing, in Brâhmi of the Gupta type, looked to me older than that of Danclân-oilik documents ; their text seemed to be in the old Khotanese language.5' Of other objects found there I may mention as of special interest two clay seal impressions from gems, which judging from their shape and size are likely to have been either inserted in sockets of wooden documents of the Niya Site type or else appended to the end of wedge tablets after the fashion illustrated by N. xv. 71.6 The impression of the convex gem, F. II. i. 003 (Plate V), shows a hunting scene, composed under unmistakably classical influence, the figure of the horseman being in an attitude which resembles that in ` Alexander's hunt' scenes. Late classical influence is recognizable also in the impression from a smaller intaglio, F. II. i. 004 (Plate V), showing a carefully cut female bust. Both seals may have been imported from Western Asia, as seems likely, too, in the case of many of the quasi-classical gems from Yötkan, shown in Plate V. The fragments of decorated pottery, including the neck and forepart of a winged-horse handle, F. II. i. 6, and a grotesque appliqué head of the ` Silenus ' type, F. n. i. 002, are of special interest because they show motifs plentifully represented among the terra-cottas of Yôtkan. They would throw light on the chronology of the latter finds if once the approximate date of abandonment of
63 For a list, cf. Hoernle, Appendix F. ° See Ancient Kholan, ii. Pl. C.