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Small Stûpa of Rawak type.
I25o RUINED SITES EAST AND NORTH OF KHOTAN [Chap. XXXI
emerge with its top from the side of a dead tamarisk-cone. ' Its excavation brought to light a small Stûpa base (Fig. 31i), which in its ground-plan (Plate 58) is an almost exact reproduction of that discovered in I90I at the great Rawak Vihâra.i2 Here, too, we find the characteristic projections on each of the four arms of the symmetrically developed cross which the ground-plan superimposed on a square ; but owing to the much-reduced dimensions—each of the four arms, as measured from the centre of the base, extends only to about 7 feet—the flights of stairs which these projections were originally meant to carry are not indicated. But, perhaps, the small cubes flanking on either side the foot of these projections are intended to mark side-walls for the lowest portion of the stairs. The photograph Fig. 311, as well as the section in Plate 58, shows that the proportion between the two extant stories of the base is not likely to have differed much from that in the Rawak Stûpa. But the elevation of the whole base as compared with the dimensions of the ground-plan is much greater here than at Rawak. The strong inward slant of the faces of these stories is a special feature not met with elsewhere, though the projecting mouldings which separate the two stories are found also at Rawak.13 Of the dome nothing remained. The base was found to have been burrowed into from the west for treasure', evidently at an early date. A number of still smaller Stûpas, from 2 to 3 feet square at their lowest base, surrounded the one just described. None of them rose to more than 4 feet in height, and all were broken above the commencement of the second story of their bases.
To the south-east and east of F. I the ground was more eroded and open, and here within a distance of about three-quarters of a mile remains of several groups of ruined structures could be traced. They all had suffered badly and had but little sand left to protect them. At F. vii the area once occupied by two dwellings was searched without any finds being made, apart from some small fragments of decorated pottery, etc. But on eroded ground close to the north of it there was picked up on the surface the clay sealing F. vii. 002 (Plate V), with a very interesting impression from a large oval intaglio. On the left is Ganymede reclining on a rock and feeding Zeus' Eagle on the right. The group shows very fine composition and the execution is good Hellenistic work, the whole being distinctly superior to any gem recovered by me in the Khotan region, whether in original or in clay impression. The rectangular shape of the clay sealing proves that it was originally inserted in the seal socket of a wooden document of the Niya Site type, and its hardness suggests that it had been subsequently fired by accident. The chronological indication supplied by this sealing will be considered presently.
F. viii is a curious ruined structure (Plate 58), rising on a well-marked terrace about a quarter of a mile to the north-east. Broad depressions near it have been eroded by wind action to a depth of 12-15 feet. Apart from some detached walls of clay and timber and wattle, the relation of which could no longer be ascertained, there remains a solid rectangular platform of masonry, about 37 feet by 35, showing plastered faces slanting inwards. On the south-east, where the platform still stands to a height of about 7 feet, a narrow flight of steps flanked by walls leads up to it in the centre. On the same face are remains of a wall apparently added later to förm a narrow terrace in front. The purpose of the platform and of the structure it may have once borne remains doubtful. The small relievo fragment in stucco, F. vIII. ooi, was the only object found here. A group of dead Terek trunks close by to the east seemed to mark a small arbour, while about two furlongs off to the south a large orchard, with rows of dead J igda and other fruit-trees planted quincunx fashion, was still clearly traceable. To the west of F. viii I found the well-marked line of a cart-road emerging in several places on the hard loess ground where this was left bare between the dunes. As the ruts
12 See Anc:entKholan, i. pp. 485 sq.; ii. Pis. xxxlx, XL. also the miniature Stûpa model, So. A. ooh, I'1. cxxxlx.
The measuring-rod seen in Fig. 3I r marks 39 inches. See '3 See the sketch above, p. 128.