128o RUINED SITES EAST AND NORTH OF KHOTAN [Chap. XXXI
a shepherd grazing along the Yurung-kash and left them as a sort of legacy for me, whose passage this way he had been expecting. Here I may conveniently mention that three months later, after my return to Khotan, Kâsim Akhûn brought me a stick (see p. 1283), about 32 feet long, bearing lengthways about six lines of writing, running from right to left and at first sight resembling Pahlavi. It had been found some time before along with two others, apparently uninscribecl, on the top of a tamarisk-cone in the jungle belt west of Islamabad ; it was placed vertically with one end sticking out of the sand. The people had promptly acclaimed the hillock as a ` new Mazâr' of some unknown Muhammadan saint, and reburied the stick there. But Kâsim Akhûn, remembering my desire of ` old things ', had made bold to abstract it from this spot of newly started local worship and now offered it as a farewell gift. I have no special reason to doubt the substantial accuracy of his report, but regret that the much-faded writing has not yet been deciphered. The weathering which the surface has undergone where not protected by ink suffices to prove the genuine nature of the relic.
On April 13 I set out from Islamabad, and on the day following visited, from my camp at
gul-öghil, the remains of which Kâsim Akhûn and others knew near a grazing ground on the Karakash River, and which are called Khitai-oilik, ` the Chinese dwellings ' (Map No. 27. B. I). I found there about eight rude structures scattered over an area of bare drift-sand, circ. 140 yards across. Their walls, made of Toghrak posts and vertically placed tamarisk branches, stood to a height of 3 or 4 feet where protected by sand or accumulations of dung. The abundance of the latter showed that the place must have been occupied as a shepherd station ; but how long ago it was impossible to determine. Pottery débris covered the ground in plenty, but, as the specimens show, it was all of coarse make and unlike in substance that found at datable ancient sites. Thus there was nothing to detain me at this northernmost of Khotan kône-shalars.
OBJECTS FOUND AT SITE SOUTH-WEST OF KARA-SAI
K.S. ooz. Stucco relief. Standing fig. of Buddha in abhaya-mudrà. Hair and us.zûa ' stippled '. Features well modelled. Nimbus has inner border of lotus wreath ; over shoulders, points of flame-work; conventional drapery. Bare feet rest on lotus pedestal. Fig. complete, only sides of vesica (made separately) wanting. Good work. Very hard white plaster of Paris stucco, the surface apparently treated with a smoother engobage of same material ; fused, and almost resembling a porcelain. For an analysis of a similar piece of plaster from Kara-sai site, see App. D. Fr. of background, full of fibre, is of same plaster. From same mould, K.S. 002, 003. a-c, 0022, 0023, 0027. 8' x 31. Pl. X.
K.S. 002. Stucco relief fr. Buddha from same mould as K.S. oor. Feet and. pedestal lost. Same porcelain-like stucco. 7' x 28".
K.S. 003. a-c. Stucco relief frs. Three heads of Buddha from same mould and of same material as K.S. oor. 2g"x 2r.
K.S. 004. Stucco relief fr. Head of Buddha with plain nimbus. Smaller scale than K.S. oor. Round edge of vesica runs lotus wreath and outer flame border.
Hard white stucco, as K.S. oor. See K.S. 007.
2" X 24".
K.S. 005. Stucco relief fr. Head and body to waist of
nude male fig. with nimbus. Upper arms lowered, and forearms raised at angle with them, but broken off, the R. at wrist, the L. in middle. In front of R. forearm is portion of wreath. Two bands from corriors of cloak on back pass over either shoulder and are tied upon chest ; cf. K.S. oor I. Very hard white stucco similar to that of K.S. oor. 21-' X 2". Pl. X.
K.S. 006. Stucco relief fr. Head of elephant from front. Trunk curled up, broken ; tusks have been separately inserted, but are lost. Good work in low relief. Hard white stucco. 48' x 2k".
K.S. 007. Stucco relief fr. Fig. of Buddha exactly like
K.S. oor, and in same material, but smaller. Plain
nimbus ; vesica round whole fig. has flame border outside lotus wreath. Upper part of vesica gone. From behind shoulders pointed flames rise (cf. Chal. 0027). No colour. From same mould, K.S. 004, oo to, 0024. 51 X 3 '. Pl. X.
K.S. oo8. Stucco relief fr. of lotus wreath from large vesica. Three bands of petals, a double fillet, and a bead band, repeated. Same material as K.S. oor. No colour. From same mould, K.S. 0020, 0021. 22" X 1i".
K.S. oog. Stucco relief fr. of jewelled band. Oval surrounded by two mouldings and a row of beads. Traces of red. Same material as K.S. oor. 2" X 2". Pl. X.