Court art of Sogdian Samarqand in the 7th century AD

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Group captains no. 5A, 5 and 6

image by S. Stark (2000)     Left: Group captain no. 5 is depicted in the left with a yellow caftan, to the right is figure 6 with his red caftan. Note the boot at the lower right of the image: It belongs to a destroyed  figure (6A).
Right: Close-up of figure 5 (central portion): white hand clasping a decorated staff, blue handkerchief. - Pinkish hand and forefinger of figure 5A (the missing third captain of this group). Remaining parts of figure 5A are destroyed. [Read more about this missing figure]     image by S. Stark (2000)
sketch by M. Mode (1993) based on Al'baum (1975)     Left: Sketch of the section shown above in colour. Note the nine poles of banners beween figures 31A and 31B. Look below for the foot of figure 6A.

image by M. Mode (1988)

Above: Of figure 6A nothing then a single boot remained (lower right of image). Al'baum did not recognize this figure in his publication. Look below for what may have been to the right of this section.

sketch by M. Mode (1993)     Left: This is the sketch from my 1993 publication.
sketch by M. Mode (2002)     Left: After rethinking the problem and reviewing all materials I recently came to a slightly differing solution.

Above: Attempt to sketch the situation between group captains 5A, 5, 6 (above, left) and figures 8-9 (above, right, Chinese delegates). Here the murals are almost completely destroyed. What seems clear is that figures no. 6A and 7 belong to the delegates group A1. [The red arrow points to some isolated lines which may be remains of the upper part of figure 7.]

Maršak reconstructs at this point a ritual scene with fire altar which seems to me at least as speculative as my own attempt. Furthermore, Maršak gives figure no. 7 an incorrect place (to much to the left; the actual position of the single remaining foot can be seen here). From this follows that figure no. 7 can't stand upright, otherwise it would cross figure no. 8. According to the actual dimensions of figures 6A and 7, a fire-altar between both persons seems at least unlikely.

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