Pictures of Tangut Texts and Artefacts from the Baisigou Square Pagoda

拜寺沟方塔出土文物图集

Baisigou Square Pagoda before it was destroyed in 1990

Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate III no.2



I. Photographs from the Baisigou Square Pagoda Catalogue

Photographs of the Ruins of the Pagoda

Ruins of the pagoda

Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate IV no. 1


Ruins of the pagoda

Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate IV no. 2


Northwest corner of the pagoda

Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate V no. 1


Detail of northwest corner of the pagoda

Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate V no. 2


Plaster on the northwest corner of the pagoda

Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate VI no. 1


Central pillar on the third floor of the pagoda

Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate VI no. 2


Robber tunnel at the base of the pagoda

Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate VII no. 1


Painted plaster among the rubble of the pagoda

Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate VII no. 2


Cylindrical central pillar among the rubble of the pagoda

Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate VIII no. 1


Octagonal central pillar among the rubble of the pagoda

Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate VIII no. 2


Tangut books (F017) at site of discovery among the rubble of the pagoda

Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate X



F064: Wooden supporting pillar from the centre of the pagoda (塔心柱)

One section of the octagonal pine pillar from the centre of the pagoda has ink inscriptions written in Chinese and Tangt. The Chinese inscription is dated the 5th month of the 2nd year of the Da'an era (大安二年寅卯歲五月), which corresponds to the year 1076.


Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate XXV


Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate XXVI (Chinese inscription)


Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate XXVII (Tangut inscription)



F065: Wooden tablet with Tangut inscription in ink (西夏文木牌)

This wooden tablet with ink inscriptions on both sides records repairs to the pagoda which started on the 13th day of the 5th month of the 13th year of the Zhenguan era (𗣼𘝯𘃠𗀋𗰗𘕕𗤒𗏁𗼑𗰭𘕕𗾞), i.e. 27 June 1113 in the Julian calendar, and completed on the 23rd day of the same month.


Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plates XXVIII no.1 (front of tablet) and no.2 (back of tablet)



F017: The Auspicious Tantra of All-Reaching Union (吉祥遍至口和本續)

See Auspicious Tantra of All-Reaching Union for details.


Front cover (F023-1) and open folio (F022-12) of Auspicious Tantra of All-Reaching Union: Supplementary Explanations

Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate XI no.2


Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Fig.4: F017-1


Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Fig.4: F017-2


Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Fig.4: F017-3



F052: Print of Uṣṇīṣavijayā (顶髻尊胜佛母像)

Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate XIX nos.1–2

(My photo of the left fragment on display at the Ningxia Museum in Yinchuan)


Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Plate XVI (Composite image made by combining the two fragments shown above)



F056: Buddha prints (佛印)

Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate XXI no.1


Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate XXI no.2



F027: Buddhist Manuscript Scroll (西夏文佛经长卷)

Written in a very hard to read cursive Tangut script, this scroll is probably a commentary on a Buddhist text. The penultimate line indicates the end of scroll 3.

The last line, which may be in a different hand to the rest of the scroll, states: 𗩍𗇋 "owner" followed by the Tangut family name 𘚿𗌰 mɪn pụ[酩布] and an unrecognised Tangut given name.

Length: 574 cm; Height: 16 cm.


Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate XII


Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Fig. 131: F027 (scanned in 12 parts)



F028: Buddhist Mantras (西夏文经咒)

Length: 59.5 cm; Height: 24.5 cm.


Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate XIII no.1



F029: Buddhist Mantras (西夏文经咒)

Length: 46 cm; Height: 29.5 cm.


Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Colour Plate XIII no.2



F073: Clay Stupas (小泥塔)

About 5,000 miniature clay stupas were found, about 99% small-sized, and 1% large-sized.

Large-sized: Height: 5.5–6.0 cm; Diameter: 6.0 cm.

Small-sized: Height: 3.0–4.0 cm; Diameter: 3.0–3.5 cm.


Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Plate XVIII no.1 and no.2



F074: Clay Buddhas (小泥佛)

About 1,100 miniature clay buddhas were found, about 75% small-sized, and 25% large-sized.

Large-sized: Height: 4.0–5.0 cm; Width: 2.0 cm; Thickness: 1.0 cm.

Small-sized: Height: 3.0 cm; Width: 2.5 cm; Thickness: 0.5 cm.


Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Plate XIX no.1 and no.2



F077-1: Fragment of a brick Weiqi board (方格棋盘砖)

Bàisìgōu Xīxià Fāngtǎ Plate XX no.3



II. Remains of the Baisgou Square Pagoda at the Baiskou Twin Pagodas

The wooden central pillar from the Baisigou Square Pagoda has now been cut into several sections, and put on display in the grounds of the Baisikou Twin Pagodas (拜寺口雙塔), which stand guard over the entrance to the Baisigou valley where the Baisigou Square Pagoda used to stand. I took these photographs of the pillar when I visited the Baisikou Twin Pagodas in August 2016.


Wooden central pillar from Baisigou Square Pagoda

{BabelStone CC BY-SA 3.0}


{BabelStone CC BY-SA 3.0}



III. Additional items on display at the Ningxia Museum in Yinchuan

These are photographs I took in August 2016 of items from the Baisigou Square Pagoda on display at the Ningxia Museum in Yinchuan.


F036-1: Fragment of a Chinese Buddhist printed text (初輪功德十二偈)

{BabelStone CC BY-SA 3.0}



F042-11: Fragment of a Chinese manuscript Buddhist tantric text (吉祥上樂輪略文等虛空本續)

{BabelStone CC BY-SA 3.0}



IV. Bibliography