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0502 Innermost Asia : vol.1
Innermost Asia : vol.1 / Page 502 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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Water of Su-lo-ho drains into I-Iua-haitzü basin.

Marshes of Wu-chtang map.


Considering the configuration of the ground, as shown by Map No. 40. D. 4, 5, I believe there can be little doubt that these beds of a small stream dying away in the wide drainageless depression between the alluvial fan of Hua-hai-tzû and the gravel glacis of the Pei-shan mark the termination of the waters collected in the Hsi-wan-ho and the adjacent marshes. The statement I had heard from the villagers of Shih-êrh-tun about their stream flowing to the vicinity of Ying-p`an thus found confirmation. That the oasis of Ying-p`an or Hua-hai-tztl situated at the lower end of the alluvial fan of the Ch`ih-chin river lies at least 600 feet, if not more, below the level occupied by Shih-êrh-tun and the bend of the Su-lo-ho west of it is quite certain.26

It is hence easy to understand that the depression lying to the north of Hua-hai-tzi , through the ` cutting back ' of the drainage bed which leads into it from the west, should have captured whatever water from the Su-lo-ho reaches the ground on the river's right bank between the Yü-mênhsien oasis and the foot of the Pei-shan, whether by canals, temporary flood channels, or subterranean drainage. The amount of drainage thus diverted from the Su-lo-ho is small at the present day and may never have been large. Yet this bifurcation of the Su-lo-ho may claim special geographical interest in view of the fact that this secondary terminal basin in the east is separated by more than 260 miles from the main basin in the west beyond the end of the Tun-huang Limes.

This bifurcation may also help to explain to some extent the representation in the Wu-ch`ang map of a succession of lake or marsh beds stretching to the east of the Su-lo-ho bend and connected by narrow necks ; 27 for the marshy belts still found both to the west and the east of Shih-êrh-tun, the basin between T. XLII. i, j and Camp 126, and the wide depression north of Ying-p`an may all at one time have received a good deal more water than they do now. But that they could not have barred traffic either during Han times or since is sufficiently indicated by the line which the ancient Limes follows along this ground, and by the survival of its remains to this day, as described in the next section.


Chiao. oi. Fr. of pottery roof tile ; antefix moulded as grotesque mask with bulging spherical eyes, broad nose,. very large mouth looped up at corners from which project tusks with teeth between. Beard divided into three locks growing from lower lip and carried up sides of face. Bair in bulging masses. Convex body of tile broken away. Coarse, grey. Diam, 5". Pl. L.

Chiao. 02. Fr. of pottery roof tile, similar to Chiao. 03 (Pl. L), broken at R. p. side, but details clearer ; eyebrows and longitudinal wrinkles in forehead. Grey. 4 x 4".

Chiao. 03. Fr. of pottery roof tile. Antefix in form of grotesque mask with broad flat nose, slanting eyes ; thick-lipped broad grinning mouth showing small teeth ; prominent forehead from which straight hair is drawn back. Encircled by 12 pearls. Part of convex body of tile remains. Buff. Well preserved. Diam. 5". 'Tail 2". Pl. L.

Chiao. 05. Fr. of rim of large pottery vessel ; wheel-made, fine grey. Rim, turning out at wide angle, thickens towards edge. Three rivet holes pierced through wall near broken edge. II. 3-", chord of arc of rim 7f", width of rim 1".

26 According to Professor Futterer's observations the right bank of the Su-lo-ho at a point close to the bend, the village of Shih-tun, and his camp in the Ying-p`an oasis are

Chiao. 06-7. Two clay tiles or hollow bricks, from architectural string made in mould, with relief orn. on face. o6 broken at ends and encrusted with sand ; 07 perhaps complete. Orn. shows large open flower (peony) in profile in centre, with main stem on lower plane passing horizontally behind it, and four curving leaves, veined and ribbed, springing from it and filling corners. Growth, R. to L. Flower, in profile, united to main stem by small stem curving below, has four curving outspread petals, calyx, high stamens and seed-vessel. Row of bead orn. along lower edge, and two channels above. Across each end at back, marks of two projecting bars (broken away) apparently for attachment to wall. Cf. E. G. 09. Size complete 111" x 6f", thickness i". Pl. L.

Chiao. 08-9. Two clay tiles or hollow bricks, moulded in relief like the preceding, but of different pattern. In centre is large circular formal flower (sunflower ?), with outer row of fifteen rounded deeply grooved petals, and inner disk of ray-like petals or stamens round raised elliptical centre punched with depressions. Leaves come at corner as in Chiao. 06-7, and undulating stem passes

situated at elevations of 1,410,1,420 and 1,310 metres, respectively.

Z7 Cf. Mutterer, lViiste Gobi, p. 24 ; above, p. 386.