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0125 Innermost Asia : vol.1
Innermost Asia : vol.1 / Page 125 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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riverine flat to Toghlân-shahr, a collection of hamlets above and facing Tash-kurghan. The line of the Faryâd-ariki keeps high and dry above it along the foot of the hill-side, until a small but conspicuous rocky, ridge crowned by the tombs of Maulâi Ihsâns (Fig. 71) causes a distinct drop in its level. From there onwards the ancient canal is carried on supporting walls along the foot of the cliffs, and in one place, towards the end of the ridge, is cut through the rock itself. Along this portion of its course the ancient canal has been repaired and utilized to carry to the southernmost area of Tughlân-shahr cultivation any water that remains available in the new canal. The old canal line, however, does not end there, but continues beyond to a wide alluvial fan known as Jangal, and was said to be traceable for a considerable distance farther down towards the point where the Tâsh-kurghân river makes its sharp bend to the east and enters the gorges of Shindi' (Map. 3. c. 1). Where I was able to examine its course along the face of precipitous cliffs above the fan of Jangal, its width was five feet, and the supporting walls of big stones still rose in fair preservation to a height of eight or nine feet. On the fan itself the canal expanded to a width of fourteen feet or so between the crest of the banks, with a depth of three feet in the middle.

From the dimensions actually observed here it appears to me very probable that Sarikol Antiquity

tradition is right in asserting that the Faryâd-ariki in old times brought water not merely to the of Farydd-


extensive area of this fan, but also to the arable lands which line the right bank of the river for miles below the big north-western spur of Mount' Afrâsiâb. Thus the total length of this ancient irrigation work can be safely estimated at not less than fifty miles. The effort involved in its construction and maintenance presupposes a population and resources far greater than those to be found in modern Sarikol. If we compare it with the description which Hsiian-tsang has left us of the Chieh p`an-t`o of his own days,l4 it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the times of Sarikol's greatest prosperity lay then already far behind.

While tracing the ancient canal nearly to its termination I was afforded an opportunity of Ruined


paying a rapid visit also to some ruins that on my first survey of the old remains of Tâsh-kurghan near Jangal

had escaped me. About a quarter of a mile from where the Faryâd-ariki passes to the southern gumbaz. extremity of the alluvial fan below Toghlan-shahr, as above described, there rises, close to the plateau edge overlooking the wide bed of the river, a Muhammadan saint's tomb known, with an adjoining cemetery of vaulted tombs, by the name of Jangal-gumbaz. Following the line of the old canal for another quarter of a mile farther northward, I came upon a large circular mound rising conspicuously above the gentle slope of the fan and skirted at its west foot by the canal, as seen in the site-plan (Pl. 2). The mound, composed wholly of clay, is undoubtedly artificial, and judging from its shape can scarcely be taken for anything else but a completely decayed Stûpa. Its diameter at the base is about 7o feet and its height 3o feet. Its condition and appearance recalled that of the Kurghan-tim Stûpa of Kâshgar 15 It did not appear to have ever been opened. About 7o yards to the north of it there survive, also close to the canal, the remains of what I took to be the base, built in sun-dried bricks, of a small Stûpa of which the superstructure has been completely ruined. The extant mass of solid masonry measures 15 feet by io at the base and rises to 8 feet above the present ground level.

About 16o yards to the NNW. of the last-named structure there extend close to the plateau Ruins of

edge the remains of a large walled enclosure of rectangular shape. Owing to the late hour I was Walled


unable to examine it closely ; but during my busy day at Tâsh-kurghân I had a plan and photograph of it taken by Surveyor Afraz-gul (Pl. 2 ; Fig. 7o). The ruined enclosure measures about 193 by 83 feet and retains at three of its corners remains of round towers, about io feet in diameter.

14 Cf. Julien, Mémoires, ii. pp. 209 sqq. ; Watters, Yüan Chwang, ii. pp. 285 sq. ; also Ancient Khotan, i. pp. 33 sqq.

15 Cf. Ancient Khotan, i. pp. 74 sqq. ; Fig. 14.