Sec. I] CHARCHAN AND VASH-SHAHRI 163
V.S. o16. Fr. of pottery. Clay showing black on faces, and in section red below surface, with even layer of black again in middle. 1 " x I" x
V.S. 0X7. Rough flake of jade ; light green, polished on one side. 2f" x 1" x ".
V.S. oz8. Fr. of glazed stoneware ; body of fine porcellaneous frit, with transparent very pale green glaze, crazed, on either side. I" xis" x ' ô
V.S. oig. Fr. of bottom of glazed stoneware bowl, with small ring-base. Body of dark grey clay, coated with heavy badly prepared greenish-blue glaze. On outside where glaze has run down it is nearly I" thick. Ring-foot rubbed smooth. For similar ware, see Ser. i. p. 316, V.S. 0022-3. 21" x I" x i", diam. of foot If". Pl. LI.
V.S. 020. Fr. of pink marble (?). Even thickness. 2rxIi„xg'.
V.S. 021. Fr. of pottery ; pale red clay, somewhat gritty ; outer face mostly chipped away. 2}” x It" x
V.S. 022. Fr. of pottery ; fine red clay, well washed. i"x"xr.
V.S. 023. Fr. of pottery ; coarse ill-levigated dark-red clay, burnt to black. 2" x II" x
V.S. 024. Rectang. piece of wood, with hole through centre and Chin. char. to R. p. Split and weathered. 1 i" x I" x r"
V.S. 026. Fr. of wall of large pottery vessel, red clay, orn. with incised annular lines and large festoon pattern. Coarse ware. 4" x 31" x I".
V.S. 027. Fr. of mouth and shoulder of large pottery vessel. Thick slightly rolled rim, short neck, sharply out-curving body. Red clay. 5" x 3" x ".
V.S. 028. Fr. of pottery vessel, red clay. 24" x Ii" x I".
SECTION II.—THE SITES OF KOYUMAL AND BASH-KOYUMAL
Two marches by the same caravan track that Marco Polo and other old travellers before him Arrival at must have followed brought me on January 8 to Charkhlik. From my visits in 1906-7 I was well Charkhlik. aware of the very modest resources of this little oasis, the only settlement of any importance in the Lop region and its official head-quarters. It was here that I had to collect the whole of the supplies and additional camel transport, as well as most of the labour, needed during the next three months for the explorations I had planned in the absolutely barren desert between the terminal marshes of the Târim and Tun-huang. I had been fully prepared for the difficulties that would attend this task even under ordinary circumstances. But it did not take me long now to realize how much the recent local upheaval and all its consequences had increased them.
After the irruption of the ` revolutionaries ' from Charchan and the clear sweep made by the Difficulties
Tungan troops, who, when repressing it by their coup on the night of December 29, had ` by mistake supplies,
killed even the few Chinese subordinates of the legitimate Amban, there was left no Chinese civil &c. authority whatever. In these circumstances it was impossible to hope for effective assistance from the easy-going Lop-liks, the owners of most of the cultivated ground, and their indolent Begs. Within a few days of my arrival comparatively large bodies of Tungan troops passed through, who were sent from Kara-shahr to operate against the numerous ` revolutionary ' elements known to exist among the Chinese garrisons of Keriya and Khotan. The consequent requisitions threatened completely to exhaust the slender resources of Charkhlik and aggravated the trouble and delay involved in obtaining adequate supplies and transport for my several parties. The six days' stay I was obliged to make at Charkhlik barely sufficed to secure even a portion of my requirements. Though I had the help of a few old Lop friends, like Tursun Bai, now once more my host, it was an anxious time for me. I should have chafed less at these difficulties had I realized at the time what a boon in disguise the revolutionary disturbance had been for me.
I have discussed in Serindia the recent history of Charkhlik and its present conditions, and Charkhlik
described the scanty remains of earlier occupation that have survived within the oasis.' I have in historical
also examined in detail the position occupied by Charkhlik in the historical geography of the Lop region, the Lou-lan or Shan-shan of the early Chinese records, and indicated the reasons for locating there Marco Polo's ` City of Lop ', Hsüan-tsang's Na fu po (i. e. Lop), and the Shih-
1 See Serindia, i. pp. 311 sqq