456 THE ETSIN-GOL DELTA AND THE RUINS OF KHARA-KHOTO [Chap.XIII
Ceramic Among the small objects picked up during our surveys of this deserted settlement and described
miscell. in the List below, the numerous specimens of fine pottery are probably of most interest. They
remains. show a great preponderance of glazed ware of a type identical with that represented at Khara-khoto.
The most characteristic pieces are those bearing decorative designs, chiefly floral, produced by sgraffito treatment from a rich brown or greenish glaze with which the whole jars, &c., were first covered. An effective background is furnished by the buff pottery surface from which the glaze has. been scraped off. The specimens marked K.E. v. 020 ; x—xi. 01 ; XIII. 03-4 ; XIV. oio (Pl. LVI, LVII) may be specially mentioned as good illustrations of the pleasing effects produced. The first specimen, the fragment of a large jar, shows by its size of 19 inches by 13 the large dimensions to which this sgraffito process could be applied and also that the ware must have been produced locally. The small pottery fragment K.E. of (Pl. LVII) deserves mention on account of the peculiar technique, of which no other example was found at this site, thin laminae of differently coloured paste being used to produce the decoration. Decorated porcelain, comparatively rare, is represented by pieces like K.E. II. of (Pl. LVII), xv. oil-2. (Pl. LI, LVII). The fragment of a bronze mirror, K.E. III. 04, is of interest because its raised border shows a grape scroll such as is known from examples ascribed to Han times. The small netsuki-shaped jade ornament, K.E. mu. of, shows an elaborate floral design in good ` open '-work. Curious, too, is the miniature silver spoon, K.E. xvf. of.
Numismatic It only remains for me to mention that the coins picked up by us at different points of the once
evidence. cultivated area fully bear out the numismatic evidence already noted in connexion with the dwellings ix and x.4 Out of a total of seventeen coins, eleven belong to Sung issues, the Nien-haos represented ranging from A.D. 1017-22 tO A.D. 1086-94. Of the other Chinese pieces two bear the legend Wu-chu and two that of K`ai yilan, while another is the modern `cash' previously mentioned. One non-Chinese copper coin has not so far been identified. The direct chronological conclusion to be drawn from the coins found at this settlement is thus practically the same as that indicated by the coins found within or quite close to the ruined town.
Marco At the same time the discovery of the remains of this extensive agricultural settlement has
Polo's City a very important bearing upon the chronological aspect of the questions raised by the ruins of of Etzina'.
Khara-khoto itself ; for it removes, I believe, the last doubt which might otherwise have been felt
as to the identity of Khara-khoto with Marco Polo's ` City of Etzina '. The account that the great Venetian traveller has recorded of it runs as follows :5
` When you leave the city of Campichu [i. e. Kan-chow you ride for twelve days, and then
reach a city called Etzina, which is towards the north on the verge of the Sandy Desert ; it belongs
to the Province of Tangut. The people are Idolaters, and possess plenty of camels and cattle,
and the country produces a number of good falcons, both Sakers and Lanners. The inhabitants
live by their cultivation and their cattle, for they have no trade. At this city you must needs lay in victuals for forty days, because when you quit Etzina, you enter on a desert which extends forty days' journey to the north, and on which you meet with no habitation nor baiting place.... When you have travelled these forty days across the Desert you come to a certain province lying to the north ', and as the city of this the next chapter names Caracoron, i. e. Kara-korum, the old Mongol capital on the river Orkhon.
Sir Henry Yule had already looked for Marco's Etzina on the river flowing from Kan-chou, which earlier European writers drawing on Chinese maps had mentioned under the name of Yetsina. He was rightly guided to this location by the reference made to the place in Gaubil's ` History of Chinghiz ', which mentions the capture of Yetsina in A. D. 1226 by the Mongol conqueror,
4 See Appendix B. 5 Cf. Yule, Marco Polo, i. pp. 223 sq.