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0039 Innermost Asia : vol.2
Innermost Asia : vol.2 / Page 39 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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known ground as his allotted programme of work in the Kuruk-tâgh would provide. This included triangulation over a great stretch of ground, almost all waterless, and an effort to connect the resulting net of triangles with the previous triangulation work carried along the K`un-lun range. Turfân would necessarily have to serve as the base for his needs in the matter of transport, supplies and guides. The experience of the preceding winter made me feel uncertain as to the future attitude of the Chinese authorities of Hsin-chiang in the matter of our survey operations. This, together with the total absence of local resources in the Kuruk-tagh, made it all the more important to make sure of this safe base by remaining myself at work in the Turfân district until the latter part of the winter. By so planning Lai Singh's work as to bring him back there to rest and refit by the end of January I hoped also to secure due co-ordination between his labours and those explorations in the Lop Desert and along the western Kuruk-tagh, which I desired to carry out partly in person and partly through Afraz-gul during February and March.

Having thus indicated the objects that my stay in the Turfân district was intended to serve, I may briefly explain how much of the work actually accomplished can be dealt with in these chapters. The geographical interest attaching to the Turfân basin and the detailed survey of its topography prompted by it were bound to claim much of my time and attention. The results yielded by this portion of our work help in many ways to throw light on the historical past of Turfân. Yet several reasons make it advisable to reserve their treatment for another place. In order to bring out in adequate detail those geographical features which give to the Turfân district, and particularly to its inhabited portion, a strongly distinctive character, cartographical representation of its topography on a larger scale than that of the maps attached to this publication is essential. Arrangements have therefore been made, with the kind help of the Geodetic Branch of the Survey of India, Dehra Dun, for the preparation of a special map of the Turfân depression on the scale of i : 250,000 from the materials secured by our surveys, for publication in the Geographical Journal. The drawing of this map, based mainly on the survey of one mile to the inch, is still in progress, and for the paper intended to accompany this map the exposition of the geographical observations concerning the Turfân area may appropriately be reserved.

I feel bound also to restrict the record here presented of my archaeological labours. In order to treat the finds and observations thereon in their proper antiquarian and historical setting, it would be necessary to devote detailed study not merely to all notices bearing upon the pre-Muhammadan history of Turfân but also to the great mass of valuable materials in the shape of art and manuscript remains brought to light by previous explorations. These strikingly illustrate the remarkably varied relations with west and east of which Turfân was for centuries the centre. The greater part of these materials have been deposited in the Ethnographic Museum of Berlin, and their publication and study have for the last twenty years been carried on by a series of competent experts.' But these very valuable labours are still far from being completed, and of other materials widely scattered elsewhere our knowledge is still more imperfect. For a close examination of even those already rendered accessible I lack adequate leisure and opportunities. I shall therefore make no attempt to discuss my own limited observations and finds with a view to elucidating the very divers aspects of the ethnography, culture, &c., of old Turfân, especially in the later phases of its pre-Muhammadan history. I shall content myself with a plain record of the facts observed by me on the spot and of the data that direct examination of our finds supplies.

Programme for Lai Singh's surveys.

Geography of Turfàn basin.

Restriction of archaeological record.

1 See A. Grünwedel, Bericht liber archäologische Arbeiten in Idikutschari und Umgebung, München, 1906 ; Altbuddhistische Kultstätten in Chinesisch-Turkistan, Berlin, 1912, pp. 211-16, 223-340 ; A. von Lecoq, Chotscho, 1913; Die buddhistische

Spätantike in Mittelasien, 1922-24. Also numerous articles by Professors Franke, von Lecoq, Luders, F. W. K. Müller, Sieg, Siegling, &c., in the Abhandlungen and Sitzungsberichte of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin, and elsewhere.