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0206 Innermost Asia : vol.2
Innermost Asia : vol.2 / Page 206 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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Produce of Shan mentioned.

Grazing in western Kuruktagh.

References to ` Kingdom of Shan '.


Wei hsü   ;' 1, 260 li to the west. The country joins Shan-shan â ($it. and Chzi-mo f. 2k on the

south-east.' 13

Yen-ch`i is well known as the early Chinese designation of Kara-shahr 14 I believe that I have definitely established that by Wei-hsü and Wei-li are meant, respectively, the present Korla and the tract which stretches along the Konche-darya from below Korla towards Tikenlik,15 and which we shall have occasion to visit farther on." The south-eastern bearing of Shan-shan, i. e. the present Lop, is correct, but less so that of the distant Chü-mo or Charchan, which lies in reality to the south-south-west. The directions in which Kara-shahr, Korla, and the Konche-darya tract are said to lie agree in clearly placing the territory of Shan in the western Kuruk-tagh. At the same time the distances indicated, which, as in similar statements of the Han Annals, must be assumed to refer to the chief place of the territory, oblige us to look for the locality intended at some point much farther west than Singer.

In this connexion the statement with which the notice on Shan concludes deserves attention. It says : ` The mountains produce iron ; and the people, living among the mountains, depend on Yen-ch`i and Wei-hsü for their grain and field produce.' The mention of iron distinctly points to the western Kuruk-tagh ; for other metals, such as lead and copper, are being mined there at the present day in pits worked by small parties both to the north and south of the high portion of the range known as Hsi-ta-shan (Map No. 29. A. 2). Evidence of such mining in former times in the shape of smelting furnaces will be mentioned below.

Special interest, however, attaches to the statement that the population of Shan, which the same notice in the Former Han Annals estimates at 45o families or 5,00o persons, depended on Yen-ch`i and Wei-hsü, i. e. Kara-shahr and Korla, for its food-stuffs. It clearly proves, on the one hand, that then as now the Kuruk-tagh can have offered only very limited opportunities of cultivation. On the other hand, it leads us to conclude that the people inhabiting Shan must have lived as nomadic graziers, just like the present-day Mongols who come during the winter with their flocks and herds from the side of Kara-shahr and visit the valleys at the north-western extremity of the Kuruk-tagh. Lal Singh in 1907 had come upon a number of such Mongol camps between the Sherzak-ghol and Altun-ghol, in the hills to the south-east of the Baghrash-köl (Map No. 25. c, D. 1). It is well known that Mongols had frequented them and the valleys about Hsi-ta-shan in much larger numbers before the troubles of the last Muhammadan rebellion.

It is to that westernmost portion of the Kuruk-tagh, towards the Baghrash-köl and Korla, which I regret not to have been able to visit in person, that I believe we must look for the location of the chief place in the Shan of Han times. Though the territory can never have been of much consequence, Shan-kuo W M ` the kingdom of Shan ' is also mentioned in the Later Han Annals as having been punished by Pan Chao A. D. 94, along with Yen-ch`i, Wei-hsü, and Wei-lî 17 The Wei lio, too, names Shan as dependent on Yen-ch`i or Kara-shahr,'$ while Li Tao-yüan's commentary on the Shui thing, composed before A. D. 527, refers to the same territory under the name

of Mo-shan    (` the Black Hills ')19 In this passage the ` town of Mo-shan ' is mentioned as
the capital of the ` kingdom ' and Wei-li as situated 240 li to the west of it. The waters of the Northern River, i. e. the Tarim, are described as passing to the south of Mo-shan before reaching

the town of Chu pin a   . If we compare this statement with the relative positions, as shown
by Map No. 25, of the Tarim and of the site of Ying-p`an, where the ` town of Chu-pin ' must

13 See Wylie, J. Anthrop. Inst., xi. p. 105.

14 Cf. Chavannes, T'oung-pao, 1907, p. 208 ; Serindia, iii. pp. 1178, 1180.

15 Cf. Serindia, iii. pp. 1230 sq.

16 See below, Chap. xxr. sec. iv; Chap. xxxi. sec. i.

17 Cf. Chavannes, T'oung-pao, 1907, pp. 208 sq.

18 See Chavannes, ibid., 1905, p. 552.

18 Cf. Chavannes, ibid., 1905, p. 570 ; Serindia, i. p. 420.