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0349 Innermost Asia : vol.2
Innermost Asia : vol.2 / Page 349 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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of the Alichur Pamir. My day's halt at Kara-chim was utilized also for collecting anthropological measurements from the Kirghiz there encamped (Fig. 365). These, together with all the other anthropometrical materials secured on my journey north of the Oxus, have been fully discussed by Mr. T. C. Joyce in Appendix C.3

On August loth we retraced our way across the Kizil-dawan to the Kök-yar valley, and followed this down to where it joins the great valley of the Tanimaz or Kûdara river close to the latter's sharp southward bend. The great glaciers on the Sel-tagh which feed this important river had been sighted far away to the west on our march higher up. The route descended by the left bank and brought us to thickets of willows and birch-trees at Kizil-tokai, about 10,500 feet above the sea, where we halted. The feeling that we had left the Pamirs behind was borne out when next morning, after advancing a couple of miles, we passed fine fields of barley cultivated by Tajiks of Rôshan ; driven from the Murghab or Bartang valley by the flooding of Sérèz they had reclaimed old cultivation at this spot. As we descended farther by the left bank, mostly along large detritus slopes (Fig. 368), we repeatedly encountered patches of cultivation amidst luxuriant vegetation watered from small beds of snow.

Above the junction of the Tanimaz with the river coming from the Kök-ui-bél we passed huge shoots of debris and then crossed to the right bank. There we soon came upon marks of the widespread destruction wrought by the great earthquake of 191 I. The wide stretch of level ground known as Paléz and formerly cultivated had been abandoned ; for the fall of the hill-side above had blocked the canal which carried water to it. Within a mile and a half from the river crossing we found the valley floor completely smothered under enormous masses of rock debris (Fig. 377), which that cataclysm had thrown down from the slopes of the spur flanking the valley on the right. They rose in wild confusion to 200 feet or more over what had been the plain of Paléz, and had been propelled in places right across the valley to the opposite slope. The river had been blocked for months by this huge barrage and progress over or past it was very difficult for about two miles (Fig. 369). Lower down, the Kûdara valley had suffered less from the effects of the earthquake.

It thus became possible on August 12th to push on to the Bartang valley after a night spent at the small Tajik hamlet of Pasôr, ensconced among luxuriant white poplars and willows at an elevation of about 9,700 feet. The track, difficult in places for laden animals, kept close to the river wherever the steep banks overhanging it left room, or else crossed high terraces. On one of these the small village of Rukhj was passed ; its green fields presented a refreshing contrast to the utterly bare slopes around. Farther on, the route led down the boulder-strewn bed of the river, where frowning cliffs overlook it. Here, at a point appropriately known as Darband (Fig. 39o), a large rock once carried a watch-tower intended to defend the peaceful Iranian settlements of Rôshan from Kirghiz raids. We then threaded the narrow mouth of the ravine, through which

Descent to Tanimaz river.

Earthquake effects in Tanimaz valley.

March to TanimazBartang junction.

3 With reference to my note on the name Sarikol ',Ancient Khotan, i. p. 23, n. 3, I may record here that all Kirghiz examined by me at Kara-chim and elsewhere on the Pamirs agreed in applying the term Sarikol in a general way to the whole Pamir region from the Trans-Alai in the north to the range overlooking the uppermost tib-i-Panja in the south, and from the Muz-tagh-atà range to the head of the valleys of Darwaz, Röshan, and Shughnan.

The prevailing ` popular etymology ' seeks the Persian sar, ` head ', in the first part of the name without accounting for the second. That the latter, properly pronounced and spelt, contains the Turki word qol, ` valley ', and the first the Turk! sarigh or Sarik, ` green ', appears to me all the more


likely since I heard the local name Sarik-cash, on the Alai, regularly pronounced as Sari-tâs1z through assimilation of the consonants and subsequent complementary lengthening. The term qol or qöl occurs frequently in local designations (Och-kol on the Alichur Pamir, Târ-kol south of Zailik in the K`un-lun, &c.).

The comprehensive use of the name Sarikol, ` the green valley ', for all Kirghiz grazing grounds on the Pamirs can easily be accounted for. Its restriction to the high valleys east of the Oxus—Tarim watershed, from the Taghdum-bash Pamir to Tagharma, is a point calling for examination elsewhere.