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0231 Innermost Asia : vol.2
Innermost Asia : vol.2 / Page 231 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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about two miles from camp. It was winding from N. to SE., i. e. in the direction of L.M. and L.K., whence its probable continuation had a year before been traced clearly enough 17

The whole of the day's march lay across ground covered by high dunes. Wind-eroded trenches were met with in places during the first portion of the march, but no regular Yardangs. Dead tamarisk-cones and Toghraks, too, were frequently sighted in depressions between the dunes. The map shows the places where high ` Dawàns ' of sand up to 7o feet in height and running approximately N. to S. were encountered. Some 9 miles from L.R. a small fragment of iron and some pottery debris attested the passage of man within historical times. On the march of March loth the sandy desert crossed retained the same difficult character. In at least three places lines of dead wild poplars emerging from the sand seemed to mark former courses of water coming from the side of the Kuruk-daryâ.. But owing probably to the height and closeness of the dunes no definite beds were noticed. Small pottery debris and a bronze fragment were picked up about Io miles from Camp ccxlviii. a. A couple of miles beyond a big ` Dawâ.n' of an estimated height of over loo feet was crossed.

Near Camp ccxlix. a. Afrâ.z-gul's survey shows an old bed coming from the west, marked by lines of dead Toghraks. The presence of water at a period not too remote was indicated also by plenty of dead reeds and tamarisks. Farther on Yardangs became increasingly frequent between the dunes, a distinct change indicating approach to the wind-eroded riverine belt of the Kurukdaryâ,. Here between 3 and 4 miles' distance from camp there were picked up in succession first fragments of a Chinese coin and then miscellaneous small stone implements and potsherds (C. ccxlix. a. 02—I I). One more big sand ` Dawâ,n ' was crossed before entering the zone of closely packed Yardangs, almost clear of dunes, stretching along the Kuruk-darya where it skirts the gravel glacis of the Kuruk-tagh. This ground proved as difficult for the camels as that encountered around the Lou-lan station, L.A. Their exhaustion obliged Afraz-gul to halt as soon as the main bed of the Kuruk-daryâ, was struck. It measured here about loo yards in width and 20 feet in average depth.

Resuming his march along it on the morning of February 12th the surveyor, after covering about 3i miles, came upon traces of R.B. Lal Singh's passage the year before. Having crossed to the north of the river-bed for the sake of easier going he then came, among the Mesas to the north of the graveyard L.T., upon my own party's footprints and then upon the track we had followed on the march from Yaka-yardang-bulak. Our happy reunion which followed next day has already been related above. The brief record here presented of Afraz-gul's surveys on this journey will, I hope, suffice to explain the warm appreciation felt by me for the admirable skill, perseverance, and pluck with which he had carried through his difficult task.


Marches across high dunes.

Yardang belt along Kurukdarya.

L.Q. oI. Bronze bolt, cylindrical, with flat sq. head. At other end hole bored through probably for linch-pin. Liver-coloured patina. Good condition. Length 2}", diam. head AN sq.

L.Q. 02. Bronze buckle ; plain wide D-shape, with very thick bar across middle. Tongue lost. Fair condition. I" X r.

L.Q. i. ox. Fr. of bronze dagger or spearhead. Long leaf-shape, point broken off. Handle or tang is ribbed

horizontally and thickens at butt, presenting an irregular elliptical section at end. From edges of this end surface six round rods projected, one at each end or major axis, and two at each side. Badly made. Sand-encrusted. Length (broken) 7h-", gr. width of blade II". Pl. XXVI.

L.Q. 1. 02. Bronze mirror (?) ; thin disc, entirely corroded. Two small holes bored near edge at opposite ends of diam. No signs of boss. Diam. 41-", thickness under g". Pl. XXVI.

L.Q. i. 03. Fr. of miniature bronze quadruped, possibly

17 Cf. above, i. pp. 184, 192, 197.