762 ON THE ANCIENT ROUTE ALONG THE KONCHE-DARYA [Chap. XXI
site, until the Tarim's diversion into its present course in comparatively modern times. This theory could not be reconciled either with what our surveys had shown of the well-defined delta of the Kuruk-darya traceable over a considerable area to the south and east of the Lou-lan site, or, what seemed even more significant, with early and definite data regarding the hydrography of this region furnished by an important Chinese record, not accessible to Dr. Hedin when his theory was formed.
I mean the very interesting account which M. Chavannes has extracted and translated from Li Tao-yüan's commentary on the Shui thing in the ` Note additionnelle ' to his masterly analysis of the Wei lio's notice of the ` Western countries '.2 I have fully discussed in Serindia the statements contained in Li Tao-yüan's work, which was composed some time not later than A. D. 527, the date of the author's death, but undoubtedly embodies much information relating to earlier periods of Chinese relations with the Tarim basin.3 A brief review, however, of those statements which have a direct bearing on the question of the Kuruk-darya and its connexion with the Konchedaryd appears necessary here, all the more that they also help to throw light on the ruined site described in the preceding section.
Li Tao- With regard to the passage which interests us here it has to be noted that it follows an account
yüan's which has been left untranslated by M. Chavannes, but which, according to a note furnished of y ' g f ihd b y
the South '. him, treats of the ` River of the North ', i. e. of the rivers of Kashgar and Yarkand. Preceding that account we have in the commentary a long and interesting description of the course of the ` River of the South ', i. e. of the river of Khotan, which in its terminal portion is said to unite itself with the river of Charchan and then flowing eastwards to pass north of Shan-shan into ` the lake of Lao-lan '. When discussing this description at length in Serindia,4 I believe that I have conclusively shown that by this terminal course of the ` River of the South ' Li Tao-yuan means a course approximately corresponding to that of the present Tarim, wheré it flows south to be joined by the Charchan-darya and then passes north of Miran, ` the old eastern capital ' of the kingdom of Shan-shan, into the marshes of Kara-koshun or, to use their modern Chinese, or more correctly Mongol, designation, into the present Lop-nôr.
Passage of The passage with which we are here concerned runs as follows : 5 ` The waters of the Ho ~fp~
`the RiverNorth of [i. e. the River of the North] move farther east and pass to the south of the kingdom of Mo-shan
;74 (_(_(. [This kingdom] has for its capital the town of Mo-shan ; on the west it is 240 li from
Wei-li jj• ff. . The waters of the Ho move farther east and pass to the south of the town of Chu pin
j 4-4.. farther east they pass south of the town of Lou-lan t and then run off eastwards.
This is, no doubt, the place where the colony of soldiers sent to clear the fields [for cultivation] was established, and this is why the town inherited the name of the kingdom. The waters of the
Ho proceed farther east, to empty themselves in the Yu marshes M, which are those called
by the [Shui] thing the P`u-ch`ang lake 1 . A . The water accumulates in the north-east
of Shan-shan and in the south-west of the Town of the Dragon.'
Course of The latter portion of this passage has already been fully analysed above. It has been shown
Konche- there that it quite correctly describes the course taken by the river now represented by the beds of
described. the Kuruk-darya, as they pass from Ying-pan south of the Lou-lan site and thence to the dried-up
marshes eastwards fringing the salt-encrusted bed of the ancient Lop Seas With regard to the preceding portion it is easy to show that, as already briefly stated in Serindia, the topographical indications take us necessarily to the ground along the foot of the glacis of the western Kuruk-tagh now skirted by the Konche-darya. We have seen before that the ` kingdom of Mo-shan ', the