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0052 Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1
Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1 / Page 52 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000195
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tower is situated on the NE border of the Charchi oasis. It stands on a 2 trr. high platform and is itself about 4 m. high, the base being about 5 m. square. The construction did not reveal any details which could be used for determining its age. Judging from the far advanced decay of the structure it must be of considerable antiquity. We may guess that it was built in the period between B. C. 6o and the beginning of the first century A. D. when the Chinese Protector General of The Western Regions was residing in Wu-lei, which is identified with Chadir 45 km. west of Charchi, at a time when the traffic along the Silk Road was flourishing.

According to information from local people there is another ruined tower in. Eshme, the small oasis between Charchi and Chadir.


Lou-lan is the Chinese rendering of an indigenous name of a small kingdom comprising the region around lowermost Tarim. The first time it is mentioned is in a letter from MAO TUN, Khan of the Hsiung-nu, to the Emperor of China in B. C. 176. In some cases the name is written Lao-lan. In the documents in Indian Kharoshthi which have been excavated from ruins in the Tarim Basin, the name bears the form Kroraina or Kroraimna. A later form is Raurata. Prof. KARLGREN has kindly informed me that the old pronunciation of the name Lou-lan was glulan, which corresponds very closely to the Kharoshthi forms.

After having erected military bases at Chiu-ch'üan (Suchow) and Tun-huang the Chinese continued their expansion westwards. As the Lou-lan people maltreated the members of passing Chinese caravans a military expedition was dispatched to Lou-lan, and in 109 B. C. the king was forced to pay tribute to China.

Its geographical position gives to the Lou-lan kingdom a strategical importance far surpassing its importance in other respects. Stretching from the Ouruq-tagh mountains in the north to the high range of Astin-tagh in the south, it serves as a key to the whole Tarim Basin, and from Lou-lan the rich Turf an Basin is also easily reached.

It is unnecessary to follow the ups and downs in the Chinese domination of the Lou-lan kingdom in this connection. These happenings have been recorded both by STEIN and HERRMANN.

Among the Chinese the name Lou-lan was changed to Shan-shan in the last century B. C., but revived for the naming of the military station founded by So MAI' about 26o A. D. (i. e. HEDIN'S city of Lou-lan, STEIN'S L. A. or Lou-lan station). It was also used as a name for the settlements around L. A. In the Kharoshthi documents we never meet the name Shan-shan, only Kroraina or Kroraimna,, and it thus seems that the real name never changed, which is quite natural.

1 So MAI, not So MAN, is the correct form, according to Prof. Giles (BSOS 6, p. 829).