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0069 Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1
Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1 / Page 69 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000195
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mer residences" below Yaqinliq-kö.l, but shepherds used to wander even east of the meridian of Yardang-bulaq. It is still too far for them to move to the delta, where grazing, certainly, is good. If the present hydrographical conditions get stabilized and remain so for sufficient length of time, the delta region will be resettled. Should the river change again in our time the Lou-lan region will remain untouched, whereas the ground around Yaqinliq-köl and The Small River will preserve traces of the present occupation to future archaeologists. This region around the branching off of The Small River apparently offered about the same natural advantages to human settlers in ancient times as it does now; but ancient settlements here, sometimes between 600 and i.000, do not necessarily mean the existence of settlements around Lou-lan at the same time, and nothing in the archaeological collections indicates this.


Between Grave 10 and Yaqinliq-köl we passed over eroded clay ground with low yardangs, dry tamarisk cones, and, in the moist depressions near the river, fine reeds. The route lay to the north of three small lakes in depressions at least 6 m. deep, Pl. V b, their water being of extreme salinity. The largest was about 1500 m. long, and between Too and 50o m. wide. Between the two first lakes the ground had a thin covering of sand. In the same place there were dry poplars and low remains of tamarisks; all the trees had died when quite young, and most of them were still standing, Pl. II b. In one place a group of eight old, seemingly dead, poplars had fresh green leafs.

Between the last salt lake and Yaqinliq-köl there is a riverlike depression running about N—S, with small pools and reeds in the bottom, probably a bag-shaped extension of Qum-darya. One of our men called it Ara-tarim. No continuation of it was found further south. A belt of slightly salt-encrusted sand where I noticed potsherds of a neolithic character, separates this depression from Yaqinliq-köl. This freshwater lake, which communicates with Qum-darya, extends in a N—S direction and is of very irregular shape on account of the numerous reed beds. Its length is about 4 km., the width hardly exceeds 2 km.

Near the eastern shore there is a s a t m a or reed-hut, where SAIT MOLLAH and his family has been spending the summer for the last four years. In winter they live at the now dry part of the lower Tarim. Owing to the drying up of lower Tarim the settlers there have had to abandon agriculture and turn exclusively to a pastoral life. As we had occasion to observe, the neighbourhood of The Small River and the southern shore of Qum-darya had good pastures, which were utilized by the settlers along the lower Tarim. Even before the last river-displacement cattle- and