This watch-tower was the southernmost point from which I saw The Small River.
Its winding, narrow course disappeared in a south-south-easterly direction, being
surrounded by small lakes, swampy reeds and meadows with seemingly good graz
ing. About 20 li further down The Small River was said to form two lakes, a Baghrash-köl, and a Kök-toghraq, and after a distance of two days' travel on horseback the river should terminate. Nobody could give any definite information as to the position of the terminus of the river, but if the information obtained was correct, and I have no reason to doubt it, the river would reach very near to Qaraqoshun. When I asked my men if it reached Shirge-chapghan they answered `Yes', but at other times it was stated to turn eastwards. NIAZ BAI, a Turk from Charkhliq, who had his summer abode with his sheep not far from the watchtower, called The Small River Qum-darya, i. e. the same name as that of the mother river. Higher up I heard one mention the name Yangi-darya, but also this is applied to the main river. The dwindling course of one of its branches is seen on Pl. X b.
When STEIN, about New Year 1906 07, marched from Lou-lan in a south-
westerly direction to reach the course from north to south of lower Tarim he came upon rows of dead trees, which very likely mark the course of my Small River at a more southerly point than that from which I saw it. I take the liberty of quoting
r some passages from STEIN (1921, p. 452) :
"There (at camp 130) I came upon the first rows of dead Toghraks since Camp 127 — — — stretching in well-defined lines from north to south. — — — the wild poplars of the Tarim Basin show an invariable tendency to grow in lines parallel to the nearest open water-courses or the channels of subsoil drainage which continue them. Here the dead Toghraks, many of them of large size, all lay prostrate on the ground, and though their bleached and withered trunks and main branches still showed clearly recognizable features, I could see that they must have been dead far longer than those, for instance, which had grown up and died at the Niya Site since it was abandoned about the fourth century A. D. The position of this Toghrak grove, probably marking an ancient channel of the Tarim, was not more than sixteen miles in a straight line from the present bed of the Ilek branch."
LIST OF ANTIQUITIES FROM THE WATCH-TOWER
9: t. Handle of large earthenware jug with 9: 4. High neck of an earthenware vase of
projecting rim. Brick-red ware in- light-grey, hard-burnt ware. H. about
termixed with coarse-grained sand. Pl. 18 : 4. 19 cm. Diam. of mouth 12 cm. PI. 18: 5.
9 : 2. Stout handle from earthenware vessel, 9: 5-6. Two potsherds from the rim of two
blue-grey ware intermixed with coarse- vessels. Dark bluish-grey ware.
grained sand. 9: 7. Potsherd from rim of large, bulky
9 : 3. Potsherd with a horizontal lug. Rather vessel of light-red ware intermixed
thin red ware, brown inside. with much sand. Fig. 35 : 2.