Fig. 36. The Lop-nor region. Preliminary map compiled from the surveys of HEDIN, HÖRNER, CHEN, NoRIN and BERGMAN. (The two special maps referred to are Figs. 18 and 37).
Of true weapons very little is found in the Central Asian fortifications of ancient times. When the garrisons left they took their weapons along with them, or when an aggressor was successful he took possession of the weapons of the conquered and carried them away with him. What is left to us are only broken fragments or accidentally lost objects, and some arrow-heads, the latter corresponding to spent "ammunition".
The best object found by HöRNER and CHEN is the cross-bow mechanism Pl. 29 : 18. It is of the ordinary type used in the Han period, quite plain, but in good order. HEDIN found the trigger of a similar mechanism, Pl. 31 : 7, and STEIN has a bolt with square head from the Lou-lan station (Stein 1921, Pl. XXXVI, L. A. II. v. 002), though he did not recognize its use as a bolt of a cross-bow mechanism.
The cross-bow is an infantry weapon of defensive nature, and was apparently invented by the Chinese. It was in use as early as B. C. 228 as a cross-bow lock was