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0222 Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1
Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1 / Page 222 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000195
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C. RUIN NEAR BAGHDAD-SHAHRI.

When travelling from Qara-shahr to Korla, in March 1934, I observed the ruins of a rather large enclosure suggesting a town wall. It was situated about 3 km. N of the village Danzil, and about 1,500 m. from the ruined town of Baghdad-shahri. The compass bearings from the northern "gate" towards the corner-towers of Baghdad-shahri were : NE corner S 710 E, SW corner S 45° E.

The cart-road crosses the northern wall, where a plain and quite modern p'ai-lou has been erected, and follows the eastern side of an inner square, Fig. 42. According to my estimation, which must be regarded as only approximate, the sides of the outer wall measure roughly 600 m. and are 2-3 m. high. On the southern side I saw no traces of any wall. The sides of the inner square measured about 250 m. Along the inside of its eastern wall ran a rather solid brick wall about 4 m. high. The inner enclosure contains several low mounds of dilapidate structures.

The whole "town" is covered with a thorny shrub vegetation, and the ground is salt-encrusted, as is also the case with the surroundings. A small water-course flows through the ruin. The moistness and salinity of the ground makes it less probable that any perishables can be preserved here.

Whether this ruin or Baghdad-shahri was identical with the Yen-ch'i of the T'ang annals is impossible to decide. One of them most likely was Yen-ch'i, and the other may have been A-ch'i-ni (Agni) of HSÜANG TSANG or Wu-i (Wu-ch'i) of FA HSIEN, because it is uncertain if these three names denoted one and the same place.

However this may be, both of these ruins occupied an important strategical position along the highway between Turf an and the Tarim Basin, and also on the mountain road from the Ili valley along the Qara-shahr river where nomad inroads could be expected.

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In this connection we might mention a few objects obtained by Dr. NILS AMBOLT from local people who had found them when digging up roots for fuel at a place about 6 km. SW of the village Danzil between Baghdad-shahri and Ming-6i.

Two Chinese coins are from the periods corresponding to 766-784, a third is so covered with verdigris that the inscription is illegible. Pl. 15 : 6 shows one side of a Sino-Kharoshthi coin. The Chinese characters are very unshapely and irregular; they read apparently liu ch'u ch'ien, i. e. six ch'u (= a weight) of money. This side nearly coincides with Hoernle 1899, Pl. I : 14. The other side is still more obscure. It probably shows a horse standing to the right, and a couple of nearly effaced square characters. It recalls Hoernle's Pl. I : 8. No. —: 5 is most likely of the same sort of Indo-Chinese coins. According to HOERNLE, these coins date from the first and second centuries A. D. To similar coins from K'hotan, where they seem to have been issued, he assigns the period 73-200 A. D. as a safe date.

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