laine, ayant les cheveux courts et la barbe longue, portant des anneaux aux oreilles et quelquefois au nez, divers ustentiles de cuisine, des fragments de iamb ou d'argent, des pièces de monnaie chinoises et des fragments de livres musulmans."
GRENARD acquired a coin of Wu Ti of Liang (first half of the sixth century).
As seen from the above, STEIN surveyed the historical records dealing with Char-chan, and he also searched the actual site. Among his acquisitions only one coin of the period 1054-56 admits of prima facie dating. He did not come across any graves.
As soon as the local people in Charchan, in July 1928, became aware of my antiquarian interests they offered small objects which they had picked up on the surface of what they called the Kohna-shahr. Among the things purchased in this way there may be a few of somewhat dubious age and uncertain origin, but most of the articles are certainly genuine. When I moved out of the bazaar and pitched camp in the western border of the oasis I personally picked up some objects of the same kind as those purchased from the local people.
The present Charchan oasis is situated on the left bank of the Charhan-darya. On the right bank there is a smaller, and probably rather new, oasis called Aralchi, which does not, however, call for further mention here. The cultivated ground, the fields, the orchards etc. form an elongated oval nearly 3 km. wide along the river, just as do most of the oases situated on river-banks. Above the cultivated ground a branch of the river is forced to run in a westerly direction, afterwards turning to the north, and finally west-northwest. Along its northern course it forms the western boundary of the oasis. To the west of it opens a sterile, slightly undulating and eroded gobi surface, a soft, dusty clayey ground with a thin layer of fine black gravel. A rather large part of this desert is called Kohna-shahr (Old Town) as it yields pottery fragments and other small finds.
Very few structural remains are to be seen, inter alia a small tower of uncertain age. It is possible, though, that some of the undulations which now show the same surface as the rest of the ground are hiding very dilapidated brick ruins. The destruction of the ruins has thus been going on constantly since the time of PRJEVALSKY'S visit.
The most striking feature is a dry irrigation canal running roughly from southeast to north-west and near the western border of the Kohna-shahr. It has raised embankments and the bottom lies higher than the surrounding ground. Some tamarisks are growing along it. One time it no doubt watered a good deal, if not the whole, of the fields and orchards of the old city of Charchan.
The present oasis covers probably a part of the old town, but as practically all the ground inside it is cultivated there was little hope of discovering any antiquities there during a short visit. I therefore limited my survey to the deserted part west of the modern oasis.