HISTORY OF SURVEYS [Chap. I
north and south of the line of oases stretching westwards to Khotan. 58 After more archaeological labours at sites in the desert fringing the Khotan oasis to the north and north-west, 5e we started early in April for Ak-su by the route which leads through the heart of the Taklamakan along the united bed of the Yurung-kàsh and Kara-lash rivers, then practically dry.
On this journey I was able to explore interesting ancient remains on the curious desert hill of Mazar-tagh which juts out to the left bank of the Khotan
Hill range of Mazâr-
tâgh. river as the last offshoot of a low and now almost completely eroded
range coming from the north-west. A reconnaissance made by the surveyor showed that this range is still traceable amidst high dunes for a distance of at least twenty miles. 6° Its exploration beyond was impossible at that season of increasing heat and sand-storms.
We descended the Khotan river bed to the neighbourhood of its junction with the Tarim which we crossed. ß1 By the left bank of the Ak-su river we
Journey to Ak.su. reached the town of that name, the present Chinese headquarters for the
eastern portion of the Tarim basin, early in May. There we separated for nearly three months. I myself travelled up the Uch-Turfan valley and crossed a barren and very rugged outer range of the Tien-shan, previously unsurveyed, to the little-known oasis of Kelpin. 6s
Moving southwards I traced remains of ancient settlements in the desert between the arid outer hills of Kelpin and the terminal course of the Kashgar
Return to Khotan via river, before reaching the Ak-su—Kashgar highway near the ruined sites Yârkand.
of Tumshuk. 83 A series of low parallel hill ranges in the unsurveyed desert belt to the north-east of Maràl-bâshi offered an opportunity for interesting topographical work. Then the increasing heat and the call of many heavy tasks obliged me to return to my base at Khotan. Proceeding by rapid marches along the left bank of the Yarkand river I carried my plane-table traverse to Yarkand, 64 whence the caravan route already followed in 1900 brought me back to Khotan by June 9th.
Here I was detained by exacting labours needed for the safe packing of my large
Lâl Singh's surveys collection of antiques and by the manifold preparations for the planned
along T'ien•shaa and in explorations in the high K`un-lun to the south. The halt fortunately
W. K'un-lun. allowed me to give Là1 Singh adequate time for independent survey
work, and with his unfailing energy he used it to the best advantage. Injury to a level of the theodolite prevented, it is true, the triangulation I had wished him to carry from Ak-su to Khotan. Nevertheless he effected very useful plane-table surveys along the main Tien-shan range from the valley below the Muz-art pass to the watershed north of Kàshgar. 65 Descending a second time to Kàshgar, he travelled to Gnma through the districts of Yarkand and Karghalik by a route different from the high-roads already surveyed. 66 He then succeeded in mapping, as directed, the last portions of terra incognita on the northern slopes of the K'un-lun between the Kilian valley and the middle Kara-kàsh river above Pujiya in the lower Khotan hills. In addition he connected his survey with Ram Singh's work in 1906 by crossing the Sanju-dawàn and ascending the Kara-leash river as far as Kilian-kurghan. 67
6s See Sheet No. 14. A.B. 2, C. 3; Desert Cathay, ii. pp. 413 sqq.
69 See Sheet No. 9. D. 2.
6e See Sheet No. 13. A. 3, B. 4; Desert Cathay, ii. pp. 417 sqq.
61 See Sheets Nos. 13. A. 4, B. 1-4; 12. A. 3, 4,
62 See Sheet No. 7. B.2, 3, C.2, D. 2; Desert Cathay, ii. 421 sqq.
6s See Sheets Nos. 7. B. 4; 8. B. 1.
w See Sheets No. 8. A, B. 1 ; 5. C. 3, 4; D.1, 2. With regard to this plane-table work between Ak.su and Yârkand I may briefly note that the route
I had followed was crossed by that of Lit Singh only at one point, the small oasis of Abâd, two marches
north of Yârksnd (Sheet No. 5. 0. 2). The distance covered by me from our common starting point, Akan, amounted to over 350 miles. while that on the surveyor's route via Siishgar was considerably greater. It was hence no small satisfaction to me to find that the position shown for Abad by my own plane-table differed from that of Lal Singh by only one mile in longitude and about two in latitude.
66 See Sheets Nos. 12. A, B. 1 ; 7. A. 3, B. 2, 3, C. 2, D. 1, 2; 4. A-C. 4, D. 3, 4; 1. C, D. 4.
66 For the route to and from Kâshgar, see Sheets. Nos. 2. D. 1, 2; 5. A. 1. For the route from Kâshgar via Abad-Merket-Sarghalik to Gama, see Sheets Nos. 5. A.C. 2, 4, D. 3; 6. C. 1, D. 1, 2; 9. A. 1, 2.
67 See Sheets Nos. 6.D. 2 ; 9. A. 1.3, B. 2, 3, 0. 3, D.2.