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0100 Memoir on Maps of Chinese Turkistan and Kansu : vol.1
Memoir on Maps of Chinese Turkistan and Kansu : vol.1 / Page 100 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000215
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NOTES ON SHEET No. 19   [Chap. IV

when the surveys along the mountains were effected, and for other reasons, no safe observations of the snow-line were available ; the adoption for it in this sheet of an approximate contour of 17,500 feet is, therefore, conjectural.

Descriptive accounts of the routes of 1901 and 1906 which took me to and from the sand-buried sites of ancient terminal oases of the Niya and Endere rivers (B. 1, D. 1), are given in Ruins of 'Chian, pp. 320 sqq., 388. sqq.; Desert Cathay, i. pp. 266 sqq., 300 sqq. The important archaeological discoveries made there raised numerous questions regarding physical 'changes, mainly due to desiccation, affecting the ground at those sites. These questions and the points relating to the historical geography of this region in general have been fully discussed in Ancient Kkotan, i. pp. 382 sqq., 435 sqq.; Serindia, i. pp. 241 sqq., 272 sqq., 286 sqq. For a brief preliminary account of my third visit to the Niya Site (the ancient Ching-cküeh of the Chinese Annals), cf. Geograph. Journal, xlviii. p. 115.

As in the adjoining sheet No. 14, three well-marked zones can be distinguished within this area. On the north we have the drift-sands of the Taklamakän interrupted by the terminal courses of the Niya, Yârtungaz, and Endere rivers and the belts of desert vegetation which are supported by them.

The ground once occupied by two large terminal oases of the first and last of those rivers can no longer be reached by irrigation, and the small patches of cultivation now

found near the present ends of those rivers are ever threatened with extinction owing to the vagaries of the dying river-courses.

Southward of these stretches the vast glacis of piedmont gravel or detritus, some thirty miles and more in width and utterly barren, except on its northern edge. There subsoil water, absorbed higher up from smaller rivers, comes to light again in scanty springs or supports scrubby jungle with scattered wild poplar growth. The small Niya oasis is the only agricultural settlement to be found in this zone, and it, too, owes its existence mainly to the needs of the gold-miners' camps at Surghnk (B. 3) and elsewhere along the foot of the mountains.

These rise as an unbroken snowy rampart as far east as the headwaters of the Yar-tungaz and Endere rivers, and form part of the northern main range of the K'un-lun. ,Their valleys seem for the most part very narrow and barren, and cultivation is restricted to a string of small hamlets near where the lesser streams debouch on to the

Sai' glacis (A-D. 3).

Corrections. B. 3. The name Ken-köl should be in black.

  1. 2. Divide the river names thus : Yâr-tungaz, Ak-tâsk.

  2. 1. Symbols of ' hard salt crust' to be changed to those of ' hard salt-encrusted clay '.

Omit the latitude observation symbol at Endere Site.

C.3. The triangulated point Pk. 6/60r, with height 12,200, to be inserted at lat. 36' 35' 35" long. 83° 0' 34'.

Astronomically observed latitudes.




1900-01. Ovraz-langar, Camp 87 (station quarters; A. 3)




Niya-bâzâr, Camp 88 (near south end of village; B. 2)




Imam-Jâfar-Sâdik-mazâr, Camp   91   (inner court   of   pilgrims'

Sarai; B. 1)

Niya Site, Camp 93 (close to ruined Stùpe; B. 1)


37° 58' 44"

1906-08. Kara-bulak, Camp 72 (A. 3)





Malghun, Camp 75 (within hamlet; A. 3)




Kuchkach-bulaki (B. 3)






The mapped area in this sheet shows a small portion of the wide valley of the Karashahr river or Khaidu-gol near its eastern end, together with a part of the outer range of the Tien-shan which divides it from the

Târim basin. Most of the latter range was surveyed from the route followed in 1915 by R. B. Ltd Singh along its southern foot and shown in Sheet No 21. The south-eastern corner of the sheet was surveyed in connec-