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0075 Memoir on Maps of Chinese Turkistan and Kansu : vol.1
Memoir on Maps of Chinese Turkistan and Kansu : vol.1 / Page 75 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000215
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It is only at the foot of these sections that cultivation to any appreciable extent is found. The easternmost of them is the Karlik-tagh ('The Snowy

Barlik-tiieh and   Mountains'), and the irrigation derived from its snows accounts for the

Himi oasis.   '   irrigation

string of oases along its southern slopes. 3 Those in the east about Tash-bulak and Khotun-tam are small. But Hàmi or Kumul (Sheet No. 34. C,D. 3) is larger and claims importance as its agricultural resources make it the northern bridge-head, as it were, of the road from An-hsi which, ever since the ancient route into the Tarim basin via Lou-lan had to be abandoned, has served as the main artery of trade and traffic between China and Central Asia. Here, as everywhere along the southern slopes of the Eastern Tien-shan, irrigation is chiefly supplied by the subsoil drainage from the range gathering in springs at the foot of the absolutely barren gravel glacis.

Surplus water, which does not percolate into the soil, or which at the time of spring and summer floods escapes evaporation on the surface, makes its way

Terminal basin of   down into a terminal basin, known as Shona-nôr, usually quite dry.


The Mesa formations which surround this and some adjoining smaller basins occasionally reached by floods from the range further west, 5 distinctly recall a characteristic feature of the ground near the ancient terminal basins of the Su-lo-ho and the dried-up Lop sea.

Continuing further along the southern slopes of the T'ien-shan we come to the oases of

Lapchuk—Kara-döbe where cultivation of some extent is maintained by S. slopes of Tien-shah. subsoil drainage from the snowy part of the range above Barkul. Be-

yond them the only route westwards practicable for caravans at the present time hugs closely the foot of the mountains. But nowhere is cultivation possible after leaving the slopes of the Barkul portion of the range until, after travelling some 150 miles, the vicinity of the Turfan basin is reached at Chik-tam. The separate small region represented by that basin has already received notice above.

Turning now to the opposite slopes of the Eastern Tien-shan we recognize there conditions which clearly reflect the influence of a different climate. It Climate of Dznngaria. is that of the wide plateaus of Dzunoaria stretching northward as far as the Altai mountains and southernmost Siberia. The abundant grazing grounds, which moisture drawn from the north provides in Dzungaria, have at all times attracted there waves of nomadic nations, from the Huns to the Mongols. This moister climate affects the whole length of the northern slopes of the main Tien-shan in spite of intervening ranges and of the drift-sand areas met with further west. In the extreme east of the range, around Bai, 6 we find indeed a glacis of gravel as bare as that on the slopes to the south. But proceeding further west we come to plentiful grazing along the north of the Karlik-tagh, and from the far side of the Tor-köl lake conifer forest clothes the higher slopes as far as Barkul and beyond. 7

The perpetual snowbeds on this portion of the range provide ample irrigation for the wide grassy valley which stretches down to the town of Barkul and its

T'ienôharkule8   lake, 8 and only scarcity of population, mainly due to political vicissi-
tudes, stands in the way of far more extensive cultivation. West of Barkul the crest of the range sinks below the level of perpetual snow, and the amount of water descending its slopes is correspondingly much reduced. Yet springs and small patches of cultivation are to be found all along them, until near Mu-li-ho the route takes us to the foot of that high snowy portion of the range which divides the Turfan basin from the fertile tracts about Guchen.

Cultivation in the vicinity of this large town and in that of the ruined site of Pei-t'ing,

the ancient capital of the territory, is not restricted to the amplyon CultGncl en near   watered alluvial fans, but is also carried on without irrigation over ex,

tensive ground immediately adjacent to the belt of forest on the

  • See Sheets Nos. 34. A 2. 3; 37. A. 2, 3.

  • OE. Serindia, iii. pp. 1147 sqq.

  • See Sheets Nos. 31, D. 3; 34. A. 3. 6 See Sheet No. 37. B. C. 2.

7 See Sheet No. 34. A. B. 1, C, D. 2.

8 See Sheet No. 34. 13. C. 1.

9 See Sheets No. 31. A. 1; 28. C,'D.1.