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0087 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 87 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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Stay at Kâshgar.

KÂSHGAR, which I reached on July 29, 1900, after emerging from the difficult Gez Defile at the fertile oasis of Tashmalik 1, detained me longer than any other single place in Chinese Turkestan. My prolonged stay, extending over fully five weeks, was mainly accounted for by the numerous practical tasks which demanded attention before I could set out for the proper goal of my explorations. In chapter VIII. of my Personal Narrative I have described these preparations in some detail, and explained the important bearing they had upon the success of my subsequent work. It will, therefore, suffice to state here that they included the careful organization of the caravan required for my travels about Khotan and in the desert, as well as the divers steps needed to familiarize the Chinese officials with the purpose of my intended explorations and to secure their goodwill. In all these preparations the experienced advice and personal help of my friend Mr. G. MACARTNEY, C. I. E., the Indian Government's political representative at Kashgar, was of the utmost value to me.

During my stay I did not fail to examine closely whatever ancient remains of the pre-Muhammadan period survive at and about Kashgar. Unfortunately such remains are out of all proportion scanty compared with the antiquity of the site and the historical importance of the territory of which Kashgar has been the capital during successive ages. This importance makes it desirable to survey the accessible records bearing on the kingdom and city previous to the Muhammadan conquest before I proceed to an account of extant archaeological remains. The fact that these records are almost exclusively Chinese, and in consequence accessible to me only from secondary sources, will excuse the limitations of this survey as regards both completeness and accuracy of detail.

Though Kashgar has been known to the Chinese under varying names during successive periods, yet the identity of the locality to which these names apply has never been a matter of doubt. We may see in this fact a proof of the continuity of Chinese historical knowledge

names of

1 This is the present, and, so far as I can judge, the correct pronunciation of the local name, such as I invariably heard it in the course of repeated inquiries both on the spot and at Kashgar. The form Tashbalik or Tashbulak figures apparently in all modern maps, though the records of the surveys of the Jesuit Fathers (Espinha, D'Arocha, Hallerstein) whom the Emperor Chien-lung sent to Chinese Turkestan after its conquest in 1759 A. D., as reproduced by De Mailla (Histoire gmndrale de la Chine, 1777-8x, xi. p. 575 ; comp. Ritter, Asien, v. p. 4x8) had furnished the correct form. Tashbalyk is found also in Dr. Hassenstein's excellent map accompanying Dr. Hedin's Reisen in Zentral-Asien, though the text (see p. 366) shows the correct Taschmalik or

Taschmelik, as already recorded in Yarkand Mission Report, p. 38. It appears to me very probable that Tashbalak and Tashbulak are distortions due to a kind of ` popular etymology ' which endeavoured to find the Turki word balik ' fish' or bulak ' spring' asa component part of the local name not readily explicable otherwise.

The name of Kâshgar itself is spelt variously as ,;,1. fitli,liin Muhammadan works, and modern Tûrkï pronunciation and spelling similarly vary. I have adopted the form Kashgar as representing a pronunciation now commonly heard throughout Eastern Turkestan and coming nearest to the quasi-official spelling Kashgar used in Indian and Russian publications ; comp. p. 48, note 8.