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0120 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 120 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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nearest point of the south-eastern face of the city wall is about two miles, while the confluence of the Kizil and Tümen rivers is a little over one mile below. The remains consist of two mounds situated close together, as shown in the plan, Pl. XXI. The larger of the mounds closely resembles in material and construction the Kurghan-Tim ruin, but is far less imposing, as the extant mass of masonry rises to a height of only 27 feet above the level of the adjoining fields.

Size and   There can be no doubt that this mound, too, represents the remains of an ancient Stûpa.

shape of   While the complete decay of the upper portion does not allow of any estimate as to the size

ruined   and shape of the dome, we can, however, trace here with relative ease the outlines of the base.

Stûpa.   p

A look at the plan shows that this base was originally a rectangle approximately orientated. Taking the lowest course of masonry remains actually exposed on the level of the adjoining fields the maximum measurements are about 13o feet from east to west, and about to8 feet from north to south. But it must be noted that the ground to the south slopes steeply down to the edge of the river bank, which here lies fully 20 feet below the level of the fields, and at a distance of only about 25 feet from the foot of the mound. Hence it appears highly probable that the masonry originally extended further on this side, and that its outlying portion exposed to erosion has slid down the steep slopes, instead of being kept in place by the gradual rise of the adjoining soil. Taking into account this peculiar configuration of the ground, it seems likely that the original shape of the Stupa base was a square.

The actual rise of the ground-level on the three sides where the ruins are surrounded by fields could not be correctly estimated without extensive excavations. But there can be no doubt that its cause is the same which we have traced above in the case of the KurghânTim Stupa, viz. accumulation of silt, aided probably by sub-aerial deposit. It would not be safe to accept the actual edge of the river-bank immediately below the mound as an indication. of the original level, for it is possible that the low level of this portion of the river-bank (2o feet below the fields) is partly the result of erosion caused by the rainwater draining off the mound mainly in that direction.

Condition of   The villagers of the hamlet close by declared the mound to have been used as a watch-station

mound.   by Tungâni rebels during the last Muhammadan rising at Kashgar (1863), a purpose for which

it was well fitted by its position between the ` Old City ' and the Yangi-Shahr or ` New City', that formed then, as now, the Chinese cantonment. Whether the extensive excavations visible on the top and sides of the ruin go back to that period or are still more recent, I was unable to ascertain. These cuttings have laid bare the masonry, which consists of sun-dried bricks, measuring on the average seventeen inches square, with a thickness of three inches. At various points fragments of bricks of a bright red colour crop out from the layer of débris and decomposed clay (loess) which covers the surface ; but these, too, are merely sun-dried.

h'ichik-Dele.      At a distance of only 5o feet to the west of the mound just described rises another much
lower one, known locally as Kichik-Debe, ' The Little Mound.' It is of circular shape, with a diameter of about 125 feet on the present ground-level, and rises to a height of only 12 feet. No brickwork can be traced on the surface of this mound, which is covered throughout with loose earth containing numerous graves. Human skeletons had been extracted from these on the occasion of some diggings made here under Mr. Macartney's order a few years before my visit, and the account given by the villagers left no doubt as to these graves being of Muhammadan origin. It is probable that an ancient débris mound had been utilized here as a Muhammadan burial-place. The same is the case with many a piece of waste ground around Kâshgar, once occupied by buildings, and now owing to its higher level incapable of cultivation. As to the original character of the mound it is impossible to advance any certain opinion. It is possible that it marks the position of some shrine or monastic building attached to the Stûpa.