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0154 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 154 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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Coins found at Togujai.


At the Kakshal Tati we left behind the easternmost limit of the delta of the Kilian river. The road then crosses strips of sandy desert, first over low dunes and then amidst small conical sandhills covered with tamarisks. After some five miles, at the village of Chudda, we struck the edge of the series of oases which are irrigated from the Sanju river. The largest of these bears the name of Moji, and consists of a number of small villages spread out from north to south, with considerable patches of unirrigated, and hence barren, loess ground between them. I was aware, from Dr. Hedin's narrative, of the existence of an old site to the north of the central village containing the Bazar of Moji, and accordingly arranged for a halt on the 7th of October. On the morning after my arrival bags full of old Muhammadan copper coins, as well as some metal seals, bronze ornaments, &c., were brought to me by the local Beg and village headmen as having been found at that site, which they designated as Togujai or Tögujai.

Proceeding to this locality, situated at a distance of about three-fourths of a mile to the north of Gûma Bazar, I found an area of bare loess ground extending over about one quarter of a square mile furrowed by the broad channels of a flood-water bed, and the banks thus formed covered with pottery débris. Where the soil had not been fissured by the action of the flood-water, there were but few potsherds to be seen on the surface. But where the banks of loess had been washed by the current, their slopes were thickly strewn with pottery fragments of all kinds, small pieces of glass and stone, and similar débris. Examining several loess banks the sides of which had been exposed more or less vertically, I found in them fragments of pottery, as well as animal bones and layers of ashes and charcoal, embedded at a depth varying from three to five feet below the present surface. It is from these same strata that the coins are washed out, of which such large collections had been shown to me. They are usually picked up in the broad stony bed of the main channel, commonly designated as ` Sai', after the floods of the spring and early summer have passed by. Rows of little burrows showed where the débris exhumed by the floods of the last season had been searched and washed by people looking for ` treasure'. There, too, about half a dozen thin copper coins of the same type as those previously brought to me were collected by the villagers whom I employed to search for ornamental pieces of pottery, &c.

These coins, together with the vast majority of the pieces purchased by me from the site, belong to a hitherto unidentified Muhammadan ruler who appears to style himself on the reverse as Sulayman Khâgan. This tentative reading was first published by Dr. Hoernle from a number of pieces contained in the ` British Collection of Central-Asian Antiquities' 1. Nothing appears to be known of the time or genealogy of this king, and I must leave it to numismatists to determine what clue, if any, may be furnished by the type and standard of the coins. Specimens of two varieties represented among ninety pieces I obtained at Moji are shown in Pl. XC, Nos. 45, 46, 47. The abundance of these pieces at the Togujai site is certainly remarkable, especially when compared with their rarity elsewhere. Among the many collections of miscellaneous coins offered for sale at Khotan and mostly secured from Yôtkan, I do not think that I came across more than half a dozen pieces of ` Sulayman Khagan'—and these might well have been obtained from Moji. In addition to these coins, the collection purchased at Moji contains twenty-three Chinese copper coins (nineteen small and four large) belonging

   See J.A.S.B., 1899, Extra No. x, pp. 32 sq.; also Plate I,   appear to bear the name of the Caliph Al-Musta`sim,

   figs. 31-35. [Prof. Rapson informs me that these coins   1242-58 A. D.]