National Institute of Informatics - Digital Silk Road Project
Digital Archive of Toyo Bunko Rare Books

> > > >
Color New!IIIF Color HighRes Gray HighRes PDF   Japanese English
0029 Ruins of Desert Cathay : vol.2
Ruins of Desert Cathay : vol.2 / Page 29 (Color Image)

New!Citation Information

doi: 10.20676/00000213
Citation Format: Chicago | APA | Harvard | IEEE

OCR Text




A NUMBER of archaeological indications rapidly gathered in

the course of that first day convinced me that the ruins I

had passed, and those to be expected in continuation

eastwards, belonged to an early system of frontier defence

corresponding in character to the extant ` Great Wall ' on

the Kan-su border. That I should have to return to them

for thorough exploration as soon as men and animals had

recovered from their fatigues by a short rest at Tun-huang

was quite clear to me. Yet no chances of getting more

familiar with details of the old Limes were to be forgone

in the meantime.

So on the morning of March 9th, 1907, while the animals

were allowed to enjoy grazing a little longer and the men

to take it easy over packing, I retraced last night's route

until I came again upon the line of the wall. It was now

seen to turn off north, and to run straight down at right

angles to the shore of the small lake near the end of which

we had camped. I was able to trace the layers of clay and

fascines, so impregnated with salt as to look quasi-petrified,

to within twenty-five yards or less of the salt-encrusted

lake shore. That the level of the latter lay only four or

five feet below the exposed base of the wall was an

important observation. The extent of local desiccation

since the wall was built could not have been great here.

It was still more interesting to note how the lake had

been utilized as a substitute for the strange wall elsewhere

guarding the line. It was evident that those who laid

down the line were eager to make the most of natural

obstacles and thus to save building labour.