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0135 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 135 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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Sec. iv]



Similarly I had fully discussed, in Chapter Iv of my Ancient Khotan, whatever ancient remains had come to my knowledge at Kashgar and in its vicinity.3 But by a curious chance a ruined site not far beyond the northern edge of the oasis had then completely escaped me. Probably just because they were familiar to most Europeans stationed at Kashgar, the ruins of Öch-merwan, ` the three windows ', had never been mentioned to me. I was now anxious to pay them a visit even though I had reason to assume that they had been included in the late Consul-General Petrovsky's paper on the antiquities of Kashgar,4 and though I knew that they had been surveyed also by such competent archaeologists as Professors A. Grunwedel and Von Lecoq during the prolonged stay which the Royal Prussian Archaeological Expedition had made at Kashgar about six months before my own arrival. In view of these earlier surveys I did not feel justified in devoting more than a single day's rapid visit to the ruins and must here, too, content myself with a mere sketch of their essential features.

Proceeding on June 21 north of the old town' of Kashgar by the great route which leads towards the Artush Valley and the passes across the Tien-shan, I found the ruins about two miles beyond the northern edge of the main Kashgar oasis. They rise on the barren gravel-strewn ` Dasht ' known as Chamalik Sai where this skirts the right bank of the wide bed of the Artush River (see Map No. 2). As the most conspicuous remain of the site there rises a much-decayed Stûpa (Fig. 33), about a mile to the west of the nearest fields of the small village of Titürghe. To the north-west of the Stûpa and along the steep bank of the river bed there stretches a low gravel ridge with remains of ancient fortifications both on its narrow top and at its southern foot. The whole is known as Khâkânninb -shahri, ` the town of the Great Khan ', while the ruined Stûpa is given the familiar designation of ' Tim '. The Stûpa, at the extreme east of the area, rises, as the photograph shows, on a loess mound about ten feet high which, unless it is artificial, must owe its existence to wind erosion having lowered the adjacent open ground. The much-scoured appearance of the barren foot-hills beyond the broad and almost dry river bed (cf. Fig. 34), and of those lining the Chamalik Sai from the south, bore ample evidence to the great erosive force which the desert winds must exert here even so close to the cultivated area.

The Stûpa, still rising to a height of about thirty-two feet, was solidly built of sun-dried bricks set in thick layers of plaster, but has suffered so badly from cuttings and other wilful damage that the original facing could be traced only of the circular drum and of the commencement of the dome above it. Of the base all that could be made out with any certainty was that it had a square shape and measured about thirty-two feet on each side in the lowest course. The different stories of the base could no longer be distinguished, and this, with the broken state of the drum and dome, renders it impossible to compare the proportions with those of the Mauri-tim Stûpa I had surveyed six years earlier to the north-east of Kashgar. But it is noteworthy that the small shaft through the centre of the dome and drum observed in the latter ruin existed here, too, with a dimension of about three and a half feet square ; a cutting effected from the east side of the dome had laid it bare to the eye. Another common feature was presented by the horizontal rows of sticks or closely laid branches which were found projecting near the foot and top of the drum and, no doubt, once served to support cornices or other decoration in stucco. The bricks measured on the average fifteen by twelve inches with a thickness of four inches, and the layers of mud plaster between their successive courses showed a thickness of one and a half to two inches.

This relic of Buddhist worship sufficed to determine that the ruined walls enclosing two small forts a short distance to the north-west (seen in the background of the photograph in Fig. 33) were

6 Ct. Ancienl.Kholan, i. pp. 73-86.   able to consult myself, ibid., p. 81, note 5.

* Cf. for this account, which I regret not to have been   6 See Ancienl Kholan, i. pp. 81 sq.; ii. PI. XXII.

1S?4   M

Ruins of ` Öchmerwân'.

Stiipa ruin
of Khâkân-

Ruined fort
of Khâkdn-