92 FROM THE OXUS TO KHOTAN [Chap. III
Stûpa ruin exhibits as compared with the Tbpa-tim and similar remains that are surrounded by loess soil or fine sand disintegrated from this.
Nowhere around the mound could I trace any mark of ancient habitation. The bare gravel ` Sai' showed not even fragments of old pottery, the most lasting indications of early occupation. Hence it is clear that the Stûpa must have risen then as it does now, on the bare ` Dasht ' by the route between Puski and Zanguya. Half a mile to the east of it flows the stream of Puski in a wide bed of rubble and sand, and just across the latter there stands a modest mud-built Mazar, held sacred as the resting-place of a legendary Imam `Ali Akbar, evidently the inheritor of the sanctity once enjoyed by the Stûpa, and another instance of the continuity of local worship in these regions.
During the following marches, before I reached familiar ground again, it was only at one point that I came across old remains. I had heard already at Puski of a ` Tim ' below the oasis of Duwa, and when descending from there on August 3 by the route towards Pialma I was shown it standing on a steep conglomerate hill. This is known as Lamus-kir and overlooks the northernmost cultivated ground of Lamus village, rising about 200 feet above the right bank of the Duwa River. It proved a mound, about io feet high and 25 feet in diameter, roughly built of layers of stone and earth with plentiful twigs and brushwood interspersed. The material and manner of construction recalled the burial-mounds of Ttiga-dong I had examined in 1901 to the south of Domoko.2' Whether it also resembled the latter in its character and purpose the rapid inspection I was able to make does not allow me to state. Want of time did not permit me to visit another, and apparently larger, mound on a steep ridge flanking the river bed on the opposite western bank. According to my local informants, its manner of construction was the same, and observation through my glasses seemed to support this statement. It is, perhaps, significant that at neither point did I hear of any adjacent Mazar. That evening, after a long and trying march described elsewhere, I had the satisfaction of resting once more at Kum-rabat Padshahim, the quaint desert shrine which marks Hsüantsang's site of the sacred rats and the western limit of the ancient Khotan kingdom.
" See Ancient Khotan, i. pp. 465 sq.