Sec. x] THE LOU-LAN SITE IN CHINESE HISTORICAL RECORDS 419
extension of the Wei lio's route to the Pamirs (Ts`ung-ling) and the Great Yüeh-chih territories south of the Hindukush.
The ` new route ' of the north need not detain our attention long ; for it leads far away from the ground with which we are at present concerned, and we shall have to consider it in detail further on in Chap. xiX, where I hope to demonstrate the approximate line it is likely to have followed from the ancient Jade Gate to Turfan.r3 M. Chavannes has shown that it is identical with the route which in a passage of the Former Han Annals is described as having been newly opened in A.D. 2 from the territory of Posterior Chü-shih, corresponding to the present Guchen (Ku-ch`êng-tzû) region, towards Yü-mên kuan.14
The special interest to us of the Wei lio's notice of ' the central route ' lies in the fact that it makes a definite reference to the Lou-lan Site, almost contemporary with the documents found there, by its mention of ' the ancient Lou-lan ', and that it details some of the chief stages on the desert journey by which the site was reached by travellers from the ' Jade Gate ' and the
westernmost extension of the ` Great Wall '. The position of the last of these stages, the Lung-lui
or ` Dragon Mounds ', which the Former Han Annals refer to as the White Dragon Mounds'," was
first determined by me, in the course of my explorations of 1914, when I traced the line of the old
Chinese route where it crossed the salt-encrusted ancient Lop Sea, some forty miles to the
north-west of the station L.A.' The location which I propose for the preceding stages which
the Wei lio's account of the route mentions, the ' Well of the Protector-General ', the ` Sands of the
Three Ridges ' (San-lung-sha), the Chii-lu granary, and the well of Sha-hsi, will best be discussed
below in connexion with the journey which brought me in February—March, r906, to the westernmost
end of the Tun-huang Limes.17
After what has been shown above by the evidence of the remains and the documents, both ' Ancient
Chinese and Kharosthi, it does not require detailed argument to prove that by the ` ancient I.oa-lan' of
q argument Y Wei lio.
Lou-lan ' of the Wei lio is meant the Lou-lan Site. As it was still inhabited at the time when the Wei lio was composed, we may assume that the term ` ancient ' was applied to the name in order to distinguish the locality from the southern portion of the Lop territory once also known as Lou-lan and possibly meant by the name as we found it cited above in the Wei lio's list of territories on the southern route.18 It only remains to add that travellers proceeding westwards from ' ancient Lou-lan ' along the bed of the Kuruk-darya would find themselves on a direct route to Kucha, as mentioned in the Wei lids description, whether they chose to move via Korla or to follow the course of the Tarim upwards.
There is only one Chinese text accessible to me of a date later than the Wei h o in which an Lou-Ian
independent reference to the Chinese station established at the Lou-lan Site can at present be mentioned
p p by Li ao-
traced. It is the commentary on the Shui eking composed by Li Tao-yilan some time before his yuan. death in A.D. 527, but embodying information of earlier origin, from which extracts of considerable interest for the ancient geography of the Lop territory have already been discussed above on the basis of M. Chavannes' translation.' In the passages of the commentary previously analysed we traced the course of the River of the South', i.e. the Tarim branch supposed to come from Khotan, and of the Charchan River united with it, down to its embouchure into the ` Lake of Lao-lan'. Then the commentary, in a long passage left untranslated by M. Chavannes,
's For a detailed examination of the ' new route' of the north, cf. below, chap. xrx. sec. vi.
" See Chavannes in T`oung pao, 1905, p. 533, note 1 ; also Wylie, J. Anthrop. Inst., xi. p. 109.
18 For this mention of the Po-lung-tuf, see above, pp. 34o sq.
18 See above, pp. 341 sq.; Third, journey, G.J., xlviii. p.128.
'7 See below, chap. XIV. sec. ii; also chap. xvir. sec. i. 38 Cf. above, p. 328.
" See above, pp. 324 sqq.; Chavannes, T`oung-pao, 1905, pp. 566 sqq.