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0401 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 401 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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Shan-shan of the above-named territories for exactly the same period for which we have documentary proof of such dependence in the case of Ching-chtieh, i.e. the territory of which the Niya Site represents the chief place. In discussing the Kharosthi documents on wood found at this site, I have already emphasized the importance of the two rectangular double tablets, N. xxiv. viii. 74, 93, which together with the covering-tablet of a third rectangular document, N. xxxvii.

i. 2, bear the seal impression in clay of g(i   Shan-span claün yin, meaning ` seal of the
command of Shan-shan '.22 One of the complete tablets contains a deed concerning the sale of land, and its attestation by the chief Chinese official of Shan-shan demonstrates the control exercised in civil affairs by the Chinese administration of this territory even as far as the Niya River. The date of the Niya tablets is approximately fixed by the dated Chinese record of A.D. 269, N. xv. 326, brought to light on my former expedition.23

That the native ruler of Shan-shan also shared this extended authority is proved by another epigraphic find which I made at the Niya Site in 19or. It is the rectangular covering tablet N. xv. 345, which appears to have originally been fitted as the lid to a small box, and which bears the inscription : ' [Edict of] the king of Shan-shan.' 24 Another Chinese tablet, N. xv. 93, which mentions Shan-shan along with Kara-shahr, Kucha, and Kashgar as subject to an unnamed native ruler, seems to belong to the time of Wu-ti (A.D. 265-290), the first Emperor of the Western Chin dynasty. It probably refers, as M. Chavannes has shown, to Lung Hui, king of Kara-shahr, who about the close of that reign established his hegemony over the whole of the Tarim Basin.23


The notices of Shan-shan become more numerous and [historically more interesting as we turn to the Annals of the Later Han dynasty (A.D. 25-220). Chapter CxviII of these Annals, dealing with the ` Western Regions', is based mainly on the official report furnished about A.D. 125 by the Chinese general Pan Yung, who, together with his even more famous father Pan Chao, was chiefly instrumental in the re-establishment of Chinese political control over the Tarim Basin, effected after A.D. 73.1 In this process of reconquest Shan-shan, through its geographical position, was of considerable importance, as we find in the references made to the territory.

The general description of the ` Western territories ' subject to the Later Han dynasty and extending as far as the Pamirs mentions Shan-shan as situated on the route which led from Tun-huang, through the gate-stations of Yü-mên and Yang, westwards.2 From Shan-shan onwards two lines of communication are described as leading to the Tsung-ling, or Pamirs, and across them to the distant countries west. Of the southern one we are told that it passed along the northern foot of the K'un-lun to So-ch`ê or Yarkand. As the territories of Shan-shan, Chu-mo (Charchan), Ching-chueh (Niya), Chü-mi (Chira-Keriya tract),3 and YU-Vien (Khotan) are successively mentioned as passed by this route after leaving Yü-mên, its identity in the main with the present-day caravan route from Tun-huang to Khotan via Charkhlik is certain. The northern route is described as leading along the North Mountains, i.e. the Tien-shan, to K ashgar. The exact point of its divergence from the southern route is not stated ; but a reference to Chii-shin or Turfan shows

22 Cf. above, p. 230.   1 Cf. Chavannes' translation of this chapter of the Later

23 See Ancient Kholan, i. p. 370.   Han Annals and his introductory remarks in Les pays d''occi_

24 Cf. Ancient Kholan, i, pp. 36 r, 37i, J38. The word   den! d' après le Hem Han chou, roung-pao, pao, r 907 pp. 149 sqq•

in brackets represents a character not legible with complete   2 See Chavannes, ibid., pp. 169 sq.

certainty.   ' For the identification of Chii-mi, also spelt Yil-mi or

" Cf. Chavannes in Ancient Kholan, i. pp. 537, 543•   Han-mi, see Ancient Kholan, p. 467.

1374   U U

Chinese records of Niya Site.

Routes leading west of Shan-shan.