treats of ` the River of the North ', i.e. of the rivers of Kashgar and Yarkand, and proceeds to tell us :-20
The waters of the Ho, i.e. " River [of the North "], move further east and pass to the south of the kingdom of Mo-shanMal. [This kingdom] has for its capital the town of Mo-shan ; on the west, it is 240 li from Wei-li at '. The waters of the Ho move further east and pass to the
south of the town of Chu-pin ' ; further east they pass south of the town of Lou-/an e'
and then run off eastwards. This is, no doubt, the place where the colony of soldiers sent to clear the fields [for cultivation] was established, and this is why the town inherited the name of the kingdom. The waters of the Ho proceed further east,- to empty themselves in the Yu marshes
;, which are those called by the [Shut] cuing the Pu-ch`ang lake IN lg M. The water accumulates in the north-east of Shan-shan and in the south-west of the Town of the Dragon fit #'.
I think that the topographical indications here furnished can be fully explained if we keep in view the facts which recent surveys and explorations have established. The kingdom of Mo-shan, as M. Chavannes has pointed out, is rightly identified by an early commentator with the kingdom of Shan ~, which the Former Han Annals name as adjoining Shan-shan, and which, as we have already seen, can safely be located in the western Kuruk-tagh.2t His location is fully supported by the bearing and distance recorded for Wei-li, which, as a reference to the Chien Han shu's notice of this territory discussed below shows, is identical with the tract on the Konche-darya south-west of Korla.22 A glance at the map makes it clear that the interlacing beds of the Tarim and the Konche-darya, which the text manifestly does not distinguish, lie south of the westernmost Kuruk-tagh.
When next we are told that the waters of the ` Ho ', on their further course eastward, ` pass to the south of the town of Chu-pin ', it is difficult not to think of the ruined station of Ying-p`an, situated near the northern bank of the large dry river-bed which branches off eastwards from the present Konche-darya and marks the beginning of the Kuruk-daryâ. My explorations of r 915 at this site have proved that the remains of Buddhist shrines found at Ying-p`an, and probably also those of an ancient circumvallation, go back to the early centuries of our era and belonged to a fortified Chinese station which was occupied down to about the same period as the Lou-lan site.23 The line of massive watch-towers which stretches away from Ying-p`an north-westwards in the direction of Korla, and which on archaeological evidence must be assigned to early Han times, makes it quite certain that the ancient Chinese high-road, coming from the Lou-lan Site, passed here. The station was, no doubt, meant to guard an important point of the route where it was joined by the road leading up from Charchan and Charkhlik,24 and I consider its identity with the ` town of Chu-pin ' highly probable. •
Close to the south of Ying-p`an there passes the ancient well-defined river-bed of the Kurukdaryâ, running eastwards, and down this we are clearly taken when Li Tao-yuan tells us that ` further east [the waters of the Ho] pass south of the town of Lou-lan and then run off eastwards'. The account given in the preceding chapter shows that, coming from the south, we crossed a succession of ancient river-beds, all deltaic branches of the Kuruk-darya, before reaching the Lou-lan Site, while north of it only a few dry beds, and none of any great width, were met with on
20 Cf. T'oung pao, r 905, p. 570.
21 See Chavannes, T'oung-tao, 1905, p. 552, note 7; above,
22 See below, chap. xxx. sec. i ; Wylie, Notes on the
Wester: Regions, J. Anthrop. Inst., xi. p. ror ; also
Chavannes, T'oung-pao, 1905, p. 552.
23 For a preliminary note, see my Third Journey of
Exploration, G.J., xlviii. p. 208. The ruins had first been noticed by Colonel Kozloff and Dr. Hedin ; cf. the latter's Central Asia, ii. pp. 3o sqq.
24 That this road led to the east of the present main bed of the Tarim is suggested by the position of the small ruined post of Merdek-tim, which also dates back to Han times; see below, pp. 452 sqq.