Sec. ii] ACROSS THE K`UN-LUN RANGES 1323
for the small territory of Ch`ü-le `Mc a, which the Former Han Annals note to the south of Yü-mi
if 6 can safely be identified with the present submontane tract known as Tagh and comprising,
as mentioned above,7 the various small settlements from the Keriya River to those on the river of Chira. Of Yü-mi I have made it certain, as I believe, that it comprised the whole of the oases between Chira and Keriya,$ and the rash subdivision lies, as Maps Nos. 28, 32 show, exactly to the south of these. Ch`ü-lê is described as a very small territory with only 310 families. We have no means of fixing the position of its ` capital ... the city of Keen-too '. The equally small territory of ,dung-lu ; rte, which is mentioned as lying to the east of Ch`ü-lê and off the high road, may safely be located in the submontane tract east of the Keriya River, from Achchan•to beyond Surghak.9 The Later Han Annals do not mention Ch`ii-lê ; but in the Wei lio it appears along with Jung-lu, Han-mi, and P`i-k`ang as a petty kingdom dependent on Yü-t`ien or Khotan.10 The absorption by the latter of all these little states is distinctly attested by a passage of the Tang Annals where we meet with the name of Ch`ü-lê for the last time."
One march from Tört-Imam brought us to the village of Pôlur (Map No. 32. c. 4), some 8,500 feet above the sea. It nestles above a side stream of the Keriya River, at the very foot of high snow-covered spurs which descend straight from the great wall of the Kun-lun Range southward. It was the last inhabited place of Chinese Turkestan I was to see for long years, and the starting-point for our expedition into a difficult and for the most part wholly unexplored mountain region. Three busy days, which were needed for final preparations, enabled me also to secure anthropological measurements among these ` Taghliks ' ; their type was of interest as it showed an unmistakable difference from that of the people in the Khotan oases and suggested, perhaps, early Tibetan influence from the south.rla Then on August 12 we set out for the long-planned explorations. Their objects were purely geographical, and no detailed account of them is here needed ; for the ample results secured, as well as the efforts and sacrifices which they involved, have already been fully recorded and illustrated in my Personal Narrative.12 But a rapid synopsis may all the same fitly find a place here, were it only to indicate the few points on this 'journey of more than 500 miles across barren wastes of rock, ice, or detritus which can ever have been scenes of human endeavour since history dawned for mankind.
The route through the terribly confined gorges above Pôlur, which brought us after four trying marches to the northernmost high plateau adjoining the outer main K`un-lun Range at an elevation of about 15,000 feet, has indeed been used about half a dozen times by European explorers since the
Pandits' of the Forsyth Mission traversed it in 1873. But important as it is by giving direct access to the great uplands of westernmost Tibet, it can never have served for movements of any conse-
° Cf. Wylie, Notes on the Western Regions, J. Anthrop. Inst., x. p. 29.
7 See above, p. 1321, note 2.
8 Cf. Ancient Khotan, i. pp. 167, 467, where full references will be found to the passages of the Wei lio and T'ang Annals, translated by M. Chavannes, which mention this territory under the graphically but slightly differing name
Qf Han-mi . For a fuller notice of the same territory
under the name Chii-mi THJalin the Hou Han shu, see now Chavannes, Toung-pao, 1907, pp. 17o sq. The identification remains unaffected by the question as to the position of the capital of Yfi-mi (Han-mi), which Herrmann, Seidenstrassen, i. pp. 96 sqq., has discussed before being in a position to make adequate allowance for the evidence of archaeological facts
and recent surveys.
8 See Maps Nos. 32, 38. This location is made quite certain by the mention of the Clr'ien Han shu, Wylie, toc. cit., p. 29, that Jung-lu lay four days' journey to the south of Chingchüeh, i.e. the tract represented by the Niya Site ; see above, p. 219.
10 See Chavannes, Toung pao, 1905, p. 538 ; for P i-k`ang
J or lsi-shan, corresponding to the present Guma
tract, cf. Ancient Khotan, i. pp. 97, 1ô3.
" See Chavannes, Turcs occid., p. 125.
"a See Joyce, Appendix C.
11 See Desert Cathay, ii. pp. 442-82, also Map xi and Panoramas XII, mu. The details of the surveys made are to be found in Maps Nos. 22, 28, 29, 32, 33.
Difficulties of Pôlur gorges.