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INNERMOSTASIA - STEIN

 
 

These are photographs made from maps, plates and photographs in Aurel Stein's report of his third expedition - Innermostasia. The photography is not good, but I hope the results give some idea of Stein's massive effort and provide helpful information to supplement the text. The maps, especially, are important for an inderstanding of the locations. A here is a summary of the text of Innermostasia.

 
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This is a page of sketch plans Stein made of some of the structures he found in the vicinity of Khara-Khoto - and of watch towers and small forts along the ancient Han Dynasty wall. On the upper left is a section sketch showing how the blocks of compact clay quarried locally were used with mud mortar to build sturdy walls. In other words these are NOT man-made clay bricks but denser natural clay blocks. But some sections were built of layers of clay compacted by stamping. The walls were given added strength by layers of fascines.

 
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Sketches made by Stein of two more forts one near the Han Dynasty wall and one in the complex near Khara-Khota.

 
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Diagram depicting how 'books' were created out of strips of wood lashed together as found by Stein in Central Asia

 
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Plans for houses at NXII and NXIX at Niya

 
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Sketch plan of the ruin near Pei-t-ing

 
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Stein's sketch of the site plan for the ruin of Pei-t-ing - note he always gives credit in his maps and sketches for the Indian surveyors - in this case Afraz-Gul.

 
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Photo 315 - Ruined shrines in northern portion of Bezeklik site

 
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Photo 314 - Cave temples and shrines in southern portion of Bezeklik site

 
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Photo 208 - Sacred laklet of Yueh-ya-ch'uan with temple and 'sounding sands'

 
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Photo 210 - Southern gate of Tun-huang town

 
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Photo 160 - Remains of inner wall near the north west corner of ruined town Nan-hu seen from interior - Nan-hu was small oasis town southwest of Tun-huang and Stein found near it the remains of an earlier version.

 
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Photo 185 - Ruined town of So-yang-ch'eng, seen from north east with inner east wall in foreground and tower of north west corner bastion at right.

 
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Photo 193 - northern end of the main group and middle group of caves of 'the thousand Buddhas"? sosuth east of Tun-huang

 
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Photo 195 - Cave shrines at the Caves of the "thousand Buddhas" south east of Tun-huang

 
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Photo 196 - Cave shrines at the caves of 'the thousand Buddhas" south east of Tun-huang

 
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Photo 197 - Cave shrines at the caves of 'the thousand Buddhas' south east of Tun-huang

 
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Photo 200 - A cave and its porch partially restored at the 'cave of the thousand Buddhas' south east of Tun-huang

 
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Photo 204 - Portion of a fresco painting on south wall of a cave at Ch'ien-fo'tung - 'the caves of the thousand Buddhas" south east of Tun huang

 
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Photo 205 - Fresco painting on north wall of cave at the cave of 'the thousand Buddhas"

 
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Photo 206 - Panel painted in tempera showing western paradise scene from Buddhist myth on south wall of cave at Ch'ien-fo-tung

 
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Photo 207 - Alcove with stucco images, partly restored, in cave at Ch'ien-fo-tung

 
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Photo 208 - Stucco images, partly restored, of Buddha with attendant disciples and Bodhisattvas in cave at Ch'ien-fo'tung

 
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Photo 213 - Interior of cave at Ch'ien-fo'tung showing platform w2ith stucco images and paintings.

 
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Photo 214 - Stucco images of late date representing Hsuan-tsang as Arhat with attendants in cave at Ch'ien-fo-tung

 
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Photo 228 - Renovated stucco images in alcove of cell at Ch'ien-fo-tung

 
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Silk painting representing Buddhist heaven - at Cave of Thousand Buddhas - Tun-huang

 
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Another silk painting representing Avalokitesvara with donors dated 971 AD at the Cave of Thousand Buddhas - Tun-huang - interesting that in Buddhist paintings as later in the west donors are shown smaller at the bottom.

 
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Silk painting of Avalokitesvara of a thousand arms with attendant divinities at Caves of Thousand Buddhas - Tun-huang

 
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Silk paintings of Avalokitesvara and Buddha - Avalokitesvara is a favorite Bodhisattva who looks down with compassion and has a role of assisting beings to Nirvana - sometimes depicted with 4 arms out of a thousand arms - a guider of souls with a willow branch.

 
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Silk painting of the Lokapala Vaisravana with attendant genii and demons from Cave of Thousand Buddhas.

 
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Silk banners of two Bodhisattvas from Caves of Thosand Buddhas.

 
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Painting of two Bodhisattvas from the caves of Thousand Buddhas at Tun-huang

 
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Silk banners of Lokapalas at Tun-huang - Lokapalas in Buddhist theology are the guardians of directions, Warrior kings dressed in armor - one of the two caegories of Dharmapala the other being protectors of wisdom. The Lokapalas are Vaisirovana - north, with pike or halbard and often a snake; Dhrtarastra - east with bow and arrow; Virupaksa - west with sword or unbrella; and Virudhaka - south with club - Unfortunately from this photo of a photo we cannot determine all the details

 
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Linen banners and paintings showing Buddha and Bodhisattvas at Tun-huang. Bodhisattvas are seekers of enlightenment and some have specific functions

 
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Section of Stein's map sheet showing his routes north east from Abdal to Lou-lon

 
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Detail from Stein's map sheet showing Abdal and Donglik and the delta of the Tarim River as it empties into the Lop nor. These maps are from Innermostasia and the relevant map sheet is missing from the copy of Serindia from the library.

 
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Detail from Stein's map showing the region just east of Donglik and southern edge of the Lop nor dry salt sea

 
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Map of a larger area around Lop nor - including Abdal and Donglik and the delta of the Tarim River. - The route north east from Abdal is toward Lou-lan.

 
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Large section of Stein's map sheet - Lop Nor - from report Innermostasia.

 
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Detail of the area south of Abdal including Miran and the Tibetan fort Stein found south-east of Miran from which he retrieved many artifacts.

 
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I photographed this map sheet at an angle in order to include the entire area from south of Miran to north of the west side of Lop Nor.

 
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The area west of Abdal and Miran to Lop hamlet - Stein was able to recruit workers from this tiny village for ecavation work in the middle of winter - Dec - Feb - at Lou lan. The men here were mostly fishermen. It is near Lop that the Charklik and Tarim rivers geneally meet as they disappear into the salt sea.

 
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A view of the larger area from Stein's map showing the entire region from Charkhlik to Miran to Abdal to Donglik - The southern mountain range here is very close to the desert.

 
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Detail of the map sheet showing Stein's routes between Charkhlik and Abdal and northeast to Lou lan

 
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Plan of the ruined fort at Lou lan showing also section view that details the construction methods.

 
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Detail from the plan for fort at Lou lan showing more detail of the construction methods.

 
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General site plan of the area around Lou lan and several detailed plans of dwellings.

 
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Detailed plans for some of the buildings at Lou lan.

 
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Plan of the ruined fort L. E. at Lou lan.

 
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Plans for watch stations T xxiif, T xxiid, T xxiie, T iva at the Han Dynasty wall north west of Tun huang

 
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Plans for watch stations T xxiiic, T xxiiib at the Han Dynasty wall north west of Tun huang

 
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Plans for watch stations T xla, T xxiiif, Txxiiil at the Han Dynasty wall north of Tun huang

 
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Plans for watch stations T xliii, T xxiiiu, Txlib, T xlia, T xliid, at the Han Dynasty wall north of Tun huang

 
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Photo 128 - View of interior of ruined fort L. K. in the Lop desert - part of outer area of Lou lan.

 
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Photo 173 - ancient watch tower T ix on the Han Dynasty wall north of Tun-huang

 
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photo 178 - Ancient watch tower T xi on the Han Dynasty wall near Tun-huang

 
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Photo 180 - Ancient watch tower T xiii with quarters on the Han Dynasty wall north of Tun-huang

 
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Photo 181 - Ancient watch tower T xii on the Han Dynasty wall north of Tun-huang

 
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Photo 182 - North west corner of enclosure of ancient magazine T xviii near the Han Dynasty wall north of Tun-huang

 
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Photo 183 - Ancient fort T xiv at "Jade Gate' on the Han Dynasty wall near Tun-huang - Stein spent quite a bit of effort and analysis on determining which of the towers and forts corresponded to the famous "Jade Gate' described in Han documents. This was the customs and immigration station adjacent to the wall that controlled merchant entrance and exit. Since jade was the most famous valuable coming into China from the Khotan region the customs place received this nick name.

 
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Photo 194 - Watch tower T iva - western end of the Han dynasty wall northwest of Tun-huang

 
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Photo 204 - Watch tower T vii - in the Han Dynasty wall north of Tun-huang -note how this shows the construction method - layers of reeds or branches between layers of clay - It really is amazing that such a tower could remain in even this condition after 2000 years of steady assault by wind-driven sand.

 
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Photo 202 - Refuse heap below watch tower T xxiif - Han Dynasty wall north of Tun-huang - Note the man barely visible in this poor photo. Stein was always looking for refuse dumps as they contained so many written documents as well as other articles from Chinese daily life. And the totally dry climate preserved so much unless the dump was too close to a marsh from which underground moisture could rise.

 
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Photo 214 - Extremely poor photography on my part results in blur - but it still gives some idea of the tower - watch tower T xiiif on the Han Dynasty wall east of Shih-erh-tun. Note that Stein always uses the Roman term "limes" due to his classical eduction and his recognition that the whole nexus of the Han wall was so similar to typical Roman lines in North Africa, Middle East and even along the Danube.

 
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Photo 184 - Ancient fort T xiv - the Jade Gate on the Han Dynasty wall north of Tun-huang

 
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Photo 186 - Ruins of ancient magazine T xviii on the Han Dynasty wall north of Tun-huang

 
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Photo 190 - Ancient watch tower T xx on Han Dynasty wall north of Tun-huang

 
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Photo 129 - Part of the south-western wall of fort L. K. in the Lop desert showing how wind driven sand has caused erosion over the 2000 years.

 
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Photo 130 - The ground outside the South-western wall of fort L. K. in the Lop desert showing how the wind even erodes the desert ground.

 
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Photo 133 - Panoramic view of interior of ruin of fort L.K. in Lop desert - Stein used a camera on a plane table with the glass negatives that were state of art at his time - 1906 and developed the prints in the field during his expeditions. Imagine the logistics of all that carrying the equipment on camels in the desert in winter.

 
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View of interior of fort K.K. in the Lop desert from the north corner.

 
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Photos 134 and 135 - Room in a building and timber debris from another dwelling inside fort L.K. in Lop desert - these places were almost 2000 years old when Stein visited. The powerful wind driven sand did a lot to destroy them but also to preserve them.

 
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Photos 136 and 137 - remains inside site L. M. III and L. M. I in Lop desert - Stein carefully designated each location and then also carefully annotated each small artifact found with the location number and item number.

 
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Photos 138 and 139 - remains of quarters in ruin of fort L.K. in Lop desert

 
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Photo 146 - Ruin of a stupa at location L.A, XI - at Lou lan. - with several of Stein's crew 'admiring' it.

 
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Photo 148 - Ruins of buildings at L.A. II at Lou lan.

 
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Photo 122 - very poor reproduction of Stein's picture of his camels being loaded with sacks containing blocks of ice at Uzun-kol near Lou lan. He conducted his desert explorations during the winter both to avoid the extreme heat of summer and to have a way to carry sufficient water for extended stay on location.

 
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Detail of Stein's map showing terrain around Besh-bulak - an oasis near Lou lan.

 
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Detail of Stein's map showing topography north of Altmish-bulak and his route.

 
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Detail of Stein's map showing many of the individual locations around Lou lan at which he found various ruins and artifacts. Note that on the surface of the desert he found Neolithic and Bronze Age articles as well as the Han era items.

 
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Detail of map showing terrain between Astin-bulak - Altmish-bulak and Besh-bulak - all of these oases north and north-west of Lou lan.

 
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Detail of map of Lou lan showing the many locations to south and Stein's routes in the area.

 
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Detailed topographic map of the area around Singer.

 
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Detailed topographic map of the area between Toghrak-bulak and Azghan-bulak showing Stein's routes.

 
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Detailed topographic map of the area around Yardang-bulak as Stein walked to the Kuruk-darya.

 
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Detailed topographic map showing the route between Singer and Besh-bulak

 
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Photo 160 - Very poor and grainy view across inerior of fort L.E. at Lou lan

 
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Photo 162 - West wall (rampart) of fort L. E. in Lop desert

 
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Photo 163 - Part of the east wall of fort L. E. in Lop desert - this shows the erosion and shows how the construction placed layers of branches between the layers of clay. And it also shows erosion outside bringing the ground to below the original ground level.

 
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Photo - the large ruin of a stupa north west of Lou lan - it is marked on Stein's map.

 
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Plan of the ruined fort at L. E, in the Lop desert

 
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Photo 149 - Ruined stupa north west of Lou-lan

 
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Photo 147 - Clearing refuse between ruins of quarters at L.A. V and L. A. VI - Lou lan - note Stein's two Indian assistants identified by their distinctive head gear. The other 6 men are local Lopniks Stein recruited.

 
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Photos 138 and 139 - rooms in fortress L.K at Lop desert site

 
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Photo 153 - Erosion of land around remains of the foundation of north wall of fort L. A, at Lou lan

 
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Photo 155 - Erosion at south wall of fort L.A. - Lou lan

 
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Photo 157 - North end of the eroded terrace by the east wall of fort L. A. - Lou lan

 
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Tempera painting at shrine at Miran

 
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A fresco tempera at Miran depicting a heavenly being - note the western features

 
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Photo 224 - Watch tower - but not on the Han Dynasty wall but on the 'medieval great wall' that is the Ming wall near Yeh-mao-wan, near Su-chou

 
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Photo 226 - Cave shrines, with antechapels exposed near center of Ch'ien-fo-tung site (that is the famous caves of the 1000 Buddhas) south east of Tun- huang. The front of the cave complex was eroded. Compare this photo with one of the restored tourist attraction today.

 
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Photo 240 - Photo Stein made of the south-west wall of Khara-Khoto showing the remains of the Buddhist stupa on the corner bastion.

 
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Photo 241 - Northwestern corner of the walls of Khara-khoto with stupas outside - note the large breach in the wall

 
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Photo 242 - Stein's photo of the south face of the Khara-Khoto city wall showing that over the many centuries sand has piled up against this wall due to the direction of prevailing wind. Not also the dead trees.

 
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Photo 243 - The west wall of Khara-khoto fortress with Muhammaden tomb at the SW corner.

 
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Photo 244 - Interior of Khara-khoto view toward the SE

 
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Photo 245 - Interior of Khara-khoto looking NW

 
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Photo 246 - Western wall of Khara-khoto showing the breaches made by wind-driven sand and piles of sand against the wall.

 
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Photo 247 - North west corner of Khar- khoto fortress wall from inside showing the strange cut in the wall and the stupa outside.

 
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Photo 248 - Another view of the north-west corner of the Khara-Khoto fortress wall from inside showing the Buddhist stupa and one bastion tower. note there was a ramp leading up to the parapet.

 
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Photo 249 - Back of the temple K K i at Khara-khoto

 
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Photo 250 - Bastions guarding the eastern gate of Khara-khoto - note how Stein poses one of his assistants in these photos to show scale.

 
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Photo 251 - Ruin of Muhammadan tomb at K.K VI -Khara-khoto view from north. Stein's intrepid pet dog appears.

 
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Photo 252 - Front of Muhammaden tomb - K.K. VI - at Khara-khoto

 
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Photo 256 - Ruined shrine and stupa K.K IV at Khara-khoto

 
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Photo Stein made of the south-west wall of Khara-Khoto showing the remains of the Buddhist stupa on the corner bastion.

 
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Plans of ruined buildings north of Khara-khota

 
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Plans of ruined buildings north of Khara-khota

 
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Sketches Stein made of several ruins at Khara-Khoto - there was an impressive Buddhist stupa the cross section of which is shown.

 
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Stein's sketch of the details of Khara-Khoto ruined fortress city showing circular and rectangular bastions along the walls and the gate defenses. Also he depicts the foundations he uncovered for some of the interior buildings.

 
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Stein's sketch map drawn with use of plane table of the immediate terrain around the ruin if Khara-Khoto fortress city.

 
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This is another detailed look at a section of one of Stein's maps of the Etsin-gol dry river bed and adjacent Khara-khoto fortress city ruins.

 
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This is a more detailed extract from Stein's map shows Khara-khota and the nearby river with locations of many sites that Stein excavated or studied.

 
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This extract from Stein's map shows the location of the ruins of the fortress city, Khara-Khota just east of the Etsin-gol dry river bed and Steins route along the river north east from Tun-huang to find it. The city was still a major desert oasis when Marco Polo passed by even though it had been severely damaged by Chingis Khan a few years previously. The dotted lines mark Stein's routes.

 
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