In this article the nomenclature adopted is that employed by the latest, and probably the most thorough, explorer of this part of Central Asia, namely, Sven Hedin.
From the examination of specimens collected by Dr Sven Hedin, Professor W.
In 1896 Dr Sven Hedin discovered in the desert not far from the town of Khotan, in a locality known as Borasan, objects in terra-cotta, bronze images of Buddha, engraved gems, coins and MSS.; the objects, which display artistic skill, give indications of having been wrought by craftsmen who laboured to reproduce Graeco-Indian ideals in the service of the cult of Buddha, and consequently date presumably from the 3rd century B.C., when the successors of Alexander the Great were founding their kingdoms in Persia, Khwarezm (Khiva), Merv, Bactria (Afghanistan) and northern India, and from that date to the 4th or 5th century A.D.
Bonvalot in 1887, Littledale in 1888, Cumberland, Bower and Dauvergne, followed by Younghusband in succeeding years, extending to 1890; Dunmore in 1892 and Sven Hedin in 1894-1895, have all contributed more or less to Pamir geography; but the honours of successful inquiry in those high altitudes still fall to Lord Curzon, whose researches in 1894 led to a singularly clear and comprehensive description of Pamir geography, as well as to the best map compilation that till then had existed.
Ellsworth Huntington threw new light on the Tian-shan plateau and the Alai range by his explorations of 1903; and Sven Hedin, between 1899 and 1902, was collecting material in Turkestan and Tibetan fields, and resumed his journeys in 1905-1908, the result being to revolutionize our knowledge of the region north of the upper Tsanpo (see Tibet).
The remarkable phenomenon of the periodic Turkestan shifting of the Lop Nor system has been revealed by the and Oxus researches of Sven Hedin, and the former existence of basin.
During his second and more important journey in Central Asia (1899-1902), Sven Hedin left Charkhlik, on the edge of the Taklamakan desert, in May 1901, intending to cross Tibet in a diagonal direction to the sources of the Indus.
The chief historians were Sven Lagerbring (1707-1787), author of a still valuable history of Sweden down to 1457 (Svea Rikes historia, 4 vols., 1769-1783); Olof Celsius (1716-1794), bishop of Lund, who wrote histories of Gustavus I.
In doing this he was assisted by the labours of two other grammarians, Sven Hof (d.
In the restoration of the outlines of ancient and medieval geography in Asia Sven Hedin's discoveries of the actual remains of cities which have long been buried under the advancing waves of sand in the Takla Makan desert, cities which flourished in the comparatively recent period of Buddhist ascendancy in High Asia, is of the very highest interest, filling up a blank in the identification of sites mentioned by early geographers and illustrating more fully the course of old pilgrim routes.