During the following century the Mahommedans under Kotaiba ibn Moslim, after several excursions into West Turkestan, invaded (712-13) East Turkestan, penetrating as far as Turfan and even China.
Finally, in 1904, Dr von Le Coq, when excavating the sand-buried ruins of Kara-khoja, between Turfan and Lukchun, discovered extremely valuable MSS., some written on Chinese paper, some on white leather, and some on wood, besides Buddhistic wall-paintings.
A telegraph line was constructed between Lanchow in the Chinese province of Kan-su and Turfan in 1893.
When, however, we turn to the numerous fragments of authentic Manichaean liturgies and hymns lately discovered in Turfan in East Turkestan, Mani's direct indebtedness to the cycle of Magian legends rather than to Chaldaic sources (as Kessler argued) is clearly exhibited.
Nevertheless certain of the oases are famous individually for one or more handicrafts: for instance, Khotan for its silks, white carpets and felt goods; Kashgar and Turfan for cottons, Kucha and Kara-shahr for leather and saddlery, Ak-su for felts and leather and metal goods, Yarkand for silks, carpets and felts, and Urumchi and Uch-Turfan for sulphur.
Farther west, is a similar gap (2800 ft.) which facilitates communication between the oasis of Turfan and Dzungaria.
Like all other cities of Central Asia, it has changed hands repeatedly, and was from 1864-1877 the seat of government of the Amir Yakub Beg, surnamed the Atalik Ghazi, who established and for a brief period ruled with remarkable success a Mahommedan state comprising the chief cities of the Tarim basin from Turfan round along the skirt of the mountains to Khotan.
Khotan, Kashgar, Korla, Turfan and Hami, are famous for their orchards, in which cucumbers, the mulberry, apple, pear, apricot, peach, melon, grape, pomegranate and walnut ripen to perfection.