SEMIRYECHENSK, a province of Russian Turkestan, including the steppes south of Lake Balkash and parts of the Tian-shan Mountains around Lake Issyk-kul.
In the south Semiryechensk embraces the intricate systems of the Ala-tau and the Tian-shan.
South of the lake two ranges of the Tian-shan, separated by the valley of the Naryn, stretch in the same direction, lifting up their icy peaks to 16,000 and 18,000 ft.; while westwards from the lake the precipitous slopes of the Alexander chain, 9000 to io,000 ft.
Southwards from the last-named, however, at the foot of the mountains and at the entrance to the valleys, there are rich areas of fertile land, which are being rapidly colonized by Russian immigrants, who have also penetrated into the Tian-shan, to the east of Lake Issyk-kul.
The Chu rises in the Tian-shan Mountains and flows north-westwards through Akmolinsk; and the Naryn flows south-westwards along a longitudinal valley of the Tian-shan, and enters Ferghana to join the Syr-darya.
High plateaus like that of Pamir (the " Roof of the World ") and Armenia, and lofty mountain chains like the snow-clad Caucasus, the Alai, the Tian-shan, the Sayan Mountains, exist only on the outskirts of the empire.
Of the Pamir, the Tian-shan and the Ala-tau mountain regions, and farther N.E.
Shelving gradually upward from the low flats of Siberia the general continental level rises to a great central waterparting, or divide, which stretches from the Black Sea through the Elburz and the Hindu Kush to the Tian-shan mountains in the Pamir region, and hence to Bering Strait on the extreme north-east.
Only a part of this great continental divide (including such ranges as the Hindu Kush, Tian-shan, Altai or Khangai) rises to any great height, a considerable portion of it being below 5000 ft.
The Pamir highlands between the base of the Tian-shan mountains and the eastern buttresses of the Hindu Kush unite these two great divides, enclosing the Gobi depression on the west; and they would again be united on the east but for the transverse valley of the Amur, which parts the Khingan mountains from the Yablonoi system to the east of Lake Baikal.
Next may be named the Ala-tau, on the prolongation of the Tian-shan, flanking the Syr on the north, and rising to 14,000 or 15,000 ft.
The central area bounded on the north and north-west by the Yablonoi Mountains and their western extension in the Tian-shan, on the south by the northern face of the Tibetan plateau, and on the east by the Khingan range before alluded to, forms the great desert of central Asia, known as the Gobi.
Beyond Kashgar the southern boundary of Siberia follows an irregular course to the north-east, partly defined by the Tian-shan and Alatau mountains, till it attains a northerly point in about 53° N.
'This belt includes Asia Minor, Persia, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, the Himalayas, the Tian-shan, and, although they are very different in direction, the Burmese ranges.
South and east of the Palaeozoic plateau is an extensive area consisting chiefly of Archean rocks, and including the greater part of Mongolia north of the Tian-shan.
The Triassic deposits of the Verkhoyansk Range show that this land did not extend to the Bering Sea; while the marine Mesozoic deposits of Japan on the east, the western Tian-shan on the west and Tibet on the south give us some idea of its limits in other directions.
Of the two divisions (Kara Kirghiz and Kassak Kirghiz) into which the Kirghiz tribes are divided by Russian authorities, the Kassak Kirghiz is the more closely allied to the Mongol type; the Kara Kirghiz, who are found principally in the valleys of the Tian-shan and Altai mountains, being unmistakably Turkish.
They may be traced from the Tian-shan to the Arctic Circle, and have an east-north-easterly direction in lower latitudes and a north-easterly direction farther north.
The Alai range of the Pamir, continued by the Kokshaltau range and the Khan-tengri group of the Tian-shan, and the Sailughem range of the Altai, which is continued in the unnamed border-range of West Sayan (between the Bei-kem and the Us), belong to this category.
Of Yarkand, near the left bank of the Aksu river, which takes its origin in the T'ien-shan (Tian-shan) mountains and joins the Tarim.
Or the Tian-shan to the N.
The earliest authentic mention of Kashgar is during the second period of ascendancy of the Han dynasty, when the Chinese conquered the Hiungnu, Yutien (Khotan), Sulei (Kashgar), and a group of states in the Tarim basin almost up to the foot of the Tian Shan mountains.
In altitude, sloping from the Tian-shan, and intersected by numerous rivers, flowing towards the Oxus.
And it is indeed the fact that large portions of the vast region comprised between the lower Volga, the AralIrtysh water-divide, the Dzungarian Ala-tau, and the outliers of the Tian-shan and Hindu-kush systems are actually covered with Aralo-Caspian deposits, nearly always a yellowish-grey clay, though occasionally they assume the character of a more or less compact sandstone of the same colour.
Tian Singu]arly unemotional, he stood steady at Tell el- soldier.
Tian Filipinos stand unique as the only large mass of Asiatics converted to Christianity in modern times.
The chief feeder of the lake is the Ili, which rises in the Khantengri group of the Tian-shan Mountains.
Leaving the west gate of the city two roads lead to Lan-chow Fu, from which town begins the great high road into Central Asia by way of Lian-chow Fu, Kan-chow Fu and Su-chow to Hami, where it forks into two branches which follow respectively the northern and southern foot of the Tian-shan range, and are known as the Tian-shan pei lu and the Tian-shan nan lu.
It was along these roads that the fame of China first reached Europe, and it was by the Tian-shan nan lu that Marco Polo entered the empire.
The first three link together the Tian-shan and the Alexander Range.
Thence the province stretches northwards across the mountains of the Tian-shan system and southwards across the Alai and Trans-Alai Mts., which reach their highest point in Peak Kaufmann (23,000 ft.), in the latter range.
Prjevalsky's account of his second journey, From Kulja, across the Tian-Shan, to Lop-nor, was translated into English in 187 9.
The former are sufficiently described under the heading Tian-Shan.
The Quaternary epoch is represented by vast morainic deposits in the valleys of the Tian-shan.
In the alpine tracts of the Tian-shan, on the borders of the Pamir, their horns and skulls are frequently met with, but there the place of the species is now taken by Ovis karelini.
Among the Lepidoptera of the Pamir there is an interesting mixture of Tian-shan with Himalayan species.
Towards the end of the Glacial period the Tian-shan Mountains had a flora very like that of northern Caucasia, combining the characteristics of the flora of the European Alps and the flora of the Altai, while the prairies had a flora very much like that of the south Russian steppes.
The above applies to most of the highlands of the Tian-shan.
II.-East Turkestan East or Chinese Turkestan, sometimes called Kashgaria, is a region in the heart of Asia, lying between the Tian-shan ranges on the north and the Kuen-lun ranges on the south, and stretching east from the Pamirs to the desert of Gobi and the Chinese province of Kan-su (98° E.).
The country belongs to China, and to the Chinese is known as Sin-kiang; but administratively the Chinese province of Sin-kiang crosses over the Tian-shan and includes the valleys of Kulja or Ili and Dzungaria on the north.
This is not, however, the absolutely lowest point in East Turkestan: that is found in the local depression of Turfan-Lukchun, south-east of Urumchi, between the Choltagh and the Bogdo-ola ranges of the Tian-shan.
The Tian-shan Mountains skirt East Turkestan on the north-east, where the Kokshal-tau range rises to 16,000 to 18,000 ft.
It is virtually composed of the Yarkand-darya, the Kashgar-darya, and the Ak-su-darya, with constant augmentation from the Koncheh-darya, which drains Lake Bagrash-kul (at the south foot of the eastern Tian-shan), and intermittent augmentation from the Khotan-darya and the Cherchendarya from the south.
Along the south foot of the Tian-shan, and in the high valleys which intervene between the constituent ranges of that system, there exist numerous flourishing oases, such as Uch-turfan, Ak-su, Kucha, Korla, Kara-shahr, Hami, Barkul, Turfan, Urumchi, Manas and Kulja.
The caravan routes mostly followed between China and the more populous centres (Kashgar and Yarkand) of East Turkestan start from An-si-chow and Sa-chow respectively, converge upon Hami on the north side of the Pe-shan swelling, and continue westward along the south foot of the Tian-shan Mountains through the oases of Turfan, Kara-shahr, Korla, Kucha, Ak-su and Uch-turfan.
A similar branch route strikes off at Turfan and cuts through the Tian-shan ranges at Urumchi.
When the Huns (Hiung-nu) occupied west and east Mongolia in 177-165 B.C., they drove before them the Yue-chi (Yutes, Yetes or Ghetes), who divided into two hordes, one of which invaded the valley of the Indus, while the other met the Sacae in East Turkestan and drove them over the Tian-shan into the valley of the Ili.
Griinwedel, at Kucha and Korla, two other oases at the south foot of the Tian-shan Mountains.
Przhevalsky, From Kulja across the Tian-shan to Lob-nor (Eng.
Consult also hooks cited under TIAN-SHAN, LOP-NOR, GOBI and KUEN-LUN.
TIAN-SHAN, or Celestial Mountains, one of the most extensive mountain systems of Asia.
Excluding these mountains, the northernmost member of the Tian-shan system is the Dzungarian Ala-tau in 45°- 45° 3 o ' N.
The Tian-shan consists almost everywhere of " sheaves " of parallel ranges, having their strike predominantly east and west, with deflexions to the W.S.W., west of Khan-tengri and to the E.S.E., east of 92° E., thus describing as it were a wide flattened arc open to the south.
Thus the Tian-shan is as a whole narrowest in the east and spreads out fan-like in the west.
Instead of 24,000 ft., stands, not on the main watershed of the central Tian-shan, but on a spur which projects from the watershed towards the south-west.
The result of these geological changes is that, although the internal structure of the Tian-shan region is highly mountainous, its external appearance, or in other words its geographical aspect, is that of a plateau."
On the south the Bogdo-ola is flanked by the nearly parallel range of the Jargoz, a range which, in contrast to most of the Tian-shan ranges, carries no perpetual snow.
The passes in the Boro-khoro lie at lower altitudes than is usual in the Tian-shan ranges, namely at7000-7415ft.
On its northern side the valley of Borotala is skirted by the important orographic system of the Dzungarian Ala-tau, the northernmost member of the Tian-shan.
Western and Southern Tian-shan.---On the north side of the Issykkul, and separated from the Terskei Ala-tau by that lake, are the twin ranges of the Trans-Ili Ala-tau and Kunghei Ala-tau, parallel to one another and also to the lake and to the Terskei Ala-tau.
In the same north-westerly to south-easterly direction and belonging to the same series of later transverse upheavals are the Ferghana Mountains, which shut in the plain of Ferghana on the north-east, thus running athwart the radiating ranges of the central Tian-shan.
The last outlying range of the Tian-shan system in this direction is the Nura-tau, which, like the Kara-tau farther north, belongs to the more recent series of upheavals having a W.N.W to E.S.E.
Glaciation.-In the central and western parts of the Tian-shan there exist numerous indications of former glaciation on an extensive scale, e.g.