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.
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.
They were brought back by Professor Grunwedel and Dr Huth from Turfan in East Turkestan, and were partly translated by Dr F.
Much of this literature is still left in Turfan, where the natives use the sheets of Vigur and Chinese vellum MSS.
Next come the Turfan fragments described in the body of this article.
Muller, Handschriftenreste in Estrangelo-.schrift aus Turfan, in Chinesisch-Turkestan, in Abh.
Still further light is to be expected when the vast collections of the German expedition to Turfan (Turkestan) have been sifted.
(at the town of Turfan) and to 3500 ft.
above the sea, and immediately behind Turfan the Jargoz Mountains run up to an altitude of 10,000 ft.
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.
East Turkestan contains several minerals, such as gold, mined to a very small extent in the Kuen-lun Mountains; lead found in the country west of Kashgar and once worked in the Kuruk-tagh, and copper and petroleum near Kashgar; coal exists in abundance in the Kulja valley and is found at Ak-su, Korla, Kara-shahr, Turfan and Hami on the northern verge of the deserts.
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.
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.
A telegraph line was constructed between Lanchow in the Chinese province of Kan-su and Turfan in 1893.
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.
farther west, is a similar gap (2800 ft.) which facilitates communication between the oasis of Turfan and Dzungaria.
The word usage examples above have been gathered from various sources to reflect current and historial usage. They do not represent the opinions of YourDictionary.com.