Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1770-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: Library of Virginia; Richmond, VA
Newspaper Page Text
Magazine Features by
Fanioun Artists and Authors, Illustrated In Colors Now Discoveries?Thing* not Found in Hooks?Oddi ties from all over Clio World PART s i x Sir Aurel Steiny F.R. G. S., the Explorer, Finds the Ancient Chinese City Where They Dressed Up Pretty Dummies and Set Them on the Walls; the Wife I of the Hun Chieftain Who Was Besieging the City Saw the Pretty Mannikins and Became H?? oVeS?" so Jealous She Made Her citj!rG?otPRid8of , , . tha Hun's Army Husband Withdraw His byM?inpi"in?nK Army andJThus the From a Painting. ~| Chinese City Was Saved Marco Polo, tho Amazing: Thirteenth Century Italian Explorer, Who Discovered the City Now Bedis> covered by Sir Aurel Stein. SIR AUREJL STEIN, the noted British explorer, reports that he has found the mysterious ruined city of Kharkha-Khoto, in Interior China, -which can be no other than the strange city of Etzlna, described by the old Italian adventurer, Marco Polo. This discovery is very Interesting for many reasons and especially because It confirms the accuracy of Marco Polo, ?whose narrative a few years ago was laughed at as a mass of exaggerations and Inventions. This wonderful man travelled through the whole of Central A&ia 0i?lime?: ffo?g |g Vv,^;:',?"/:';'.4 ;A't-"-. ; MWBWt and China in the late It part of the twelfth and early part of the' thirteenth centuries, about six hundred years ago. He saw its splendid cities and became a favorite of the great Mongol Emperor of China, Kublal Khan- For centuries after his day, interior Asia was more or less a sealed mystery to Europeans. It was really bccause people knew nothing of the things Marco Polo wrote about that they laughed at him. What makes the city of Kharka-Khoto or Etzinn particu larly interesting is that it was saved from sack and destruc The Great Wall of China, Near Which the City Explored by Sir Aurel Stein Is Situated. 'AW mmm. mm s,; ? mmi mmm tlon by one of the most ingenious and amusing expedients ever recorded. The great difference in the two forms of the name, by the way, is because Marco Polo used the Mon gol name for tho place, while Sir Aurel Stein gives the modern Chinese* form. The city, in enrly times, was besieged by an invasion of Huns, who were overrunning the ancient Chinese Empire, destroying, plllaglug and murdering. The gnrrison of tho city was small and weak and provisions had nearly run out. The only protection that the place had was a high fortified wall, with a broad walk on top, built in tho style of the Great Wall of China. The defenders were rapidly growing too weak from lack of food to prevent the Huns from climb ing the walls. Now the Huns travelled with their numerous wives when they went to war, for they liked to make merry while on tho march- When they conquered a city, the choice of tho plunder went to the favorite wives, while tho Hun generals drank wJne from the skulls of their defeated enemies. In this case the leader of the Huns had with him a beau tiful wife, to whom he was momentarily devoted and who was herself Intensely Jealous. She knew well her lord's fickle nature and his tendency to run after some new typo of beauty, especially if dressed up In an attractive manner. The clever wife of the Chinese governor of tho city be came aware of the domestic situation in the Hun leador's camp and planned most Ingeniously to tako advantage of It. Sho and the othor women of the city fixed up a number of dummy figures painted to roprescnt pretty women and dressed them in the most beautiful Bilk costumes, the secret of making which was then only known to the Chinese. These dummy figures were poked up over the battlements and Indulged in the most remarkable antics before the aston ished Huns. They danced, bowed, flirted, raado llttlo minc ing gestures after the Chinese manner, and altogether mado quite an entrancing spectacle. When the Hun general's wlfo saw how much her husband ?was Interested in the spectacle she becamo mad with jeal ousy. Sho wept, raged and stormed until sho made her hus band miserable. Even Huns are human, and to appease his wlfo tho goneral agreed to give up the siege of the city and pass on elsewhere. This episode was tho foundation of tho love for marlonotte performances among the Chinese. They are a conservative people and they have gono on enjoying tho same kind of entertainment over since then. Sir Aurel Stein rediscovered this city while exploring tho remains of tho Groat Wall of China, which ?? yet vary imperfectly known to Europeans. Stein started from Tun* liuang nnd followed the wall for close on 260 miles eastward The wall runs along this whole distance with its watch towers and small military stations across what was always an absolutely sterile desert. The entire wall is eighteen hundred miles long and was constructed between tho years 214 and 204 B. C- It has been described by Professor Percival Lowell, of Harvard, as the one human construction that can be seen from Mars. He has calculated that narrow lines such as the Great Wall can be soon from vast distances, provided always that their length is greatly out of proportion to their width. The wall was built to defend China from wild Mongolians and Manchurlans, but they frequently conquered and then used the wnll to defend themselves against later Invaders. It is from twenty to sixty feet high and twenty-five feet thick, with a broad roadway between parapets, along whidi jin army can march from the sea to the deeerL The lower portion Is of finely shaped blocks of granite and the upper part of briok. The brickwork is loopholed to give cover to tho soldiers. About every two hundred yards and at every commanding position there is a big square tower# to serve as a military barracks and fortress Sir Aural Stein describes his remarkably Interesting ex periences in a communication to the Royal Geographical S& clety of England, of which he is a prominent member. Ho found many ancient records on wood, fine pieces of furniture and Implements of various sorts, all relics of an early Chlneso civilization. Many of these things were found In the ruined watch towers, where Chinese soldiers had kept guard during tho first century before and after Christ. Ho explorod tho Provinco of Kansu, which was Invaded first by tho Indo-Scythlans and then by the Huns, whose later wanderings westward broke up the Roman Empire and deeply affoeted the fall of Central Asia and Europe. It was in this region that he found the ruined town of Kharka-Khoto, or tho Etzina of Marco Polo's "Voyages." The posKlon and remains proved to his satisfaction that It could bo no other than Marco Polo's town. Here in ancient times travellers bound for Karakoram, the old Mongol cap ital, had to lay in viotuals for forty days In order to cross tho great desert, where there was no habitation or resting place. There was abundant evidence of the former existence of much life and commerce in Interior Asia that has largely disappeared Among tho ruins he found the complete remains of Mi early Chinese maiiaafttu UuaaLra.