Ērān ud Anērān
Webfestschrift Marshak 2003


Aspects of the relationship between the ancient Turks and Sogdians -Based on a stone statue with Sogdian inscription in Xinjiang-

Takashi Ôsawa*


The study of stone statues and the stone enclosures associated with those of the ancient Turkish culture has special meaning as well as other monuments of that period which includes the mounds, rock paintings, graffiti and runic inscriptions, settlements and objects of black metallurgy, the remains of furnaces, etc., since they are important sources which can concretely clarify the typical features of the ancient Turkish period. As concerns of stone statues of the epoch, as long as I know now, there are more than a thousand stone statues in the Eurasian Steppes, which includes ca. 260 in Russian Altai, ca. 110 in Tuba and Hakassia, ca. 330 in Mongolia, ca. 17 in Inner Mongolia of China, ca. 150 in Semirechi'e included in the South-eastern Kazakhstan and Kirgizistan, and ca. 200 in Xinjiang Uyghur region of China1. And many scholars have been arguing on the origin, chronology, function and historical significance for a long time from the archaeological, historical, ethnologic and folkloric points of view. But there are very few stone statues which can be clarified the person in whose honour the stone statue was erected in the tomb and the date and the historical background except several stone statues with Turkic runic or Chinese epigraphs in the tomb such as the stone statues of the 2nd Eastern Turkish Qaghanate in Mongolia such as that of Khosho-Tsaidam, Bain-Tsokto, Ongi, Küli-chor etc. On the other hand, it seems undoubted that a stone statue with Sogdian inscription of the Yili Steppes is very interesting and noteworthy not only from the point of the philological and historical researches on Sogdian text, but also from the point of stone statues of the ancient Turkish period. This was discovered about fifty years ago from now in the place named Mongolküre in new Uyghur dialect, named Xiao-hong-na-hai in Chinese which is located in theTekes basin along the left side of the Tekes river, which flows to the Yili river, in the Northern side of Tian-shan Mountains of Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous province of China. As to this, I have considered it before through the analysis of the Sogdian text comparing with the Chinese sources from the philological and historical points of view, and proposed new hypothesis on the date, function and historical background of this stone statue from the viewpoint of the history of the ancient Turkish Qaghanate (Ôsawa 1999; Ôsawa 2001; Ôsawa 2002). Afterwards I had an opportunity to make a field survey on the sites and stone statues of the ancient Turkish period in Mongolia, Tuva and Hakassia and I acquired some information of this stone from some colleagues. Therefore in this paper, I will discuss on this stone statue on the basis of philological and historical analyses of this Sogdian text, and reconsider aspects of relationship between the ancient Turks (Tu-jue, Göktürk) and Sogdians of the early Western Turkish Qaghanate period.

I. General view on the Site and the Stone statue of Mongolküre along the Yili River.

This stone statue was at the first time discovered in the livestock farm (Nesillik at meydani in new Uyghur dialect) at a distance of 5 km Southeast from the central city of Zhao-shu prefecture in the Yili region in summer 1953 as a result of the Expedition of the Cultural Institution of Northwestern regions in Xinjiang of China. Although this has been often called the stone statue of <Shaohong Nahai> after the Chinese name of this place, it is called Mongolküre amongst the local peoples2 (cf. Map I). Since then, many archaeologists or travellers visited there and referred only to this stone in their reports, but it has no detailed records of the text, no measurement of this site and no sufficient photographs to research it scientifically3.

As to location of this site, it was reported by one of the Japanese archaeologists of Kyushu University of Japan under the supervision of Prof. T. Nishitani who visited and surveyed this site in September 1993 as follows: What is called, this stone statue named stone statue of Shao-hong-na-hai is also called <Stone statue of the Steppes>. And the site involving this stone statue belongs to one of the enclosed mound tombs (kurgans). This is located at a distance ca. 2 km from this road that is on the right side, along the way East from Zhau-su prefecture (Ôtsuka 1995: 52). According to the Global Positioning System, it is placed at lat. 43° 07' 19" N, long. 81° 11' 48" E. in the report of the Archaeological researches of the Yili region of Xinjiang4, and even now the Nomadic peoples have nomadic lives around there by Prof. Zhao5. The mound area of this site has almost squared trapezoid shape, which has 31 m width in the East to West line and 30,5 m length in the South to North line. Outside of this mound, there is a ditch, which has 6,5 m width and nearly 1 m depth by Prof. Hayashi who participated in the Expedition of the National Museum of Ethnology of Japan under the supervision of Prof. Matsubara in August 1992. On the other hand, according to a member of the Expedition of Kyûshû University under Prof. Nishitani in 1993, it has so large scale as nearly 40 square meters involving the ditch and some area belonged to this site. The centre of the mound is 1 m higher than the circumference, and nearly 2m higher than the bottom of the ditch. There is caved plot in the Southwestern area of the mound, which seems to be traces excavated by grave robbers (Ôtsuka 1995: 52). Stone statue is erected at the point of 9,5 m from the East line, at the point of 10 m from the South line6, while there is no stone balbals in the east line as the ancient Turkish sites have7. In the Western area of this mound, traces of the hole and destruction is observed, perhaps it looks like remains excavated by grave robbers in the ancient times, perhaps the dead have been buried here after cremation with his article of day use goods and domestic animals (Figure.1).

This stone statue was erected facing East at the Southeastern area of the mound as well as other stone statues of the ancient Turkish period. It is made of dark red granite, which has 230 cm height, 35 cm width of the head, and 50 cm width of the body8. It has an archaic appearance more than stone statues belonged to the 2nd Turkish Qaghanate in Mongolia. It has a crown with three round headdresses in the head, and it had let his long 8 plating hair hand down her back until knee. He has eyebrows and nose combined with the shape of alphabet T, eyes, moustache, lapels, arms, fingers, vessel, belt and short sword that were carved in relief. Parts from his mouth to the upper breast are suffered from destruction and damages so badly. Especially as to headdress of headgear, it is very distinguishing to bear a feature of crown shaped with the three-circle protuberance, so it must be gold or silver crown that the ancient Turkish Qaghans or princes wore, it means that we can acquire a good sample to compare with the crown of stone statue of Köl Tigin and a part of the gold crest of Bilgä Qaghan excavated from the site of Bilge Qaghan in August 20029. And it has earrings with circle form ornaments hanged down. And bracelet or a part of sleeves is depicted in the left wrist. In the latter case, it means that he wore a kind of jacket such as caftan types, which is often shown in the Persian or Sogdian figures in the wall paintings or Sogdian sculptures unearthed from tombs in Central Asia and the Northern China of the Tang period10. As to the vessel, it seems that it is a glass or a goblet, foot of which is grasped with the thumb, forefinger, and middle finger of his right hand11. This shape is often pictured in wall painting and terra cotta of the Iranian, Sogdian, Bactrian and Chinese areas in the ancient and Middle Ages. Besides, it grasps the handle of a short sword with his left hand. As I mentioned above, the belt is carved only with two lines while there is no details such like hooks or ornaments (Figure 2). And it is remarkable that there are no trousers, no feet and no boots under the belt, in the place of them only Sogdian text composed of nearly 20 lines with Sogdian letter. That allows us to suppose that this text has a closed relationship with the stone statue.

II. General view of text and preliminary reading.

As mentioned above, this text has been wrongly reported as the ancient Turkish Runic text or the ancient Uyghur text since this discovery. As long as I know, although even now some Chinese archaeologists wrongly report it as the Runic text, it is Prof. Shi that at the first time reported correctly as Sogdian text12. Nowadays there is no room to discuss on the letter of this text amongst the specialists after L. Clark definitely mentioned that this text had been inscribed in Sogdian (Clark 1978: 42-48). And this became one of the most famous stone statues in Xinjiang, so many scholars often referred to this, however, no one tried to inspect it because there is no specialist that can read Sogdian languages in China.

We can say that it was Japanese Iranist Prof. Yoshida who has changed this. In September-October of autumn 1990, he visited the Archaeological Institute of the Yili region of Xinjiang, and he inspected some site and cultural relics inscribed in Sogdian. There he researched this text on a basis of some photographs that Chinese scholars had taken before and confirmed that this was surely inscribed in Sogdian letter and Sogdian language. Soon afterwards he interpreted a part of this inscription, and published preliminary reading in 1990 in Japan. Then he informed that it was very hard to transliterate and interpret by means of photographs of no good quality, however, it must have been so important for researches of stone statues, and he made a decision of publishing his preliminary reading as soon as possible (Yoshida 1991). In the next year, he tried to read it on the basis of some photographs taken by the members of the National Museum of Ethnography of Japan. Then he revised on some words and some phrases of this text, referring my interpretation on this text and stone statue from the viewpoint of the early ancient Turkish history, and presented his text revised in the meeting of the corporate researches of the National Museum in February 1993, and I also presented my views of this stone statue in the meeting of the corporate researches of the same museum in March 1993 (cf. Ôsawa 1999). In the following, I would like to introduce his preliminary reading revised and historically analysis this texts, comparing it with the Chinese sources such as SS etc. According to Prof. Yoshida, this text is consisted of 21 lines, if there is a sentence in the 13th line where had damaged badly, so we cannot confirm whether letters was originally described or not13. As long as we can recognize from the photographs taken by Prof. Hayashi, there are many damaged and illegible places, therefore we cannot help hypothesizing the main subjects of this text according to only a few fragments at this present.

Now I cite the preliminary reading proposed by Prof. Yoshida (Yoshida 1991; Yoshida 1997: Ôsawa 1999). I am very grateful to him that he allows me to cite parts of his reading here as he did for me before.

In the following sentence, marks of /// indicate illegible part at present because of photographs of bad quality; marks of... indicate illegible number of letters although Sogdian letters can be confirmed partly.

1. / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /[

2. ctß'r kyr'n γrβ. / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

In the four direction, many.....

3. γry'......h..t rty 21 srδ 'xš'wnh

in mountain?, And he has hold the kingdom for 21 years.

4. δ'r rty 6 m'x 'myδ..pr....[

And for 6 months, ...by...

5. s'r p'w' ...t rty 26 srδ pšys'r [

.....to..... And after 26 years ...

6. mwx'n x'γ'n npyšn ßγy ...p'y nry x'γ'n

the grandson of Mukan Qaghan, ...Pay Niri Qaghan

7. ......srdw mz'yx x'γ'n β'y

became a great Qaghan in the year of....

8. m/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

According to Prof. Yoshida, on the 9th line and the following lines, it very hard to read and interpret it on the basis of photographs of no good quality, because of the light. According to Yoshida. This is very similar to Bugut Inscription from the viewpoint of palaeography, that is, in both of these texts, archaic Sogdian alphabets are used. In his revised text, there are many unreadable lines completely, however, it seems undoubted that it involves very important key words and phrases to clarify the main topics of this text as bellows14.

First, in the 3rd, 8th, 20th line, there are phrase including Sogdian word x'ttwnh meaning 'Khaγatun' as a Turkish title for the first consort of Qaghan. It seems possible to identify one of them as Niri Qaghan's Chinese consort, Xiang-shi.

Secondly, in the 3rd line, there are <βγy> meaning 'God', which can remind us that name of a Turkish Qaghan is mentioned in the following of this, because generally this word is added as a epithet of great Turkish Qaghans as well as Turkish Qaghans such as <βγy mwx'n x'γ'n>-'God(like) Muqan Qaghan, <βγy mγ' t'tp'r x'γ'n>-'God(like) Magha Tatpar Qaghan' in Bugut inscription, <βγy 'xšywn'k>-'God(like) ruler' in Karabalgasun inscription etc.

Thirdly, in the 19th line, there are Sogdian words such as <nry x'γ'n>, meaning 'Niri Qaghan' which can be regarded as the same Qaghan as mentioned in the 6th line, and the fact that as even in the line near the final part can tell us that this person plays a very important role in this text15.

Fourthly, in the 21st line, there are Sogdian phrase such as <cwry x'γ'nt ... δ'r'yδ> literary meaning 'Curi Qaghans.... hold (your country)!'. The phrase of <cwry x'γ'nt> which can be interpreted as 'the Qaghans involving Curi Qaghan as a chief', that is, this remind us that there was more than two Qaghans at least under a great Qaghan, and this phrase is interpreted as an expression called by the Turkish peoples with the word of <δ'r'yδ'>, which is shown in a imperative form of the 2nd plural form meaning 'have, posses, hold, keep' in the 21st line, which can be interpreted that this word. In my view, it is possible to think that this phrase reflects the Turkish expression of 'it tut-' meaning 'hold sovereign; rule over the peoples; reign' which were used often in the Turkic inscriptions such as Orkhon inscription, Bain Tsokto inscription etc. of the 2nd Turkish Qaghanate16. So we can consider that the phrase of the final line mean that the Turkish (noble) peoples ordered Curi Qaghan and two <little> (i.e. Lesser) Qaghans feed the Turkish peoples or rule over the country (i.e. Western Turkish Qaghanat) well from now on17.

III. Identification of the persons described in Sogdian text.

Now I would like to begin to consider on the person named <Muqan Qaghan> in the 6th line of this text. As to this, as identified already by Prof. Yoshida, there is no room to discuss on him, that is, he is named Si-jin (tur. irkin) or Yan-tou, Mu-kan (Mu-gan) kehan transcribed in the Chinese characters of [ZS-50; 909; SS-84; 1864; BS-99: 3287; TD 197: 5404-5405] and we can identify him as <βγy mwx'n x'γ'n>-'God(like) Muqan Qaghan' transcribed in Sogdian letters of Bugut Inscription of Mongolia18. He was the son of the founder of the Turkish Qaghanate, Tu-men, Bumin Qaghan, Yi-li ke-han (orig. Iri Qaghan19) and succeeded his elder brother Kelo, Yi-xi-ji Qaghan as the 3rd Qaghan in 553. After he died in 572, his younger brother Ta-bo kehan (sog. Tatpar Qaghan) succeeded him.

According to SS-84 Muqan Qaghan had ruled over the Turkish Qaghanate for 20 years, i.e. during 553-572 (SS-84: 1864). In this Sogdian text, however, there is a phrase such as <he ruled for 21 years> in the 3-4th lines and there is gap of one year on the reign between this Sogdian text and the record of SS-84. In my view, if it was no different on the counting a year between Turkish peoples and Sogdians, this Sogdian text might show that scribe of this text regarded Muqan Qaghan's reign as the time between 552 and 572. This may be supported the fact that Muqan Qaghan ruled the Turkish tribes having a title of Si-jin, Irkin20 under reigns of his father Yi-li Qaghan and his elder brother Yi-xi-ji Qaghan.

In any way, there is no Turkish Qaghan to have reign for more than 20 years except Muqan Qaghan. So we can assume that the description of the 3-4th lines belongs to the historical events during the reign of Muqan Qaghan. As to the phrase <ctß'r kyr'n> of the 2nd line, it can be also corresponded to Muqan Qaghan's campaign toward all directions around him as mentioned in ZS-5021 as follows:

Si-jin (i.e. Muqan Qaghan) also attacked Yan-da (i.e. the Ephtalites) Westwards, drove Qi-dan (i.e. Kitan tribes) away eastwards, amalgamated Qi-gu (i.e. Kirghiz tribes) Northwards, and submitted many countries outside the north borders of China. His territory reached the the west of Liang-hai Eastwards, Xi-hai at the distance of Wan li Westwards, the north of Sha-mo (i.e. Gobi desert) Southwards, Bei-hai (i.e. Baikal Lake) at the distance of 5,000-6,000 li Northwards, and all countries subjected to him. (ZS-50: 909)

So, we can relate contents of the 2-4th lines to the events under the reign of Muqan Qaghan.

However it is clear that this text was not inscribed only for Muqan Qaghan, because this site and stone statue is situated in the Yili Steppes where many Western Turkish Qaghans had placed his headquarters since Istemi Qaghan, not in the Mongol Steppe where Muqan Qaghan moved the centre of the Qaghanate after destruction of the Ephtalites in 555 i.e., in 560s. After that he must have died in the Mongolia Steppes named Ötükän yish. Moreover, it also explained that after the 4th line of this text, it seems that events corresponded to that during the reign of <Niri Qaghan who the grandson of Muqan Qaghan>. In this respect, we would like to pay attention to the 6-7th lines. There is a remarkable statement such as <A grandson of Muqan Qaghan, Niri Qaghan became a great Qaghan in the year ...>. From this, we may say that main contents of this text belongs to <Niri Qaghan>, because his name can be attested in the 19th near final part of this text. So, it is possible to say that it was Ni-li Qaghan who was written in the 6-19th lines as main person.

Who is <Niri Qaghan> described? Now let us follow the genealogy of the ancient Turkish royal clan, A-shi-na (sog. Ashinas < orig. Ashinâs22) since Muqan Qaghan from the Chinese records and Bugut inscription. As to <Muqan Qaghan>, we mentioned above. And after his death, his younger brother Ta-bo (sog. Tatpar) Qaghan succeeded him. On his deathbed, Ta-bo Qaghan willed his son, An-luo that the kingship should be handed over to Muqan Qaghan's son, Da-luo-bian, not to his son as Muqan Qaghan handed over it to Tatpar himself. The Turkish noblemen, however, did not agree on Tatpar's will, because Da-luo-bian's mother was of low birth. At last they decided to make An-luo ascend the throne since the son of Yi-xi-ji, She-tu who was the Lesser Qaghan named Ni-fuk (sog. Niwar Qaghan) of the Eastern territory during the reign of Ta-bo, made a threat against them that if Da-luo-bian became the successor, he would rise a rebellion with his own forces against Da-luo-bian. In that way, An-luo could ascend the throne as Pan-na Qaghan (sog. Umna Qaghan), but Da-luo-bian could not agree on the enthronement, and he often send ambassadors to An-luo and abuse him violently, at last An-luo could not stand and decided to hand over the kingship to She-tu, who in his enthronement got a formal title of Yi-li ju-lu she mo-he shi-bo-luo ke-han (Iri Külüg Shad Bagha Ishbara Qaghan) and An-luo ruled the North region of the Tugla river as the 2nd Qaghan (i.e. the Lesser Qaghan) under She-tu. At this time, Da-luo-bian also could gain the formal title as A-po (Apa) Qaghan from She-tu. But She-tu attacked Apa Qaghan for fear that Apa Qaghan might attack him with the Sui army. Then when Apa Qaghan was absent in his own residence of the Altai region, She-tu made a surprise attack against the residence of Apa Qaghan, and killed his mother and made burn his tent in 583. So, Apa Qaghan could not come back to his residence, and he sought refuge in the territory of <the Qaghan facing West>, that is, son of Istemi, Da-tou Qaghan (grec. Tardu). This is the reason why the ancient Turkish Qaghanate administratively divided into two parts such as the Eastern Turkish Qaghanate and the Western Turkish Qaghanate. At the same time, Pin-han Qaghan who was familiar with Apa Qaghan and Chi-qin-cha (tur. Tigin Shad) who was a uncle of She-tu, opposed to She-tu and escaped from Mongolia to the Yili Steppes under the rule of Da-tou Qaghan. Thus with the assistance of Da-tou Qaghan, Apa Qaghan acquired the great forces including the forces of Pin-han Qaghan and Chi-qin-cha, and constantly struggled against She-tu. Although it is not so obvious how Apa Qaghan can reign over the Western Turkish Qaghanate as a great Qaghan in the place of Da-tou, he resided in the Yildiz Steppes and ruled the nomad tribes and many oasis countries from the Altai to the Western regions of Tian-shan mountains and established the political system ruled by two Lesser Qaghan under his control as a great Qaghan. (Cf. TD-199: 5452).

Then when a younger brother of She-tu, Chu-luo-hou of the Eastern Turkish Qaghan named Yabghu Qaghan and Magha Qaghan succeeded his elder brother She-tu, and invaded in the Western Turkish Qaghanate in 587. (At this time) Apa Qaghan was defeated and captured as a prisoner to Mongolia. In this relation, SS-84 records as follows:

Da-luo-bian was captured by Chu-luo-hou (of the Eastern Turkish Qaghanate). The peoples of the country made the son of Yang-su te-qin (Tigin) ascend the throne, that is, he was Ni-li Qaghan. After his death, his son, Da-man ascended the throne and called himself Ni-jue-Chu-luo Qaghan. (SS-84: 1876)

From this source, we can know that after Apa Qaghan was captured, the Western Turkish peoples made the son of Yang-su Tigin, Ni-li [achi. *˛niei lji'] 23Qaghan ascend the throne. As to Yang-su Tigin, it was obscure what relationship he had with Apa Qaghan, although it is obvious that he was one of the princes of the Turkish royal family of A-shi-na (orig. Ashinâs) clan according to his bearing the title of Tigin that the sons or brothers of Qaghans generally can bear24. So many scholars have discussed on his identify for a long time25. However now we got a new source on this problem from the expression of this Sogdian text such as <a grandson of Muqan Qaghan, ... Pay Niri Qaghan became a great Qaghan in the year of /// >. As mentioned above, since <Pay Niri Qaghan>who can be identified as Ni-li Qaghan of SS-84, was the grandson of <Muqan Qaghan> who was identified as the father of Da-luo-bian (Apa Qaghan), Mu-gan kehan in SS-84, we can assume that Yang-su Tigin of the problem was also the son of Muqan Qaghan, and that Yang-su Tigin was a brother of Apa Qaghan. As to a part of his title such as a word of <...Pay>, it can be regarded as one of his epithets or titles of Ni-li Qaghan as well as Ni-jue as one of the formal titles Chu-luo [achi. * ˛t''s'iwo' ˛lâ']26 Qaghan as cited above. As known well in Chinese and Turkic records, the ancient Turkish Qaghans generally bear some titles or epithets. And as to the relationship between Yang-su Tigin and Da-luo-bian, it can be said that Yang-su Tigin was a younger brother of Da-luo-bian, because if Yang-su Tigin was his elder brother of Da-luo-bian, he must have been described in SS-84 as the most powerful candidate for Muqan Qaghan, but his name cannot be found anywhere except Da-luo-bian. Therefore we can conclude that Ni-li Qaghan was a nephew of Da-luo-bian. And that Yang-su Tigin, Ni-li Qaghan and Ni-jue Chu-luo Qaghan belong to the genealogy of Muqan Qaghan as well as Da-luo-bian can be also supported by the following reference of Du-you who was the author of TD in the Tang period. He described on the genealogy of Chu-luo Qaghan under consideration as follows:

That is, he (Chu-luo Qaghan) has a kingship with Da-luo-bian. Although he has the same title as that of Chu-luo Qaghan of the Northern (Eastern) Turkish Qaghanate, it does not mean that he is the same person. (TD-199: 5453)

But now we are confronted with a question such that after Apa Qaghan was captured by the Eastern Turkish Qaghan, why the Western Turkish peoples selected not the father of Ni-li, Yang-su Tigin, but Ni-li? To this, we cannot reply, because there is no evidence at present. But if Yang-su Tigin was still alive then, as long as he was the younger brother of former and he has a closer relationship with former than Ni-li, Yang-su Tigin himself must have been selected as a successor27. In my opinion, as to the reason why Ni-li Qaghan was made ascend the throne in the place of his father, must be better to consider that Yang-su Tigin might have died of sickness or in the battle until 587.

And my attestation can be supported by the fact that there is <Curi Qaghan> in the 21st line of this text and this Qaghan can be identified as Chu-luo Qaghan as a son and successor of Ni-li Qaghan in the Chinese records of SS-84 cited above by me. Thus, we can at the first time clarify a unknown genealogy of the ancient Turkish royal family of the Ashinâs clan of the Western Turkish Qaghanate until now except the genealogy of Istemi Qaghan- Da-tou Qaghan (Table 1).

IV. The death of Ni-li (Niri) Qaghan and the enthronement of Chu-luo (Curi) Qaghan

As to the reason and the period of the death of Ni-li Qaghan, although there is no records to be attested officially in the Chinese sources, most of the historians generally guess that Ni-li Qaghan died in battle against the Confederation of the Turkish nomad tribes (chin. Tie-lei) as follows:

In this year, Ni-li Qaghan and his Yabghu was defeated by the Turkish tribes named Tie-lei.

(SS-84: 1874).

As to the date of this battle, however, it is not obvious when this battle happened, because there are varieties of dates in Chinese sources as follows: it seems possible that this accident happened in the 1st year of Ren-shou i.e. 601 according to some Chinese records such as SFYQ 995: 11685; DPHJ 194: 649; SS-84: 1873). However we should also pay attention that the description under consideration in SS-84 is also written after the following event:

When Yang-su came across Tu-jue A-wu-si li si-jian (tur. irkin) and others who tried to cross over the river and go Southwards in the North side of the Huang-he river, his troops plundered 6,000 men and women, and 200,000 domestic animals from Qi-min Qaghan, and went away. (SS-84: 1873).

And if we think that this can be corresponded to the event belonged to 602 as a result of comparison with (SS-51: 1335 and ZSTJ-179: 5590) as Prof. Naitô mentioned, the description under consideration can be dated in the 2nd year of Ren-shou i.e. 602. But we cannot agree with this dating because Ni-li Qaghan had already died in 599, as we will consider the death of Ni-li Qaghan in the following. This confusion amongst the Chinese sources can be caused by that authors of the Chinese texts had no information on this battle, on the conjecture that Ni-li Qaghan might have died in the struggle against the confederation of Tie-lei tribes that defeated Da-tou Qaghan and made him seek a refuge into Southeastern area, i.e. Tu-yu-hun tribes in 601 or 602, they only inserted this record after the events of the date of 601 or 602. Otherwise some researchers thought that this may be related to the event of Chu-luo Qaghan's defeat suffered by Tie-lei tribes in 603 on the mere conjecture that it is possible to connect his death to these events28. On the contrary, as Prof. Naitô pointed out truly, I would like to consider it on the basis of the description of SS-84 as follows:

His (Ni-jue-Chu-luo Qaghan) mother was Xiang-shi, who was of Chinese, and she had born Da-man. However, after Ni-li Qaghan died, Xiang-shi married with his younger brother Bo-shi Tigin again. In the last year of Kai-huang (i.e. 600 A.D.), Bo-shi Tigin was sent to the Sui dynasty as ambassador with Xiang-shi. However, since they met with the rebellion of Da-tou (Qaghan), they could not help staying in the guesthouse named Hong-lu-shi. (SS-84: 1876)

According to this, it means that Ni-li Qaghan had died before his Chinese wife Xiang-shi got married again with his younger brother Bo-shi Tigin according to their traditional marriage custom, which is named <leverate> anthropologically and they sent to the capital, Da-xing-cheng, later Chang-an of the Tang period of the Sui dynasty under the founder of Sui, Wen-ti as ambassadors in 600. In particular we must pay attention to the description such that they could not come back to the court of Chu-luo Qaghan along the Yili river because Da-tou Qaghan invaded into the Northern border of the Sui dynasty, therefore they could not help staying at the guesthouse of the Sui dynasty. In the record of SS, Da-tou Qaghan rose a rebellion against the Sui dynasty in the date of the 4th of April in 600 (SS-2: 45; SS-53: 1355-56)29. Prof. Naitô, however hesitated to decide that Ni-li Qaghan had died in autumn of 599. Now I would like to reconsider on this problem. In the year of 600, there are two February (i.e. common February and bissextile February) according to the classical Chinese calendar30 and it is calculated that it may have taken two or three months from Dai-xing-cheng to the court of Chu-luo Qaghan. As to the court of Chu-luo Qaghan, it is described in SS-84 as follows: Chu-luo Qaghan always moved his headquarters, however, he usually resided in the place where the nomad tribes named Wu-sun resided in the ancient time (SS-84: 1876). And according to the ancient Chinese records such as Shi-ji, Han-shu, theWu-sun tribes had resided in the Tekes and Yildiz Steppes along the Yili river where lied in the north of Qucha country31. This identification can be supported by fact that most of kurgans that can be archaeologically regarded as the tombs of Wu-sun tribes have been distributed in Zhao-su prefecture including the Tekes Steppes along the Yili River32. In my view, it must have taken ca. 75 days from the Steppes of Yildiz to Dai-xing-cheng that can be supported by the description of TT-199 as follows:

Da-luo-bian of the Western Turkish Qaghan, His country is located in the region that 'Wu-sun' had ruled in ancient times. It reaches the border of the (Eastern) Turkish Qaghanate to the east, Lei-zhu-hai to the west, Shu-lei to the south, Han-hai to the north. It takes 7000 li from Jin-shi to the Northwest. It takes 7 days Northwestern from Yan-qi to Nan-ting (i.e. the Southern court). It takes 8 days North from Nan-ting to Bei-ting. Tie-lei, Qui-zi and all the oasis countries of Central Asia belong to this Qaghanate (TT-199: 5452).

From this, it had taken 7000 li from the Yildiz Steppes, which Da-luo-bian was resided to the capital of Sui dynasty, Dai-xing-cheng. And we must remind that one of the administrative rules named Ling of the Tang dynasty prohibited ambassadors and travellers to move over 70 li a day (Tang-ling-shi-yi 21: 602: Nîda 1933: 602-604), however, according to the researches of Prof. H. Nakamura, indeed it can be regarded that it took about 100 li a day between the capital of the Tang dynasty and oasis countries of Central Asia (Nakamura 1991: 458, 476). So, we can calculate that it took 70 days from the court of Yildiz of Da-luo-bian to the capital of Sui, Dai-xing-cheng. And in the record of SS 84, there is description such that the Southern court of Da-luo-bian was located in the place where it took 7 days from Yan-qi to the Northwestern direction and his northern court was located in the place when it took 8 days from the southern court. On the basis of the record of TD-192, it seems that it took 7300 li from Yan-qi to the Chang-an, and we can assume that it took 100 li a day in that times as mentioned above, so we can conclude that it must have taken 73 days from Yan-qi to Chang -an. As a result, it must have taken 88 days (73 + 7 + 8) from the northern court of Da-luo-bian to Dai-xing-chneg. This is not the direct rout from the Northern court to Chang-an, but the route through Yan-qi, that is, we can generally in those days that it must have taken more than two half months, and moreover we can assume that they were ambassadors involving a woman like Xiang-shi, so it might have taken more than two half months. So we can assume that Xiang-shi and Bo-shi Tigin had leave the court of Chu-luo Qaghan in the date of February which dated back two half months from the 4th day of April of 600. And we should remind the description of the ZS-50 on the traditional funeral custom and their traditional marriage as follows:

If a person dies, the dead is laid in his tent. And his descendants and relatives kill and lay their own sheep and horses in the front of the tent and hold a kind of funeral ceremony. They ride around the tent seven times clockwise, and whenever they reach the gate of the tent, they cut his face with sword and cry in each time. Thus, they shed blood and tears together; they do performance seven times like that and stop this. They cremate and bury the dead altogether his horses and the articles of everyday use in a special day. Then they bury the ashes of the dead in an appropriate day. If a person dies in spring or summer, they dig the ground for burial of his ashes in the autumn when plants and trees wither. If a person dies died in autumn or winter, they dig the ground for burial buried in the next spring when flowers or trees come into bud. On the funeral day, all relatives of the dead held a ceremony riding around on a horse and cut his own face as well as the mentioned above. After funeral, they erect the stone in his tomb and establish the grave marker. As to the stone, it depends on number of enemies killed by the dead in his lifetime. And on that day, men and women dress up and gather together in the tomb. If a man finds a daughter he likes, after returning to home, he lets a messenger go and gift to the girl's parents and request permission to marriage with their daughter. In general, it goes well.... (ZS-50: 910)

According to this33, we can know that the ancient Turkish peoples have used to hold the first funeral ceremony soon after the death, then nearly half a year later, they held the second funeral ceremony involving burial of remains into the ground after cremation, establishment of the tomb, erection of stones (i.e. tur. balbals) in front of the tomb, and offering of horses and sheep to the dead or God (Tängri)34. Now what we should take care of from record cited above from ZS-50 is when the 2nd funeral ceremony was performed in a year. In my view, this description shows that as the 2nd funeral season, in the autumn when plants and trees wither or in the next spring when flowers or trees come into bud or is the most proper season in the Mongolian or Yili Steppes. For example, Köl Tigin died on the 17th of January, 731, his funeral ceremony (tur. Yogh) was performed on the 27th of September, 731, and stone statues, stone balbals and inscription were established on the 26th of July, 732 (Tekin 1988: 24-25). Bilgä Qaghan died on the 26th October, 734 and his funeral ceremony was performed on the 27th of May, 735 (Tekin 1988: 54-55). From this, we can know that their funeral ceremony used to be often held in spring or autumn. So, in the case of Ni-li Qaghan, it is difficult to consider that his funeral 2nd ceremony was performed in January or February of 599, because these months fit <the spring when flowers or trees come into bud > as mentioned above. Moreover if it was January or February that Ni-li's 2nd funeral ceremony was performed, there is no time to complete Chu-luo's enthronement and his mother Xiang-shi's remarriage ceremony. Therefore, we can not help considering that the death of Ni-li Qaghan and his first funeral ceremony must have been held in Autumn or Winter of 599 at the latest. As a result, it seems probable that Ni-li Qaghan died in the time from spring to summer of 599 or in the time from autumn-winter of 598.

Now we consider this date from another viewpoint of the life style of nomad peoples in the Yili Steppe. The site of Mongolküre is located in the Tekes Steppes at about 1900 m above sea level. According to Prof. Su, who is well acquainted with the climate and geography around there, it seems that there is special feature meteorologically in the Yili region including the place of this site. In other words, it is said that in the range of 1800-2300 height and 500-600 m width of the Tekes Steppes, it is warmer than the low districts in the season from October to next March, because dense fog sets in from lakes or valleys and preserves many kind of plants from freezing. This is geographically called 'the reversal phenomenon' (Zhou 1990: 2). This site belonged to this district, so it seems probable that it might have been established in autumn or winter. Additionally according to Prof. Matsubara who researched this area anthropologically in summer of 1992, it seems very little possible that the area around the tomb is fit for the summer camp of the nomad peoples. From here, we can also regard this location of this site as their autumn camp or winter one.

So, at present, we can assume that Ni-li Qaghan died in spring or summer of 598 and his 2nd funeral ceremony could be held in autumn or winter of the year of 599 at the latest. In the relation, as to the sources of events of Ni-li's lifetime, it is very scarce as mentioned above. However, according to SS-84, there is record that Chinese princess, Qaghatun Da-xi Gong-zhu who was She-tu's wife (tur. Qaghatun) of the Eastern Turkish Qaghanate, after his death, became his son Du-lan Qaghan's wife tried to make an alliance with the Western Turkish Qagahan Ni-li Qaghan. Since she was annoying of her own country, the Chen dynasty was ruined by the Sui dynasty, she hated the Sui dynasty and often requested from Du-lan Qaghan to invade into the north border of China, the Sui dynasty sent ambassadors to Du-lan and ordered him to kill her, but he refused to do so. Finally that she committed adultery with a Sogdian official of Bukhârâ was revealed, so Du-lan ordered kill her in the tent. There is no record on this description in SS, however, according to ZZTJ-178: 5543, she was killed in 593. From here, we can confirm that Ni-li Qaghan still lived in 593 at least and made an alliance with a Qaghatun of the Eastern Turkish Qaghanate. But later we have no information. So, this Sogdian text is very important source in future, although this content is obscure at this present.

Now we let us look at this text. According to this Sogdian text, we can become aware that descriptions of the 3rd line can be corresponded to the historical events of Muqan Qaghan (553-572) as I mentioned in the 2nd chapter of this paper. And there is a phrase of <6 months later> in the 4th line of this text. Additionally, if we pay attention to the phrase such as <after 26 years> in the 5th line, we can consider that the events that were referred after the 7th line can be belonged to the period <26 years later> after the death of Muqan Qaghan's death of 572, that is, to the periods after 598. This can be supported by the fact that since there is description of historical events including the name of Ni-li Qaghan, which can be related to events during his reign in the 19th line after the date of 598, we can assume that he was still alive in 598. So, it is possible to say that he died in 599. Then his son, Chu-luo Qaghan ascended the throne as a great Qaghan, perhaps in the same time of the second funeral ceremony for his father in 599. Then according to their traditional custom, after his mother, Xiang-shi got marriage again with Ni-li's younger brother Bo-shi Tigin, Chu-luo Qaghan made them send as ambassadors to the Sui Dynasty. The reason why Chu-luo sent them as ambassadors to China is not obscure. Once Japanese Prof. Uchida insisted on that Xiang-shi wanted to refuge to China35. But as long as the Chinese records told, there is no evidence, because on the way from China to the Yili Steppes, they could not help staying in the Sui court because of Da-tou Qaghan's invasion into the North border of the Sui dynasty. So, we should not regard as their seeking refuge into the Sui dynasty. In my opinion, it seems probable to think that they were sent to the Sui dynasty in order to accomplish the purpose of proposing the Sui Emperor, Wen-ti to unite the political alliance with the Western Turkish Qaghanate under the new ruler, Chu-luo Qaghan after the death of former Ni-li Qaghan. The example such that the new Turkish Qaghan sent his ambassadors to the Sui dynasty is confirmed by She-tu (Ishbara Qaghan), Apa Qaghan and so on. They would like the Sui dynasty to authorize his sovereignty and legitimacy to rule over their own country officially in order to strengthen his political authority. From this, we can assume that Chu-luo Qaghan also sent his Chinese mother and uncle to the Sui dynasty in order to acquire more strong political authority from it as well as other Qaghans mentioned above. Perhaps it can be even explained that in that time when Chu-luo became a great Qaghan, his country is not so strong as that of his father's reign, that is, he came across the difficulty and danger to maintain his country. Consequently at this present, we can say that Ni-li Qaghan had ruled over the Western Turkish Qaghanate in the time between 587 when Apa Qaghan was captured to Mongolia and 599 when he died.

V. The political system during the reign of Ni-li (Niri) Qaghan.

What was the political system during the reign of Niri Qaghan? As long as I know, there are few sources on this subject. However, it is possible to clarify it from this Sogdian text.

First, I would like to consider the political system during the reign of Apa Qaghan according to the record of TD-199, 15 as follows:

Da-luo-bian of the Western Turkish Qaghan, His country is located in the region that 'Wu-sun' had ruled in ancient times. It reaches the border of the (Eastern) Turkish Qaghanate to the east, Lei-zhu-hai to the west, Shu-lei to the south, Han-hai to the north. It takes 7000 li from Jin-shi to the Northwest. It takes 7 days Northwestern from Yan-qi to Nan-ting (i.e. the Southern court). It takes 8 days North from Nan-ting to Bei-ting. Tie-lei, Qui-zi and all the oasis countries of Central Asia belong to this Qaghanate. (TD-199: 5452).

From this record, Apa Qaghan stayed in the region where Wu-sun tribes had ruled in ancient times. Besides he made each of two Lesser Qaghans rule in 'Nan-ting' that means 'the Southern court' and in 'Bei-ting' that means 'the Northern court'. Such political system ruled by two Lesser Qaghans under the supervision of a great Qaghan can be confirmed by the records of Chinese Documents unearthed from the tombs of Astâna of the Turfan basin in Xinjiang. According to the fragments of [60 TAM 307: 5/1 (a), 60 TAM 307: 4/4 (a), 60 TAM 307:4/3 (a); TFCW III, 256-259; TFCWF I: 415-417] which record the political and economic relation between the Qôchô dynasty and the Western Turkish Qaghanate during the reign of Apa Qaghan, there is a person named 'Nan-xiang-ke-han' which literally means 'the Qaghan of the Southern house', that is, the southern Lesser Qaghan under Apa Qaghan. From the judgement of the expression of 'the Qaghan of the southern house', we can suppose that in his country a person named 'Bei-xiang-ke-han' that literally means 'the Qaghan of the northern house' must have been existed too. If it is possible, we can confirm that the political system ruled by two Lesser Qaghans under the supervision of a great Qaghan had been established during the reign of Apa Qaghan.

Secondly, as to the political system during the reign of Chu-luo Qaghan which can be identified as Curi Qaghan of this text, I can confirm the same political system such as in the reign of Apa Qaghan according to the SS 84:1876 as follows:

Chu-luo Qaghan always changes his residence. However, he usually lives in the region that Wu-sun had ruled in ancient times. And he also appointed two Lesser Qaghans and made the tribes into submission under the rule of him. One Qaghan resided in the Northern court from Shi-guo (i.e., Tashkent) and ruled many oasis countries near there; the other Qaghan resided in the Northern region from Qui-qi (Qucha) where is named Yin-shi (i.e. the Yildiz basin).

From this record, Chu-luo Qaghan stayed in the region that Wu-sun tribes ruled in ancient times as well as Apa Qaghan. And the political system ruled by two Lesser Qaghans under the supervision of a great Qaghan was confirmed in the reign of Chu-luo Qaghan. Besides, the records of Chinese Documents from the Turfan basin can support this. According to the fragment of [60 TAM 329: 23/1, 23/2, TFCW III, 256-259; TFCWF I: 461] which describes the political and economic relation between the Qôchô dynasty and the Western Turkish Qaghanate during the reign of Chu-luo Qaghan, there is the expression of 'Bei-xiang ke-han' which means literally 'the Qaghan of the northern house'. Therefore we can suppose that from this expression, 'Nan-xiang ke-han' which means literally 'The Qaghan of the southern house'. Therefore we can also make sure that the political system ruled by two Qaghans under the supervision of a great Qaghan was established also during the reign of Chu-luo.

Now as to the political system during the reign of Ni-li Qaghan, it seems scarcely to be mentioned. But when we pay attention to the phrases of the 6-7 lines and the 21st line of this Sogdian text, we can confirm the same system as well as during the reign of Apa Qaghan and Chu-luo Qaghan. Because there is a phrase of 'the grandson of Muqan Qaghan, Niri Qaghan became a great Qaghan in the year of ///' in the 6-7th lines. From this sentence, we can recognize that Niri Qaghan that can be identified as Ni-li Qaghan in the record of SS-84 mentioned above was a great Qaghan. Therefore we can suppose that there were also Lesser Qaghans under Niri Qaghan. In this relation, we should take care of the phrase of the 21st line such that 'Curi Qaghans, … hold!' which was described in the imperative form of second single person, which means 'Curi Qaghan and the other Qaghan, hold (your country)!' I can consider this phrases addressed by the Turkish aristocrats peoples around court of Ni-li and his son, Chu-luo. In other words, this phrase can be interpreted as one of the calling phrases when Chu-luo Qaghan just ascends the throne as a great Qaghan after the death of Ni-li Qaghan. This proposition on this phrase may be supported by the fact that the Turkish aristocrats peoples called him to ascend the throne as a great Qaghan after Muqan Qaghan in the 2-5th lines, B-2 of Bugut Inscription of Mongolia36. If it is possible, according to the phrases of the 6-7th lines and the 21st line of this text, we can recognize that there was two Lesser Qaghans consisted of Chu-luo Qaghan and another Lesser Qaghan under the supervision of the Ni-li Qaghan. But it seems unclear when had been established such a political system of two Lesser Qaghans under Niri Qaghan, because it was very difficult condition to establish this system like that soon after Ni-li Qaghan had succeeded Apa Qaghan whom had been captured by Yabgu Qaghan (Bagha Qaghan) of the Eastern Turkish Qaghanate in 587. In that time, his power must have been stable enough to maintain the political system ruled by two Lesser Qaghans under a great Qaghan because the political confusion after the defeat. At least it seems impossible to suppose that this political system had established in the beginning of the reign of Ni-li Qaghan. But it must have been established in some years later than Ni-li Qaghan could acquire his political authority and influence to the other nomad peoples and oasis countries such as Qôchô around him. Now who is the Lesser Qaghan except Chu-luo Qaghan during the reign of Ni-li Qaghan? In this relation, we can mention that a personal name of 'Bei-shi she-po-hu', 'Bei-shi yi-fu-hu', that is, Bei-shi Yabghu which can be identified as the younger brother of Ni-li Qaghan, Bo-shi Tigin in SS-84 was described in the Chinese fragment of Astâna in the Turfan basin such as [69 TAM 122: 3/2, TFCW III: 328; TFCWF I: 455]. He bore a title of Tigin that the brothers or sons of Turkish Qaghans bear inSS-84 while the person who can be identified with him bears the title of Yabghu in the Document of Turfan. However this difference is no disturbance of the identification because this title has different function and can be born by the same person (Jiang 1994: 94). It seems probable that Bo-shi Tigin (Yabghu) was one of the two Lesser Qaghan under the reign of Ni-li Qaghan as well as Da-man, Chu-luo. Generally we can say that the political system ruled by two Lesser Qaghans under the control of a great Qaghan has been established and maintained in the Western Turkish Qaghanate during the reign of Apa, Ni-li, Chu-luo Qaghans although there were some interruption by the political confusion37.

As to Chu-luo Qaghan's later years, he ascended the throne after the death of his father, Ni-li Qaghan. However, he could not ruled over the Tie-lei tribes so well. In 605, they rose a rebellion and they made their leader, iltäbär irkin Qi-bi-ge-leng ascend the throne as Yi-wu-zhen mo-he (Magha) Qaghan and organized the Tie-lei Qaghanate with a lesser Qaghan named Ye-zhi who was the chief (tur. irkin) of Xue-yan-tuo tribes in Tan-han-shan mountains and opposed with Chu-luo Qaghan (SS-84: 1880). At last Chu-luo Qaghan sent his ambassadors to China and concluded an alliance with the Sui dynasty under Yang-ti in 605. Afterwards She-qui, who was the grandson of Da-tou Qaghan promised that She-qui succeed to attack and oust Chu-luo Qaghan from his position, the Sui dynasty promise him to a position of a great Western Qaghan. As a result of his attacking, Chu-luo Qaghan was defeated and escaped toward the Shi-luo-man-shan mountain near the east of Qôchô in 610 Next year, he made a decision to go into the Sui dynasty with his younger brother, Que-Dat-du she (Köl Tarduš ∏ad) and his relative, Dai-na Tigin which was also one of his followers, according to the advice of his mother, Xiang-shi which hoped earnestly that his son enter the Sui court, and finally he accepted it. The Sui dynasty allows him to stay there in the Sui court and serve for Yang-ti as a member of the imperial guards. In 612, he also campaigned against the Gao-gou-li around the north region of the Korea peninsula and he was awarded the honourable title of He-sa-na Qaghan. Afterwards in the Tang dynasty, although he was appointed to Gui-xi-wang by Li-yuan, he was hostile to Shi-bi Qaghan of the Eastern Turkish Qaghanate and was killed by one of the ambassadors of Shi-bi Qaghan according to the command of Li-yuan in spite of the advice of his son, Tai-zong in 61938. Afterwards his death was buried then and changed in other places in the territory of the Tang dynasty.

On the other hand, in the place of Chu-luo, She-qui could acquire the political power and ruled over the peoples of the Western Turkish Qaghanate. Since then, the Western Turkish Qaghanate had been ruled by the Qaghans that belonged to the genealogy of the royal Ashinâs family of Istemi Qaghan, not of Muqan Qaghan.

VI. The date of Stone Statue and the person buried in this tomb.

When was this Sogdian inscription inscribed? As I mentioned above, it seems undoubted that the genealogy of Niri Qaghan has an important significance on the subject of this text. And we can admit that the phrase of the 21st line of this text can be meant that the Turkish noble peoples and the general Turkish peoples ordered Niri Qaghan's son, Curi Qaghan and the other Lesser Qaghan (or Yabghu) to rule well over the Western Turkish Qaghanate after the death of Niri Qaghan. Therefore we can say this text was inscribed in the periods from the death of Niri Qaghan to the enthronement of Curi Qaghan, that is, we can assume that it was inscribed in spring or autumn of 599 when Niri Qaghan died. And it seems much probable that the person who ordered to inscribe this text cannot be except the son of Niri Qaghan, Curi Qaghan who was in a position to play a role of the chief mourner in the funeral ceremony of his father, former Niri Qaghan. Moreover the person who inscribed this text might have been either a Sogdian or a Turkish who knew Sogdian language well who stayed and worked as one of his secretaries around the headquarters of Niri and Curi Qaghans. In this relation, according to a Chinese document of Astâna of Turfan basin such as [60 TAM 307: 5/4., TFCW III: 253; TFCWF I: 414], we can understand that there are Sogdians named 'Yan-pan-tou' (sog. *Yen vandak) meaning 'slave of Yen' and named 'Pi-sha' (sog. *Pisha) who were sent to the Qôchô dynasty as ambassadors of Zhan-tou Tarqan under the reign of Apa Qaghan of the Westeren Turkish Qaghan.

And also according to the other Chinese document of Astâna of Turfan basin such as [60 TAM 307: 4/2 (a), TFCW III, 255; TFCWF I: 414], it is sure that a Sogdian metalworker of iron named 'Pan-tuo' (sog. * Vandak) meaning 'slave' served as an official around Apa Qaghan. And we can make sure that there was a Sogdian metalworker of gold named 'Ju-zhi' (sog. 'Kwcyk) meaning 'a man of Qucha' according to a Chinese document of Astâna of Turfan basin such as [60 TAM 307: 5/a (b); TFCW III, 260; TFCWF I, 418]. Also we can know that there a Sogdian metalworker of gold named 'Mo-pau-tuo' (sog. *Max-Vandak) meaning 'slave of the Moon God' as a ambassadors to the Qôchô dynasty around the court of 'Pin-han' Qaghan who was very familiar to Apa Qaghan39.

From the judgement of the Chinese documents cited above, we can conclude that many Sogdian peoples moved from Sogdian colonies around the oasis countries like Qôcho to the Western Turkish Qaghans' courts in the Steppes of the Yili and resided there. Because the courts are not only the political centre for Turkish Qaghanate but also played an important role as a trade centre of the Sogdian networks all over the world organized by Sogdians, and there they served as governmental traders, officials, and soldiers named sog. Châkâr of the Western Turkish Qaghanate since around the last quarter of the 6th century40. This can be pointed out by the fact that there was the same situation in the Eastern Turkish Qaghanate around the 1st half of the periods of the 7th century before the destruction of this country, as Prof. M. Mori had clarified before. And Sogdian influences on the Turkish Qaghanate can be pointed out not only in the politics and economies, but also in the cultures. This can be supported by the fact that the inscription of this stone statue had been inscribed in Sogdian letters and Sogdian language as well as Bugut inscription of Mongolia41.

Now we should consider what this inscription had a relation with the stone statue. As we mentioned above, it is noteworthy that this text inscribed under the band and there is no picture of foot or other belongs. If the model of this stone statue was not the person in whose honour this text was written, the inscription must have inscribed in the back or the upper side higher than band as well as Choir inscription in Mongolia42. Therefore it seems undoubted that this inscriber would like to show who was the person in whose honour this stone statue was established by both the sculpture and the inscription. From the fact that this text was inscribed in the honour of Ni-li Qaghan of the Western Turkish Qaghanate as I mentioned above, this stone statue must have been established in the honour of Ni-li Qaghan, too. Now I would like to consider weather my supposing is right or not from the archaeological and historical points of view in the following.

Archaeologically, we can say that the model of this stone statue can not be except person which was in the position of the Qaghans because this stone statue wears a kind of crown with three round headdress in the front and sides, which is perhaps made of silver and gold. And, it can be stated that it belongs to the few stone statues that is higher than 2 meter amongst the ones that were discovered in the Eurasian steppes, and this tomb where it was established has a larger measurement (ca. 40 meter square) as well as the sites of the Eastern Turkish Qaghans in Mongolia43.

Historically, as far as the text is concerned, it seems probable that it relates with the historical events which occurred during the reign of the Muqan, Apa, Ni-li, Chu-luo Qaghans.

As to Muqan Qaghan, he changed his court in 560's from Altai Mountains to Mongolia; therefore we can conclude that his tomb should have build in some region of Mongolia. And in this text, the name of Muqan Qaghan was mentioned only for showing the genealogy of Ni-li Qaghans as his grandson. It seems impossible to attest this stone statue to Muqan Qaghan.

As concerns of Apa Qaghan (Da-luo-bian), the Eastern Turkish Qaghan, Yabghu Qaghan in 587, captured him and afterwards he could not come back toward his court in the Yili Steppes. Moreover as long as we can know in the text, there is no his name. Therefore we cannot correspond this stone statue to Apa Qaghan.Then is it possible to attest this stone statue to Chu-luo Qaghan? If it is possible, this tomb must have established after his death. However, we cannot help admitting that the contents of the 21st line of this text only belongs to the beginning of his reign no matter how we consider it at the latest. In this words, there is great difference in time between building of this tomb and the death of Chu-luo Qaghan. As I already stated, Chu-luo Qaghan visited the court of the Sui dynasty in 611 and since then had been stayed serving the Sui dynasty. In spite of his serving to the T'ang dynasty, he was killed by ambassadors of the Eastern Turkish Qaghanate under the command of the 1st emperor, Li-yuan in 619. Therefore he was buried in the territory around Chang-an. On the other hand, the Western Turkish Qaghante ruled by the grandson of Da-tou Qaghan, She-gui Qaghan which had attacked Chu-luo and banish him from the Western Turkish Qaghanate. Therefore we can regard that She-gui Qaghan ruled the court of the former, so there is no room to think that She-gui Qaghan made the tomb of his political rival Chu-luo Qaghan in the Yili Steppes. So, we can never expect that this stone statue was established for Chu-luo Qaghan.

As considered above historically, it seems undoubted that this stone statue was erected not for Muqan, Apa, Chu-luo Qagans, but for Ni-li Qaghan. From the Chinese records, we can know that Ni-li Qaghan always struggled against the Confederation of the Turkish nomad tribes named Tie-lei and the Eastern Turkish Qaghanate. Perhaps it seems probable that he died from the wounds or sickness after a battle and he was buried in the place where he had used to stay during his lifetime. As a result, we can conclude that this stone statue was established in the honour of Ni-li Qaghan after his death in the second half year of 599 A.D.

Conclusions -The historical background on the erection of this stone statue.

It has been generally accepted amongst archaeologists that the ancient Turkish stone statues can be classified in two groups (Group I and Group II) from the viewpoint of the iconography and the chronological analysis on the shape of belongs such as headdress, earrings, necklace, vessels, wears and collar, clasp and ornaments of the belt etc.44. Group I always holds a vessel with the right hand around the breast and the haft of a sword in the left hand, and it has been proposed that it chronologically belongs to the periods from ca. 6th century to ca. 8th century. On the other hand, Group II holds a vessel in the hands, and it has been proposed that it belongs to the periods from ca. 9th century to ca. 12th century before the invasion of the Mongol Empire into Central Asia45. It is obvious that the stone statue of this paper can be belonged to the I group, therefore all of the archaeologists or art-historians proposed that this belonged to periods of the Tang dynasty, in particular 7-8th centuries46. However, as I could clarify from the Sogdian text, it is calculated that this stone statue was made in 599. From this, it was apparent at the first time that the original types of the stone statues of Group I can be dated back to the last quarter of the 6th century at least. Until now it has been hypothesized that the early types of Group I was made in the 6th century only on the basis of the description related to the funeral custom of SS-84, that is the writing of 'the portrait of the dead and his fighting scene against the enemy in the struggle which came across in his life time have been used to draw pictures on the walls (of the tomb)'47. But this description of SS-84, as cited before, can be related to a part of wall painting inside the tomb, therefore this cannot allow us to attest the stone statues amongst the Turkish peoples during the periods of the Sui dynasty. Also, some archaeologist have proposed that some stone statues belong to the 6th century by the means of comparing it with the belongs of the archaeological remains unearthed from the tomb of the ancient Turkish peoples or the wall-paintings of the Eurasian steppes including the North of China, the upper Yenissei basin, Chinese Turkistan, Sogdiana and the Northwest India etc.48. But it seems apparent that there were many goods imported from another region to the steppes in those days. Especially as to vessels made of silver and gold or the wears of the types of caftan with the triangular collars, which was originate from the typical types for the Iranians and Sogdians, it can be said that most of the belongs had been transported from the eastern Iran and Sogdiana or the Sogdian colonies established near the oasis countries such as Qôchô, Qucha, Dun-huang, Khôtan etc. along the Tarim basin49. For example, from the Chinese documents from Astâna of Turfan basin mentioned above, we can know that there were many Sogdian metalworkers of iron or gold in the court of Apa, Ni-li and Chu-luo Qaghans, and they were sent to the Qôchô dynasty as ambassadors. From them, it seems possible to think of that they brought the many goods as gifts to the Western Turkish Qaghanate. In fact, according to the Greek source Menandros Menandori Protectoris (568), the ambassador of the Byzantine Empire, Zemarchos told us that Dizaboulos (Istemi Qaghan) sat on the throne bearing four gold feet and gold figures of peacocks in his own magnificent tent, the wall and ceiling of which were decorated by brilliant twilled carpets, and inside the other tent, there were many luxury goods such as gold plates, gold figures of persons or animals, a variety of fine silk carpets spun by many varieties of thread50. It might been considered that most of them imported from the Eastern Iran, Sogdiana, the Chinese dynasty, the oasis countries such as the Qôchô dynasty. If it is accepted, we should regard that there is difference in the times between the goods produced originally in other region and the goods transported from there to the steppe and pictured on the Turkish stone statues. Therefore the period based on the archaeological method cannot always definitely indicate the true and detailed date of the establishing of the stone statues. In this respect, it has very significance to clarify the absolute date of establishment of stone statues by historically and philologically analysing the text of the stone states. Moreover, this stone statue can allow us support the hypothesis that stone statues were established in every tomb as figures of the persons buried in the tomb, not as one of many stone balbals that were symbolized as the enemy and were erected straight in the Eastern line outside the mound51.

Why was this stone statue made? It seems very difficult to solve this question, however, according to the Chinese records such as SS-84, the Western Turkish Qaghanate under Ni-li Qaghan was surrounded by the Eastern Turkish Qaghanate to the east, by The Sui dynasty and the Oasis countries to the south, by the other Turkish tribes (Tie-lei) which rises rebellions against him to the north, by the Sassanid dynasty to the West. In particular, although there is no evidence to clarify the date of the record of SS-84 such as 'in this year, Ni-li and his Yabghu was defeated by the Turkish nomad groups (Tie-lei)', it seems probable that Ni-li Qaghan has been conflicted violently with the Confederation of the Turkish nomad tribes (Tie-lei). Also as mentioned above that Chu-luo Qaghan had to suppressing the Tie-lei tribes which did not obey him in 605 (SS-84: 1877), it may be Tie-lei tribes which he always took care of to stabilize his country after his enthronement. From these, it seems undoubted that a problem of great urgency for Chu-luo might have been stabilizing his own country that had been weakened after the rebellion of the Turkish nomad tribes and strengthening his legitimacy and sovereignty. From this viewpoint, it seems probable that he needed demonstrate that he was the son of his father Ni-li Qaghan belonged to the respectful genealogy of the Muqan Qaghan who succeeded in the ruling over the peoples and countries of the Eurasian Steppes with Sogdian text and stone statue in order to collect the Turkish peoples and other Turkish nomad tribes who tried to escape from his control after the death of his father.

As consequences of this consideration, this stone statue having Sogdian text is regarded as one of the most important sources that can concretely clarify the political and cultural condition of the early Western Turkish Qaghanate. In addition, we can say that Sogdian letter and language were one of the formal ones in the period of the last quarter of 6th century as well as in the Eastern Turkish Qaghanate of Mongolia of the same time. On this recognition, I would like to stress that we should continue not only to inspect the remains of the Sogdian text, but also to survey this tomb in international collaboration with the researchers of China and other countries in future.


[Missing Image]
* The site and stone statue of Mongolküre.
Map 1: The location of this stone statue near Zhao shu along the Tekes Steppes in Xinjiang region.

[Missing Image]
Figure 1: Plan of the site of stone statue of Mongolküre (NISHITANI 1995: 57)

[Missing Image]
Figure 2: Front side and back side of stone statue of Mongolküre, taken by T. HAYASHI

[Missing Image]
Figure 3: A part of Sogdian text inscribed below the waist of stone statue

[Missing Image]
Table 1: The geneaology of the ancient Turkish Qaghans of Mukan Qaghan reconstructed by comparison of the records of SS-84 with Sogdian text of stone statue of Mongolküre.

Superior number: order of great Qaghans of the Western Turkish Qaghanate.
Solid lines: relationship attested undoubtedly
Dotted lines: relationship supposed by comparison of the Chinse record with Sogdian text.
Double dottend lines: relationship of marriage
Double solid lines: relationship identified by comparison the Chinese records and Sogdian text.

( ): The reign of Qaghans as a result of my consideration.

[ ]: The different name of the Turkish Qaghans attested in the Chinese documents of Astâna in Turfan basin.


achi.: Ancient Chinese.

AISX: Archaeological Institute of Sosyal Academy of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region.

ATM: Astâna Turfan Monjo (Document unearthed from Astâna in Turfan Basin).

BS: Bei shi (Chronicle of the Northern Chinese dynasty), 100 juan, by Li Dashi (d. 628), completed by his son li Yang shou in 659, Zhong hua shu ju, Beijing 1983.

CAXK: Comparative Archaeological studies on relations between Xinjiang region and Kyûshû region in Japan through Silk Road, NISHITANI Tadashi (ed.), The archaeological studies room, Kyûshû University, 1995.

CFYG: Ce fu yuan gui (The original Tortoise, Precious Treasure of the Document Store), 1000 juan, compiled by Wang Qinruo and others between 1005 and 1014, Zhon hua shu ju, Beijing 1960.

Chin.: Modern Chinese.

MORIYASU & Ochir = MORIYASU, T. & A. Ochir (ed.), Mongoru koku genzon iseki hibun kenkyû hôkoku, Osaka University, Osaka Daigaku, Chuô Yûrashia gaku kenkyûkai (In Japanese), (Site of Bugut. In. Provisional Report Of Researches on Historical Sites And Inscriptions In Mongolia From 1996 to1998. Osaka University, The Society of Central Eurasian Studies)

NAGK: Nairiku Ajia Gengo no Kenky, Osaka daigaku, Chuô Yûrashia gaku kenkyûkai, (Studies on the Inner Asian Languages, Osaka University, The Society of Central Eurasian Studies)

NWX: The research group of Institute of the cultural relics of Northwestern region in Xinjiang.

JTS: JiuTang shu (Old Chronicle of the Tang dynasty, 618-907), 200 juan, by Liu Xu (887-946), completed in 945, Zhong hua shu ju, Beijing 1975.

RCRX & RCRY: The research Institute of cultural relics of Xinjiang, research group of cultural relics in Yili region.

Sog.: Sogdian.

SS: Sui shu (Chronicle of the Sui dynasty, 581-617), 85 juan, by Wei Zheng (580-643) and others, completed in 636 and 656, Zhong hua shu ju, Beijing 1973.

TFCW: Tu -lu-fan chu tu wen shu vol. III (In Chinese), The ancient Philological Research Institute of Chinese.

TFCWF: Tu lu fan chu tu wen shu (Facsimiles compared with transcription), Chinese Wen-wu Institute, Xianjiang Uyghur autonomous Museum, School of the Historical research of Wu hu

University (ed.), Beijing, 1992.Cultural Antiquity, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region Museum, School of the Historical research of Wu-han University (ed.), Wen-wu publishing, Beijing 1981.

TD: Tong Dien (Comprehensive History of Regulations) 200 juan by Do You(735-812), 5 vols., Zhong hua shu ju, Beijing 1988.

TPZS: Tai ping huan zhu ji (Comprehensive Historical Geography), 200 juan, compiled by Le shi (930-1007), completed in the early North Song period. 5 vol., Wenhai shu pan she, Taipei 1992.

tur.: The ancient Turkish.

XTS: Xin Tang shu (New Chronicle of the Tang dynasty, 618-907), 225 juan, compiled by Ouyang Xiu (1007-1072), Song Qi (998-1061 and others in 1043-1060), Zhonghua shuju, Beijing 1975.

XUM: Muzeum of Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region.

XUW: The Institute of administrative works of Cultural relics in Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region, The archaeological Institute of Cultural relics in Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region, the Museum of Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region and the Joint Company of Economy and Technology in the frontier regions of Xinjiang.

ZS: Zhou-shu (Chronicle of the Zhou dynasty, 557-581), 50 juan, by Ling hu de fen (583-666) and others, completed in 628, Zhong hua shu ju, Beijing 1971.

ZZTJ: Zhi zhi tong jian (Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government), 294 juan, by Sima Gang (1019-1-86) and others, presented to the throne in 1084, Zhonghua shuju, Beijing 1956.


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* Associate Professor of Osaka University of Foreign Studies, Japan

1 Cf. Kubarev 1984 for Russian Altai, Ôsawa 1992 for Tuva and Hakassia, Sher 1966 for Semirechi'e, Hayashi 1996 for Mongolia, Wang & Qi 1996:113-116 for Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia in China.

2 XUM 1978:10; Yoshida 1991:73.

3 As to the history of researches of this stone statue, Cf. Ôsawa 1999: 364, note 7-8.

4 RCRX & RCRY 1990: 63.

5 Su 11990: 2.

6 As to this data, Prof. Hayashi measured it in summer 1992.

7 It may be caused by the reason that there was no time to establish stone balbals as normal as the sites of the ancient Turkish period because of unclear historical events. On the contrary, no stone balbals site is also observed in the sites of Erdene-mandal IV, V-Va, VI and Khul Askhete in Mongolia, so it may say that it is not so curious case as the Turkish sites (Vojtov 1996:28-29, 46, pl. 23, 47, pl. 26; 50-51, 58, pl. 37, 59, pl. 39).

8 AISX 1985: 15. On the details of the height, cf. Ôsawa 1999: 329, 364, note 5)

9 Jisl 1963: 395; Sertkaya, Alyılmaz, Battulga 2001:116.

10 For example, we can mention the paintings of Afrasiyab, Balalik Tepe, Varieties of silver and gold coins unearthed from Sogdiana and Khorâsân, and many doll unearthed from the tombs of North China.

11 As to this points, cf. Prof. Hayashi's paper of this book.

12 Shu 1960: 23.

13 In some Chinese reports, it is stated that there is no sentence of 13th line mentioned above, so this text is consisted of 20 lines totally.

14 cf. Ôsawa 1999; 334-335.

15 According to (Wang 1997:22), it seems that <Niri Qaghan> was attested also in the 8th and 11th lines. If it is so, that Niri Qaghan can be identified as the hero of this text is strongly supported.

16 For example, Köl Tigin's south 4, 8, 10; Bilgä Qaghan's south 9, North 8 (Tekin 1988: 2-5, 30-31, 52-53).

17 The calling phrase from the peoples to successor can be confirmed in [B-2: 1-7] of Bugut inscription (Yoshida & Moriyasu 1999: 123-124).

18 Cf. [B-1, 3; B-2, 3] in Bugut inscription new revised by Yoshida & Moriyasu 1999: 123-124. As for the difference between Klyashtornyj & Livshits 1972 and Yoshida & Moriyasu 1999, cf. Yoshida & Moriyasu 1998 and Ôsawa 2000; Ôsawa 2003.

19 This form as <iri> could be attested in [B-3, 4] of Bugut inscription (Yoshida & Moriyasu 1999: 123-124).

20 As to the title of <irkin>, it was originally born by the chief of tribes under the control of the Turkish ruler in the Chinese record and Orkhon inscription (cf. Mori 1967: 39-40).

21 From the records of SS-84, we can also confirm his ruling over many countries in all directions (SS-84: 1864).

22 Yoshida & Moriyasu 1999: 123-124; Yoshida & Moriyasu 1998:154-155. On the discussion of this origin and historical consideration cf. Ôsawa 2003.

23 Karlgren 1975: 204, 173.

24 As to title of Tigin, in TD-197: 5402, it is recorded as follows: His (Qaghan's) son and brother is called Tigin. The same sentence can be confirmed also in the JTS-194.

25 As concerns of his identify, Gymilev regarded him as a person named <Shiru-Kishubaru> and <Shaba> recorded in Tabari, Chavannes regarded him as Duo (or Du)-liu recorded as the son of Da-tou Qaghan in SS-84: 1878, Sawada regarded him as <Tourxanthos> recorded in records of travels (576) of Oualentinos of Menandri Protectoris fragmenta, Cen regarded him as no Dao-liu, but another son of Da-tou Qaghan or a half-brother of Dao-liu or a nephew of Da-tou Qaghan, and Naitô regarded him as neither brother nor a son of Da-luo-bian (Gumilev 1961: 84-85; Chavannes 1969: 49-50; Sawada 1973:84; Cen 1972: 120-121; Naitô 1988: 101, n.41, 413).

26 Karlgren 1975: 205, 167, 356, 184.

27 Naitô 1988: 421.

28 For example, Chavannes, Wang, Wu and TASAGIL presumed that this battle happened in 603 or 604 according to XTS-115: 6056 which recorded that Nili's death was caused by the battle against Tie-lei tribes that made Da-tou Qaghan refuge into Tu-yu-hun in 603 (Chavannes 1969: 51, n.i; Wang 1982: table of genealogy; Wu 1991: 51; TASAGIL 1995: 89). On the other hand, Cen regarded that Chu-luo Qaghan ascended the throne in the last year of Kai-huang (599) and Uchida also considered his death as the event of 599 according to the description of SS-84 (Cen 1972: 127; Uchida 1975: 458). On the discussion of the date of this battle, cf. Naitô 1988: 420-422.

29 On this event, it is also recorded in the places of SS-63: 1499; SS-65: 1530; SS-67: 1578, etc.

30 Chen 1972: vol.7, 600 year).

31 As to the consideration of Wu-sun 's residence from the historical point of view, cf. Shiratori 1970: 26-42; Matsuda 1970: 272; Uchida 1975: 461; Su 1988: 10-21.

32 On the site of Wu-sun, cf. Weng Mingzhe & Weng Binghua 1983: 11-22, 173-200; XUW 1999: 377, pl. 1073.

33 The nearly same description on their funeral custom is also recorded in SS-84: 1864. It is surely confirmed that there are statement of the 1st funeral ceremony after the death and the 2nd funeral ceremony amongst them, however it is not written in what season the second funeral ceremony after cremation of the 1st funeral ceremony in SS.

34 This funeral custom can be attested in the Orkhon inscription.

35 Uchida 1975: 458-459.

36 Yoshida & Moriyasu 1999: 123-124.

37 In my view, this political system was already established in the ancient Turkish Qagahnate since 552. But as we know in nomad country, it seems that authority of Qaghanate is decentralized, not absolute. cf. Mori 1964: 227-298.

38 TD-199: 5454; ZZTJ 187: 5865.

39 As to the Sogdian influence on metalworking of the Turkish nomad peoples in the Tang period, cf. Marshak 1971: 80-82; Jiang 1986: 35. Now we can say that they acted positively at the courts of the ancient Turkish Qaghanate also by the archaeological evidences such as gold, silver and other metalworks of the site of Boma in Zhao-su prefecture and the site of Bilgä Qaghan (An 1999; Sertkaya, Alyilmaz, Battulga 2001: XXXII, 115-116, pls.).

40 Besides, we know that so-called coexistence between Turks and Sogdians like that had already established in the reign of Sizaboul (Istemi Qaghan) at least from the report of Zemarchos of 568 in Menadri Protectoris Fragmenta. There it was recorded that a Sogdian named Maniach was sent to the Sassanid and the eastern Rome as a chief of ambassadors (Naitô 1988: 376-385; Blockley 1985: 110-125; Del a Vaissière 2002: 222-233).

41 Mori 1967: 61-93; Da la Vaissère 2002: 195-254.

42 Klyashtornyj 1971: 250, 255).

43 As for the scale and plan of the sites of the ancient Eastern Turkish Qaghans, cf. Vojtov 1996.

44 As to the problems on this method, cf. Ôsawa 1992: 1-4.

45 Evtjukhova 1952: 38-46; Grach 1961: 59-72; Sher 1966: 38-46; Pletneva 1981: 128, ris.23.

46 XUM 1975: 92; AISX 1985: 15; RCRX & RCRY 1990: 63; XUW 1999: 379.

47 SS-84: 1864.

48 For example, cf. Kubarev 1984: 22-47.

49 Ikeda 1981.

50 Naito 1988: 380; Blockley 1985: 118-121; De la Vaissière 2002.

51 Kizlasov 1964: 27-29; Ôsawa 1999: 358-359.

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