Zhang Zhan, Secular Khotanese Documents and the Administrative System in Khotan


Secular Khotanese documents, scattered among various collections, are precious sources for the history of Khotan and beyond. In 2006, Yutaka Yoshida first treated these documents across the boundaries of collections. He divided them into five groups (Archive 0—4) according to their dates and provenance, thus establishing a useful framework for future research. Based on his work and newly discovered materials, I added one group (Archive 5) and clarified the makeup of each group. I then rearranged the documents in Archive 3 according to genre and subject. From them emerged a close-knit network of information, allowing glimpses into people's lives in Khotan around 800 C.E. In the article, I examined the administrative structure in Khotan as reflected in Archive 3, revealing not only a system of five levels, namely, the Tibetan Empire, the Kingdom of Khotan, the prefectures, the townships, and the villages, but also the names, titles, and functions of the officials on each level, among other details.