There’s an important historical site at Niya — on the southern rim of the Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang, western China — that I wish I could find out more about. I know that there have been Japanese teams digging there for years, but it’s hard to find good archeological field reports. There’s lots of textual evidence which was found (plundered, stolen even) in the early twentieth century, so we know a fair bit about the early medieval history of the place, which was part of the region called ‘Kroraina’ in the local language, a kind of Gandhari praktrit written in Kharoṣṭhī. Especially interesting to me was the unique style of part-time monasticism that the Buddhists of the region practiced, where householders temporarily took robes.
Anyway, here’s a map I sketched many years ago; before throwing it out I figured I’d scan and post it: