The exploring activities of foreign explorers in Hetian area, can be said like a series of play performance with the ancient sites in the desert as their stages.
In the Uyghur language, "Yotkan' has three meanings: "lying down" as there were tombs of sacred men; or "cover (quilt)", as in this place, clay covered the ruins of the ancient town like a quilt;and "homeland, land of the king", as it was the site of the capital city of ancient Yutian Kingdom. Before A. Stein went o the ruins of Niya, he did an exploration at Yotkan, not far from the site of Hetian county. The locals told him that the "capital city" he wanted to look for was covered under the rice fields and channels. And the villagers founds lot of small items, in which goldleaf was found. Stein assumed that as some build ings and Buddha sculpture in the flourishing time of Buddhism were decorated with goldleaf, the layer of soild with them was under the layers whose color was light, and the position was identical with what the geographical position described in the ancient Chinese history books.Therefore, Stein believed that this place was the site of the capital city of the ancient Yutian Kingdom. And he obtained (including the coins of the Hand Dynasty,Tang Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty and the Karakhan Khanate), broken pottery items, clay figures, bronze figures,bronze decoration items, signatures, seals, goldleaf, glassware. Besides, Sven Hedin, Gregna(French) and Otani Team of Japan, also did explorations and excatained two gold Buddha heads in typical Gandharan style, which were believed to be the relics around the third century,crosses of Christianity, and gold tablets and coins of course, of the unearthed items, pottery wares and clay figures were in the largest number and special in design. For instance, he collected a clay pot with 12 small human relief figures who were musicians carrying different musical instruments, and this artistic item reflects the realily of the love of music and dance by the people in "Yutian Kingdom", and it is also an evidence of the exchanges of classical western arts, ancient Persian arts and the arts of Inland China.