ACHMA (a Turkish word meaning “opening”), a town in the Domoko (Dumaqu) oasis near Khotan, so named with reference to the local springs. In its vicinity M. A. Stein (q.v.) found substantial remains of a Buddhist settlement (Serindia, Oxford, 1921, I, pp. 199, 211; Ancient Khotan, Oxford, 1907, p. 468), and a Khotanese document from this region bears the signature “Achma.” 


On the site, see also E. Huntington, The Pulse of Asia, London, 1907, p. 182.

G. Gropp, Archäologische Funde aus Khotan Chinesisch-Ostturkestan, Bremen, 1974, pp. 23, 27.

On the document see H. W. Bailey, Khotanese Texts II, Cambridge, 1954, p. 62 (transcription).

Idem, Saka Documents. Plates (Corpus inscriptionum iranicarum, part II, vol. V), London, 1967, pl. XCV (facsimile).

Idem, Saka Documents. Text Volume (Corpus inscriptionum iranicarum, part II, vol. V), London, 1968, pp. 121-22 (transcription and translation).

For a reference to Achma in Bīrūnī’s Canon, see V. Minorsky in BSOAS 17, 1955, p. 264.

(R. E. Emmerick)

Originally Published: December 15, 1983

Last Updated: July 22, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 4, p. 429

Cite this entry:

R. E. Emmerick, “ACHMA,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/4, p. 429; an updated version is available online at (accessed on 7 February 2014).