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27/02/2013

Ancient relics found at Taklamakan Desert

Chinese archaeologists are now carrying excavations in the Taklamakan Desert in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region which is part of Silk Road travel. The desert is the world’s second largest shifting sand desert, covering an area of about 330,000 square kilometres. Archaeologists have recently found a large number of ancient buildings and Buddhist relics in the Damagou area of the desert. Let’s take a closer look at what has been found over several decades.

A dry, frozen world where life is far and few between. Despite seeming empty to the naked eye, the area houses vast ancient treasures beneath its sand. It was here 117 years ago, that Sweden explorer Sven Anders Hedin found Buddhist relics in the area.

Zhang Yuzhong, Fmr Deputy Director of Xinjiang Archaeology Institute, said, "Prior to his trip, we all believe that there was no human activity in this desert. Hedin stayed here for 2 weeks. He discovered and marked 18 signs of ancient houses here. He also found some books from the Tang Dynasty."

Four years later, he returned to the desert to search for more treasures. During this trip, he discovered the ancient city of Loulan.

Zhang Yuzhong said, "The ancient city of Loulan was the capital of Loulan country (now included in China vacation deals) in the Han Dynasty. It was built earlier than Dandanulik. We believe that the two discoveries mark a milestone in the archaeological history of Xinjiang."

In 1910, Xiaohe or the little river Tomb complex was discovered 175 kilometres away from the ancient city of Loulan.

In 1979, a 4000-year-old female corpse and the Ancient Tomb Valley of Kongque River was discovered at the ancient city of Loulan.

In 1995, Shu Tapestry, the best Chinese silk from Sichuan was discovered in the Ancient City of Niya in the desert. It was marked as one of the ten most important discoveries in China that year.

And the work hasn’t stopped. Archaeologists are now scouring the desert again to unearth the country’s ancient past.

If you want to know more info about Taklamakan Desert, you can contact with China tour operator.

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