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1,700-year-old tombs found in northwest China
Urumqi (China), Sep 13 (Xinhua) Nine 1,700-year-old brick tombs have been discovered in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which experts say could
provide valuable clues for the research of exchanges between the central Chinese government at that time and remote western regions.
It is the first time ancient tombs with typical characteristics of China's main Han nationality have been found in the Uygur ethnic region, said Yu Zhiyong, deputy head of the
Xinjiang Cultural Relics and Archaeology Institute.
Archaeologists from Beijing, Shaanxi and Xinjiang concluded that the tombs were built between the middle and late third and fourth century.
The tombs were unearthed during the construction of a road earlier this year in Kuqa county, 740 km from Xinjiang's capital Urumqi and part of the ancient Qiuci state.
Qiuci state, which existed between the second century BC and 860 AD, was one of the 36 states in the western regions, a term used in the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD)
for areas west of Yumen Pass including present Xinjiang and parts of central Asia.
The tombs would help archaeologists with research into the political, economic and cultural exchanges between the Central Plains government and states in the western
oasis, and on the cultural influence of the Central Plains on the western regions, Yu added.
Archaeologists from the Xinjiang institute have excavated nine tombs since Aug 22, finding skeletons of more than 30 people, some ancient coins and more than 60 pottery
jars. It is thought there are another three tombs to be excavated.
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