China Far West - Ancient Silk Road

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 The Shiphton Arch

The Shiphton Arch

 Tashkurgan

Tashkurgan

 The Chinese Pamir

The Chinese Pamir

 Mt. Kongur

Mt. Kongur

 Mt. Kongur

Mt. Kongur

 The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple

 The Emin Minaret or Emin Tower stands by the Uyghur mosque located in Turpan, Xingjiang, China. At 44 meters (144 ft) it is the tallest miaret in China

The Emin Minaret or Emin Tower stands by the Uyghur mosque located in Turpan, Xingjiang, China. At 44 meters (144 ft) it is the tallest miaret in China

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 The Taklamakan Desert has very little water, therefore it is hazardous to cross. Merchant caravans on the Silk Road would stop for relief at the thriving oasis towns.

The Taklamakan Desert has very little water, therefore it is hazardous to cross. Merchant caravans on the Silk Road would stop for relief at the thriving oasis towns.

 The Jiaohe Ruins, also known as Yar City near Turpan. 

The Jiaohe Ruins, also known as Yar City near Turpan. 

 Near Turpan, China.

Near Turpan, China.

 The Shakskam Valley

The Shakskam Valley

 Mural in one of the Kizil Caves.

Mural in one of the Kizil Caves.

 Inside one of the Kizil Caves.  A central pillar design allows the pilgrims to circumambulate around a central column which is a representation of a stupa.  Anti portrait Muslims had Buddhist portraits obliterated during the wars over hundreds of years in which Buddhism was replaced by Islam

Inside one of the Kizil Caves.  A central pillar design allows the pilgrims to circumambulate around a central column which is a representation of a stupa.  Anti portrait Muslims had Buddhist portraits obliterated during the wars over hundreds of years in which Buddhism was replaced by Islam

 The Kizil Caves complex is the largest of the ancient Buddhist cave sites that are associated with the ancient Tocharian kingdom of Kucha. 

The Kizil Caves complex is the largest of the ancient Buddhist cave sites that are associated with the ancient Tocharian kingdom of Kucha. 

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 The earliest caves are dated, based in part on radioactive carbon dating, to around the year 300.

The earliest caves are dated, based in part on radioactive carbon dating, to around the year 300.

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 The caves were probably abandoned sometime around the beginning of the 8th century.

The caves were probably abandoned sometime around the beginning of the 8th century.

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 The delicious bread at the Uyghur market.

The delicious bread at the Uyghur market.

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 Inside the Emin mosque.

Inside the Emin mosque.

 The Tarim mummies are a series of mummies discovered in the Tarim Basin in present-day Xingjiang, China, which date from 1800 BC.  'The Beauty of Loulan" - the oldest Tarim mummy.

The Tarim mummies are a series of mummies discovered in the Tarim Basin in present-day Xingjiang, China, which date from 1800 BC.  'The Beauty of Loulan" - the oldest Tarim mummy.

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 Many of the mummies have been found in very good condition, owing to the dryness of the desert and the desiccation it produced in the corpses. The mummies share many typical Caucasian body features (elongated bodies, angular faces, recessed eyes), and many of them have their hair physically intact, ranging in color from blond to red to deep brown

Many of the mummies have been found in very good condition, owing to the dryness of the desert and the desiccation it produced in the corpses. The mummies share many typical Caucasian body features (elongated bodies, angular faces, recessed eyes), and many of them have their hair physically intact, ranging in color from blond to red to deep brown

 The Emin mosque. 

The Emin mosque. 

 The Jiaohe Ruins, also known as Yar City near Turpan.  From 450 AD until 640 AD it became Jiao prefecture in the Tang Dynasty

The Jiaohe Ruins, also known as Yar City near Turpan.  From 450 AD until 640 AD it became Jiao prefecture in the Tang Dynasty

 The Jiaohe Ruins

The Jiaohe Ruins

 The Jiaohe Ruins

The Jiaohe Ruins

 The Jiaohe city Ruins

The Jiaohe city Ruins

 The Jiaohe Ruins

The Jiaohe Ruins

 Buddhist stupa at Jiaohe Ruins.

Buddhist stupa at Jiaohe Ruins.

 The Jiaohe Ruins

The Jiaohe Ruins

 Buddhist stupa at Jiaohe Ruins.

Buddhist stupa at Jiaohe Ruins.

 Gaochang, also called Karakhoja, Qara-hoja, Kara-Khoja, or Karahoja, is the site of a ruined, ancient oasis city on the northern rim of the inhospitable Taklamakan Desert

Gaochang, also called Karakhoja, Qara-hoja, Kara-Khoja, or Karahoja, is the site of a ruined, ancient oasis city on the northern rim of the inhospitable Taklamakan Desert

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 The Buddhist   stupa of Gaochang city ruins.

The Buddhist stupa of Gaochang city ruins.

 Gaochang ancient city.

Gaochang ancient city.

 Gaochang ancient city.

Gaochang ancient city.

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 Gaochang ancient city.

Gaochang ancient city.

 Gaochang city was built in the 1st century BC, it was an important site along the Silk Road.   The old city defensive wall.  

Gaochang city was built in the 1st century BC, it was an important site along the Silk Road.   The old city defensive wall.  

 Gaochang ancient city.

Gaochang ancient city.

 The Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves near Turpan. 

The Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves near Turpan. 

 There are 77 rock-cut caves at the Bezeklik site. Most have rectangular spaces with rounded arch celings often divided into four sections, each with a mural of the Buddha. The effect is that the entire ceiling is covered with hundreds of Buddha murals.

There are 77 rock-cut caves at the Bezeklik site. Most have rectangular spaces with rounded arch celings often divided into four sections, each with a mural of the Buddha. The effect is that the entire ceiling is covered with hundreds of Buddha murals.

 Old ruins near the Bezeklik Cave complex.

Old ruins near the Bezeklik Cave complex.

 The old caves near the Bezeklik Cave complex.

The old caves near the Bezeklik Cave complex.

 in Turpan, Xinjiang

in Turpan, Xinjiang

 Kucha 

Kucha 

 Kucha

Kucha

 The old and new Kucha. 

The old and new Kucha. 

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 The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple

 The Subashi Temple is a ruined Buddhist temple near Kucha in the Taklamakan Desert, on the ancient Silk Road, in Xinjiang, China

The Subashi Temple is a ruined Buddhist temple near Kucha in the Taklamakan Desert, on the ancient Silk Road, in Xinjiang, China

 The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple

 The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple

 The Subashi Temple.  The "Witch of Subashi" is a famous archaeological artifact, the mummy of a woman with a huge pointed hat, thought to be a representative of early Caucasian populations who lived in the region around the beginning of our era.

The Subashi Temple.  The "Witch of Subashi" is a famous archaeological artifact, the mummy of a woman with a huge pointed hat, thought to be a representative of early Caucasian populations who lived in the region around the beginning of our era.

 The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple

 The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple

 The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple

 The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple

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 The roads in western China

The roads in western China

 Old Kucha

Old Kucha

 Kucha Grand mosque is the third largest mosque in the region, was rebuilt in 1932 on the site of original 16th century mosque.

Kucha Grand mosque is the third largest mosque in the region, was rebuilt in 1932 on the site of original 16th century mosque.

 The Grand Mosque of Kucha.

The Grand Mosque of Kucha.

 The prayer hall of the Grand Mosque of Kucha.

The prayer hall of the Grand Mosque of Kucha.

 Kucha, Xinjiang

Kucha, Xinjiang

 Kucha, Xinjiang

Kucha, Xinjiang

 At a bakery in Hotan, Xinjiang

At a bakery in Hotan, Xinjiang

 Taklamakan is one of the largest sandy deserts in the world, ranking 15th in size in a ranking of the world's largest non-polar deserts.

Taklamakan is one of the largest sandy deserts in the world, ranking 15th in size in a ranking of the world's largest non-polar deserts.

 Taklamakan - means:  once you get in, you never get out. 

Taklamakan - means:  once you get in, you never get out. 

 Taklamakan

Taklamakan

 Taklamakan is the paradigm of a cold desert. Given its relative proximity with the cold to frigid air masses in Siberia, extreme lows are recorded in wintertime, sometimes well below -20 °C

Taklamakan is the paradigm of a cold desert. Given its relative proximity with the cold to frigid air masses in Siberia, extreme lows are recorded in wintertime, sometimes well below -20 °C

 At the Hotan animal market.  Hotan is is a major oasis town in southwestern Xinjiang.  Hotan has always depended on two strong rivers - the Karakash River and the White Jade River to provide the water needed to survive on the southwestern edge of the Taklamakan Desert.  

At the Hotan animal market.  Hotan is is a major oasis town in southwestern Xinjiang.  Hotan has always depended on two strong rivers - the Karakash River and the White Jade River to provide the water needed to survive on the southwestern edge of the Taklamakan Desert.