Newly-discovered remains redraw path of Great Wall

YINCHUAN - Archaeologists have discovered ruins of the Great Wall along the border of northwest China’s Ningxia Hui autonomous region and Gansu province, dispelling a common belief that there were no sections of the wall in this area.

The remains, nine sections with a total length of more than 10 km, are believed to be part of the Great Wall built during the Qin Dynasty (221 BC-206 BC), according to Zhou Xinghua, former curator of the Museum of Ningxia Hui autonomous region and a Great Wall expert.

The findings, made in March and April by Zhou and other researchers, give historians fresh insight into where the wall was built. “Finally, we’re able to see the whole picture of the Qin Great Wall,” said Zhou. Read more.

From The Dramatic Landscape of China’s Gansu Province, one of 29 photos. Landforms at Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in Zhangye City, northwest China’s Gansu Province, on July 7, 2014. Danxia, which means “rosy cloud”, is a special landform formed from reddish sandstone that has been eroded over time into a series of mountains surrounded by curvaceous cliffs and many unusual rock formations. (Wang Song / Xinhua Press / Corbis)

Gold culture treasure returned to China

China’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage revealed on Tuesday that France returned the 32 solid gold antiquities earlier this year.

The ornaments include four solid gold bird’s heads.

They had been stolen by tomb robbers in a small county of China’s Gansu province and smuggled abroad.

Bai Jian, deputy director of the cultural relics bureau in Gansu, says a large number of stolen cultural relics were sent abroad in the 1990s.

“In the early 1990s, tomb robbing was rampant near burial sites dating back to the Qin Dynasty in Li county of Gansu province. The national cultural relics bureau and the local government jointly launched a campaign to crack down on tomb robbing. Some of the treasure was reclaimed by authorities during the campaign. Yet a large amount of it is still missing that has great value in archaeological studies.” Read more.

The Western Yugur People

The Yugur, or Yellow Uygur as they are traditionally known, are one of China’s 56 officially recognized nationalities, consisting of 12,297 persons according to the 1990 census. The Yugur live primarily in Gansù Province, in Sùnán Yugur Autonomous County, within the Prefecture of Zhangyè.
      The Yugur live in an area where four different language groups, Turkic, Mongolic, Chinese and Tibetan converge. The Yugur nationality itself consists in fact of four linguistically different groups.
      The largest of these groups are the Turkic speaking Western Yugur, comprising about 4,600 persons; they mainly live in the western part of the County in Mínghua District, in the Townships of Liánhua and Mínghai, and in Dàhé District, in the centre of the County.
      The Mongolic speaking Eastern Yugur number about 2,800; they mainly live in the County’s eastern part, in Huángchéng District, and in Dàhé and Kanglè Districts, in the centre of the County.
      A very small number of the Yugur reportedly speak Tibetan. They are most likely Tibetans who married into the Yugur community.
      The remaining Yugur of the Autonomous County lost their respective Yugur language and speak Chinese. Another concentration of Chinese speaking Yugur lives outside of Sùnán Yugur Autonomous County, in Huángnibao Township, resorting under Jiuquán City.
      Chinese is the language of contact between the different linguistic groups, and functions as written medium. Both Western and Eastern Yugur are unwritten languages.

The Western Yugur are considered to be the descendants of a group of Uygur that fled from Mongolia southwards to Gansù after the collapse of the Uygur Empire in 840 A.D. The Eastern Yugur are probably the descendants of one of the Mongolic speaking groups invading northern China during the Mongol conquests in the thirteenth century. From this it may be conjectured that the Yugur people have been living together for about seven centuries.

Today, the Yugur people are predominantly employed in animal husbandry, but as the economical conditions are strenuous, young people try to find a living in cities elsewhere, such as Zhangyè, Lánzhou and Beijing.


После того как я где-то в инете увидел дорогу упирающуюся в дюны, я решил, что обязательно должен побывать там. Эта дорога ведет в платную пустыню - вход около $30. На территории находится знаметитое на весь Китай озеро. Меня больше впечатлили сумасшедшей высоты дюны. Высота над уровнем моря около 1500 метров, я забирался туда около часа - подъем был метров 400. Для туристов кроме оранжевых чехлов на ноги придумали лесенку как на седьмой фотографии. Подниматься без нее очень тяжело, я останавливался после каждого десятого шага. На последней фотографии двое крутых чуваков, которых я встретил там. Я думаю, что я путешествую, чтобы встречать таких вот людей - добрых и открытых. 

After I first saw pictures of the road that goes straight into the desert I firmly decided to go there one day. This road as it appeared leads to the crescent-shaped lake named Yueyaquan that is near to Dunhuang town. To see it you`ll have to pay about $30. The thing I liked much more were huge dunes. The highest one I climbed was 1500 meters. It is very difficult to walk up the dune. For that reason tourists walk in special oranges anti-sand shoes and climb using ladder like on the 7th picture. On the last pictures two great dudes I met there. I guess I travel to meet this kind of people - kind and open.
Tragic Pictures Of China’s Twin Earthquakes Reveal Destruction Of Lives And Homes

At least 89 are dead. More than 21,000 buildings damaged; 1,200 have collapsed.

Twin earthquakes rocked China’s northwest province of Gansu. The death toll is 89, with more than 500 people injured, according to latest reports.

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Image by Reuters

Around 700 rescue workers were present and more than 2,000 soldiers, 300 police, 50 medical staff and two helicopters have been sent to the area, the official Xinhua news agency said.

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Image by Guo Gang / AP

The government of Dingxi city said on a social media account that 14 people were still missing.

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Image by China Stringer Network / Reuters

Twelve people were buried in one location, reported the state-run broadcaster CCTV.

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Image by China Stringer Network / Reuters

Electricity and communication were cut in the two worst affected areas.

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Image by AP
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Image by China Daily / Reuters
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Image by AP
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Image by China Stringer Network / Reuters

The earthquakes, with magnitudes of 5.9 and 5.6, caused landslides burying many crudely-made local homes in the hilly farming area of Dingxi city, reported the AFP.

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Image by China Daily / Reuters
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EU Humanitarian Aid@eu_echo

See where #China’s 5.9M #earthquake struck this morning:

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Это путешествие было похоже на фильм. Как буд-то я это уже все видел или просто после похожих увиденных кадров так сильно хотел сам там побывать, что это в итоге и произошло. Пустыня постепенно переходила в какие-то странные черных холмы и горы. Я видел парочку небольших торнадо, быстро приближаясь к очень необычному городу.

This trip was like I saw one in the movies or maybe after seeing something like that in some I wished so much that It finally happened. Desert`s landscapes gradually were transforming to the skyline with strange black hills and mountains. On the way to one very special town I saw couple tornados.

Footage of rare takins nursing captured in NW China

via: Xinua News

Cameras at a nature reserve in northwest China’s Gansu Province recorded wild takins nursing their young.

The pictures feature two or three mature takins tending as many as 15 calves in a mountain forest in Baishuijiang National Nature Reserve. The mature takins watch over their young while they nap, according to the photos shot from 12:56 p.m to 2:08 p.m. in April this year.

After waking up and foraging for food, the takins lay bask in the sunshine, showed the photos.

The cameras were installed in early April, and when they were checked recently, the pictures were discovered, said Wu Juncheng, head of the reserve’s Rangshui River Protection Station…

(read more:

Rainbow Cake Mountains

YES, this is a real place. Yes, it’s on this planet. The vibrant colours of the mountains dotting China’s Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in Gansu Province lend the peaks their nickname: the rainbow mountains. The strata were originally laid down horizontally, one on top of another, like the layers of a cake.

The mountains’ startling hues came from water and oxygen interacting with iron and other elements in the sediment, along with tiny amounts of other minerals left behind by groundwater creeping through the deposits.

via: New Scientist


Всю эту красоту строит ветер и строительство не прекращается ни на секунду. Я когда видел пустыню в кино, мечтал пробежаться по самой верхушке дюны - по ее гребню. Даже страх разрушения красоты не остановил меня. Как же я радовался, когда обнаружил, что ветер восстанавливает все минут за 10 и возвращает былу красоту пустыне. Песок  у меня был, ясное дело, везде куда мог задувать ветер, в том числе во всех моих объективах и камере. Хрустит там до сих пор.

This beauty is built by the wind and construction is never-ending. I`ve always wanted to run on the edge of the sand dune. Nothing could stop me even the beauty of perfect lines. I was so glad to discover that desert`s beauty was saved by the one who made it. 10 minutes and everything was like I have never walked there. I had sand all over my body and my camera with gear. I can still hear it inside my lenses .