LouLan

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Claudine Doury: Loulan Beauty (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, & Uzbekistan)

I had read “Djamila”, by the Kyrghyz poet Tchinguiz Aitmatov, and it made me dream of the kolkhozes lost in the steppes and of its peoples : Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Kyrgyzs, Karakapalks…


From 2002 to 2005, I managed to travel to the Aral region in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, on the banks of the Issyk Kul lake in Kyrgyzstan and in Xinjiang. "Loulan Beauty" is the story of people from the middle of the world, heirs of sunken kingdoms, of fishermen without a sea, of children who dance to bring back their parents who work far away, of Lola who dreams of America, of men who listen to the sands singing, of girls with a thousand braids, just like those found on Loulan, their four thousand year old ancestor.

The inspiration for the project came from the discovery of the “Loulan Beauty”, a 4,000 year old mummy unearthed in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Thanks to the extreme dryness and the preservative properties of salt, the corpse was remarkably intact - her eyelashes, the fine hair on her skin, even the lines on her skin were visible… all revealing  Nordic origins through a telltale large nose, narrow jaw and reddish-brown hair.

The Loulan Beauty is one of more than 200 remarkably well-preserved mummies discovered in the western deserts here over the last few decades. The ancient bodies have become protagonists in a very contemporary political dispute over who should control the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

[…]Uighur nationalists have gleaned evidence from the mummies, whose corpses span thousands of years, to support historical claims to the region.

The Tarim mummies seem to indicate that the very first people to settle the area came from the west — down from the steppes of Central Asia and even farther afield — and not from the fertile plains and river valleys of the Chinese interior. The oldest, like the Loulan Beauty, date back 3,800 years.

Some Uighurs have latched on to the fact that the oldest mummies are most likely from the west as evidence that Xinjiang has belonged to the Uighurs throughout history.

read more via nytimes

Vanished Silk Road city studied in China

BEIJING (UPI) — Chinese archaeologists say they’ve found evidence of agricultural activity in an ancient vanished city that was a pivotal stop along the famous Silk Road.

Scientists from the Institute of Geology and Geophysics said remote sensing procedures, field investigations and sample testing in the area showed there were once large tracts of farmland in Loulan, an important trading city that mysteriously disappeared in the third century A.D., China’s official news agency Xinhua reported Sunday.

Farmland featuring regular and straight plots stretching for 200 to 1,000 yards, as well as irrigation ditches running throughout, have been found, Qin Xiaoguang, a member of the research team, said.

Grain particles in the area’s ground surface are very likely the remains of crop plants, Qin said.

Evidence of an ancient canal measuring 10 to 20 yards wide and 5 feet deep suggest the city, which is thought to have perished in drought, was once rich in water resources, the researchers said. (source)

there are several times I couldn’t help picturing one woman with Yao-.-

and I thought she should be Loulan(ancient kingdom in Xinjiang,but it was killed by the sand and desert). I’ve seen such a similar character in many Chinese novels for the youth.Seemingly,China has nostalgia for the disappeared kingdom

The Kharoṣṭhī script is an ancient script used by the ancient Gandhara culture of South Asia primarily in modern-day Afghanistan and Pakistan to write the Gāndhārī language (a dialect of Prakrit) and the Sanskrit language. An alphasyllabary, it was in use from the middle of the 3rd century BCE until it died out in its homeland around the 3rd century CE.

[Image: Kharoṣṭhī manuscript from the kingdom of Shanshan / Loulan, China]

Source: Wikipedia

Scientists to map out vast ancient Chinese city of Loulan

Loulan was an ancient kingdom based around an important oasis city along the Silk Road in China, and was made famous by the incredibly preserved Tarim mummies that display distinct Caucasian features. Plans are now underway to map out the entire ancient city and investigate the cause of its rapid demise in the 3rd century AD. 

You can read more here.

I walk into a city abandoned by its stones. On fading sands, sighing, then sinking behind my feet. The way back home dries. I drift past windows like haunted eyes, makeshift housings for yesterday’s lux. Reams of broken songs creasing against the walls. Homeless souls at my feet.

but….I want Loulan and Yao had some happy memories;-;

I meant they already would have a sad end…..it is too miserable…T_T

THAT’S CRUEL….I like her,I want her like a happy bird,a free wind