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China: Around The Nation

Archaeologists in China believe they have found ancient Silk Road capital

Experts believe city was the capital of the Loulan Kingdom

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 March, 2017, 3:52pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 March, 2017, 3:52pm

Archaeologists in Xinjiang believe an ancient city and three tombs they unearthed in the Lop Nor area of a desert was the capital of the Loulan Kingdom along the ancient Silk Road.

The ancient city, uncovered in January along the north bank of the Kongque River, sat in the depths of the desert, 57.5km to the west of an ancient city of the Loulan Kingdom that Swedish explorer Sven Hedin discovered in 1900, China National Radio reported.

Archaeologists spent two months reconstructing the site, which was built on a loess platform, and restored the city, of which only sections of walls remained due to wind erosion. The city was a circle of 300 metres in diameter with walls of 2.2 to 2.7 metres high.

Bronze weapons, coins, a millstone and bow and arrows were unearthed in the city.

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The archaeologists concluded that the city matched tales of the capital city of the Loulan Kingdom by its geographic location, architectural style and articles found in the tombs.

They believed the city Hedin discovered was the capital city of the kingdom after it was renamed Shanshan and relocated its capital after 77BC.