There are many mysterious attractions and ruins on the route of Silk Road. Many tourists are very interested in Silk Road adventure, but do they know Niya Ruins in Xinjiang. The following will introduce something about Niya ruins.
Ruins of Niya, located in the desert 150 kilometers north of Minfeng County, covers an area of 220 square kilometers. There are traces of canals and river courses. Unearthed from the ruins were a great number of books, coins, wooden tools, and silk and gunny articles.
In 1900, Aurel Stein set out on an expedition to western China and the Taklamakan Desert. In Niya he excavated several groups of dwellings, and found 100 wooden tablets written in 105 CE. These tablets bore clay seals, official orders and letters written in Kharoshthi, an early Indic script, dating them to the Kushan empire. Other finds include coins and documents dating from the Han dynasty, Roman coins, an ancient mouse trap, a walking stick, part of a guitar, a bow in working order, a carved stool, an elaborately-designed rug and other textile fragments, as well as many other household objects such as wooden furniture with elaborate carving, pottery, Chinese basketry and lacquer ware.
Official approval for joint Sino-Japanese archaeological excavations at the site was given in 1994. Researchers have now found remains of human habitation including approximately 100 dwellings, burial areas, sheds for animals, orchards, gardens, and agricultural fields. They have also found in the dwellings well-preserved tools such as iron axes and sickles, wooden clubs, pottery urns and jars of preserved crops. The human remains found there have led to speculation on the origins of these peoples.
Some archeological findings from the ruins of Niya are housed in the Tokyo National Museum. Others are part of the Stein collection in the British Museum, the British Library, and the National Museum in New Delhi.
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