Exploring Loulan in the Years of Loulan Revealing the Mystery of”Oriental Pompeii”
[Summary] In the spring of 1901, east of the Taklimakan Desert. In the vast Gobi, the sand is fierce.
Swedish explorerSven HedingWith Uyghur guide Aldik, break into an ancient castle. Pompeii in the east known as”one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the 20th century”——LoulanRelics,So it was discovered.
Due to various historical reasons, it was not until 1979 that Chinese scientists conducted a systematic and large-scale scientific investigation of the Loulan site.
The Xinjiang Archaeological Institute, which undertakes scientific research tasks, uses an ancient coin and a pottery piece to explore the ancient kingdom of Loulan, the pearl on the Silk Road. Why is it suddenly in people’s sight The weirdness disappeared.
The Pearl of the Silk Road, the hidden past and present
The ancient country of Loulan , Is located in the”Bronze Age is full of vitality” in the Kongque River Oasis. It starts from Guyangguan in the east, the ancient city of Niya in the west, Altyn Mountain in the south, and Hami in the north. Established in the 3rd century BC, it suddenly disappeared mysteriously in the 430s and lasted for more than 800 years.
In the 2nd century AD, as the capital of the country, Loulan City was once a shining pearl on the Silk Road. The caravans from the north to the south are constantly flowing, and the market trade is prosperous; at the same time, it is the center of the farm in the Western Regions, with abundant water and grass, fertile land, crisscrossing paddy fields, and the sight of chickens and dogs.
However, the ancient city of Loulan in the eyes of the archaeological team is like this:Populus euphratica is half-buried in the sand and screamed by the wind. The doors of houses and courtyards were ajar, as if the owner was walking in a hurry, too late to bring money and belongings, and lock the doors and windows. People cannot help asking, where did the owner of the house go? Why did Loulan disappear suddenly and quickly, becoming such a dead city without life?
Adventure camp, predatory discovery and excavation
One day at the beginning of the last century, The Swedish explorer Sven Heding took his Uyghur guide to find a shelter in the sandy Gobi. Inadvertently broke into the ruins of this ancient city in the hinterland of the desert, and found a lot of ancient coins, two iron axes and a few wooden blocks.
This did not attract enough attention from Sven Heding. Early the next morning, he hurried on the road again. On the way, he found that there was no water, saw a red willow bushes, and decided to dig the ground to draw water. What to dig? Thinking of the iron axe discarded yesterday, he hurriedly returned to the place to search. This time, he found many cultural relics.
Because of the lack of water, he had to focus on his heart. In December 1906, Sven Heding led a sturdy expedition to the homeland and began a predatory excavation. This extensive excavation has unearthed a large number of precious cultural relics such as ancient coins, Chinese documents, silk fabrics, and European archaeologists analyzed and identified the ancient castle ruins he discovered is the Loulan RuinsThe cultural relics he looted were precious cultural relics of the ancient Loulan country.
The discovery and plunder of Sven Heding triggered the”Lolan fever” that swept the world in the 20th century.
Focus on Loulan, comprehensively investigate and research
Due to various historical reasons, my country’s The scientific investigation and research of the ancient country of Loulan lags far behind Europe, America and Japan. my country launched the Loulan scientific investigation on a large scale in 1979. Therefore, in 1979, it was also called the”Loulan Year” by the Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, which was responsible for the Loulan scientific investigation.
Starting from June 1979, the Xinjiang Archaeological Institute’s expedition team has been hiking in the desert for several months, crossing the Populus euphratica forest, crossing the Shule River, and carrying out a comprehensive and systematic approach to the Loulan site. And three large-scale inspections slowly unveiled the mystery of the ancient city of Loulan.
In November 1979, the expedition team set off from the north bank of the Kongque River and reached the site on foot.
The site is a square city, covering an area of more than 100,000 square meters. The streets in the city are well-connected, and the government offices and residential buildings are clearly divided. There are three big houses in the city, and the tall vermilion lacquered beams and pillars can still be seen, which should be the center of the ancient city’s rule. Many precious cultural relics were dug from here.
On the western outskirts of the ancient city, the archaeological team discovered a larger group of ancient tombs. From it, they excavated and discovered a well-dressed and delicate face, wearing a trilby hat and a female corpse of a goose ling. This is what people often call”Queen Loulan”.
This historic discovery by the expedition team shocked the world and re-established the important position of Chinese archaeological science in the world. It is a research and textual research on the civilization of the hinterland of Central Asia and the ancient Loulan. Folk customs and geographical changes provide a scientific basis.
No one agrees, leaving historical suspense
After the Loulan site was discovered, Huntington from the United States, Stein from the United Kingdom, Japan’s Otani Mitsuhiro, Bai Ruichao and others successively visited the Loulan site. Based on the findings of Chinese and foreign archaeologists, scientists have put forward various hypotheses about the strange decline of Gu Loulan.
1. Alien warfare ruined Loulan
Some people think that Gu Loulan is located in the Peacock River Delta, choking the throat of the road traffic between China and the West, and is the gateway to the ancient silk road. , The ancient poem “If you don’t break Loulan, you won’t return it” reflects that Gu Loulan has a pivotal influence on the entire Western Regions, and it has always been a battleground for military strategists.
According to the”Historical Records:The Biography of the Xiongnu”, Loulan was once ruled by the Yue family. In 176 BC, Loulan was again under the jurisdiction of the Huns. The archaeological team also found traces of war from the beacon tower ruins inside and outside the ancient city of Loulan. This shows that the ancient kingdom of Loulan developed and expanded in the ups and downs of the war, and its decline was also related to the battle of frequency.
However, if alien invasion is the most fundamental reason for Loulan’s decline, it seems a bit absolute. If an alien invaded and razed Loulan City into ruins, With the important position of Loulan Fortress, why was it abandoned instead of rebuilding it?
2.Diversion of the Silk Road
Some people think that Loulan The decline was due to the diversion of the Silk Road, which is somewhat far-fetched.
The diversion of the Silk Road and the economic recession will impact the prosperity of Loulan City, but it will not necessarily lead to the rapid collapse of its Tuntian Center and military fortress status. What is even more puzzling is why did the Silk Road suddenly change? This left another historical suspense.
3. The depletion of water sources caused the Loulan people to abandon the city
During the prosperity of Loulan, the terrain of Loulan was flat, dense river networks, and lush vegetation . In the ruins of the ancient city of Loulan, the expedition team discovered a river running through the city. By the side of the river, you can still find the pottery shards of Loulan residents who accidentally broke the ground when they lifted water. The network of criss-crossing rivers outside the city is also clearly visible.
So, why is such a rich water source depleted?
Some scientists believe that the violent crustal movement has caused drastic changes in the ecological environment. The surface uplift of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau blocked the entry of warm and humid air currents, forming the climate characteristics of the Tarim Basin with extreme aridity, less rain, and frequent sandstorm activities. The wind and sand blocked the river and the river was diverted, causing the water source to dry up. As a result, the city of Loulan left the well-preserved”Queen of Loulan”, and the people of Loulan”evaporated” strangely in the Gobi desert.
Whether Loulan’s bizarre decline is due to changes in the water system remains to be further scientifically verified. As Wang Binghua, a famous archaeologist who has visited Lop Nur eight times, said:”There are too many historical relics buried in the deserts of the Luobu Nur area and the southern margin of the Tarim Basin. Given time and time, it will be revealed. Open a new page of the archaeological culture of Loulan Land”.