The Kushan Empire was a syncretic empire, formed by the Yuezhi, in the Bactrian territories in the early 1st century. It spread to encompass much of Afghanistan, the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent at least as far as Saketa and Sarnath near Varanasi, where inscriptions have been found dating to the era of the Kushan Emperor Kanishka the Great. Emperor Kanishka was a great patron of Buddhism, he played an important role in the establishment of Buddhism in the Indian subcontinent and its spread to Central Asia and China. The Kushans were one of five branches of the Yuezhi confederation, a Iranian or Tocharian, Indo-European nomadic people who migrated from Gansu and settled in ancient Bactria; the Kushans used the Greek language for administrative purposes, but soon began to use Bactrian language. Kanishka sent his armies north of the Karakoram mountains, capturing territories as far as Kashgar and Yarkant, in the Tarim Basin of modern-day Xinjiang, China. A direct road from Gandhara to China remained under Kushan control for more than a century, encouraging travel across the Karakoram and facilitating the spread of Mahayana Buddhism to China.
The Kushan dynasty had diplomatic contacts with the Roman Empire, Sasanian Persia, the Aksumite Empire and the Han dynasty of China. While much philosophy and science was created within its borders, the only textual record of the empire's history today comes from inscriptions and accounts in other languages Chinese; the Kushan empire fragmented into semi-independent kingdoms in the 3rd century AD, which fell to the Sasanians invading from the west, establishing the Kushano-Sasanian Kingdom in the areas of Sogdiana and Gandhara. In the 4th century, the Guptas, an Indian dynasty pressed from the east; the last of the Kushan and Kushano-Sasanian kingdoms were overwhelmed by invaders from the north, known as the Kidarites, the Hepthalites. Chinese sources describe the Guishuang, i.e. the Kushans, as one of the five aristocratic tribes of the Yuezhi, with some people claiming they were a loose confederation of Indo-European peoples, though many scholars are still unconvinced that they spoke an Indo-European language.
As the historian John E. Hill has put it: "For well over a century... There have been many arguments about the ethnic and linguistic origins of the Great Yuezhi or Da Yuezhi and the Tochari, still there is little consensus"; the Yuezhi were described in the Records of the Great Historian 史記 and the Book of Han 漢書 as living in the grasslands of Gansu, in the northwest of modern-day China, until their King was beheaded by the Huns from Siberia who were at war with China, which forced them to migrate west in 176–160 BCE. The five tribes constituting the Yuezhi are known in Chinese history as Xiūmì, Guìshuāng, Shuāngmǐ, Xìdùn, Dūmì; the Yuezhi reached the Hellenic kingdom of Greco-Bactria around 135 BC. The displaced Greek dynasties resettled to the southeast in areas of the Hindu Kush and the Indus basin, occupying the western part of the Indo-Greek Kingdom; some traces remain of the presence of the Kushans in the area of Sogdiana. Archaeological structures are known in Takht-I-Sangin, Surkh Kotal, in the palace of Khalchayan.
Various sculptures and friezes are known, representing horse-riding archers, men with artificially deformed skulls, such as the Kushan prince of Khalchayan. The Chinese first referred to these people as the Yuezhi and said they established the Kushan Empire, although the relationship between the Yuezhi and the Kushans is still unclear. On the ruins of ancient Hellenistic cities such as Ai-Khanoum, the Kushans are known to have built fortresses; the earliest documented ruler, the first one to proclaim himself as a Kushan ruler, was Heraios. He calls himself a "tyrant" in Greek on his coins, exhibits skull deformation, he may have been an ally of the Greeks, he shared the same style of coinage. Heraios may have been the father of the first Kushan emperor Kujula Kadphises. Ban Gu's Book of Han tells us the Kushans divided up Bactria in 128 BC. Fan Ye's Book of the Later Han "relates how the chief of the Kushans, Ch'iu-shiu-ch'ueh, founded by means of the submission of the other Yueh-chih clans the Kushan Empire, known to the Greeks and Romans under the name of Empire of the Indo-Scythians."The Chinese Hou Hanshu 後漢書 chronicles gives an account of the formation of the Kushan empire based on a report made by the Chinese general Ban Yong to the Chinese Emperor c. 125 AD: More than a hundred years the prince of Guishuang established himself as king, his dynasty was called that of the Guishuang King.
He invaded Anxi, took the Gaofu region. He defeated the whole of the kingdoms of Puda and Jibin. Qiujiuque was more than eighty years old, his son, became king in his place. He defeated installed Generals to supervise and lead it; the Yuezhi became rich. All the kingdoms call the Guishuang king. In the 1st century BCE, the Guishuang gained prom
The Aral Sea was an endorheic lake lying between Kazakhstan in the north and Uzbekistan in the south. The name translates as "Sea of Islands", referring to over 1,100 islands that had dotted its waters; the Aral Sea drainage basin encompasses Uzbekistan and parts of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Iran. The fourth largest lake in the world with an area of 68,000 km2, the Aral Sea has been shrinking since the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet irrigation projects. By 1997, it had declined to 10% of its original size, splitting into four lakes: the North Aral Sea, the eastern and western basins of the once far larger South Aral Sea, one smaller intermediate lake. By 2009, the southeastern lake had disappeared and the southwestern lake had retreated to a thin strip at the western edge of the former southern sea. Satellite images taken by NASA in August 2014 revealed that for the first time in modern history the eastern basin of the Aral Sea had dried up; the eastern basin is now called the Aralkum Desert.
In an ongoing effort in Kazakhstan to save and replenish the North Aral Sea, a dam project was completed in 2005. Salinity has dropped, fish are again found in sufficient numbers for some fishing to be viable; the maximum depth of the North Aral Sea is 42 m. The shrinking of the Aral Sea has been called "one of the planet's worst environmental disasters"; the region's once-prosperous fishing industry has been decimated, bringing unemployment and economic hardship. The water from the diverted Syr Darya river is used to irrigate about two million hectares of farmland in the Ferghana Valley; the Aral Sea region is heavily polluted, with consequential serious public health problems. UNESCO added the historical documents concerning the development of the Aral Sea to its Memory of the World Register as a unique resource to study this "environmental tragedy". Geographer Nick Middleton believes that the Amu Darya did not flow into the shallow depression that now forms the Aral Sea until the beginning of the Holocene, it is known that the Amu Darya flowed into the Caspian Sea via the Uzboy channel until the Holocene.
The Syr Darya formed a large lake in the Kyzyl Kum during the Pliocene known as the Mynbulak depression. Most of the area around the Aral Sea was inhabited by desert nomads who left few written records. However, the Oxus delta to the south has a long history under the name of Khwarezm, it was once the westernmost border of Tang dynasty China. Russian naval presence on the Aral Sea started in 1847, with the founding of Raimsk, soon renamed Fort Aralsk, near the mouth of the Syr Darya. Soon, the Imperial Russian Navy started deploying its vessels on the sea. Owing to the Aral Sea basin not being connected to other bodies of water, the vessels had to be disassembled in Orenburg on the Ural River, shipped overland to Aralsk, reassembled; the first two ships, assembled in 1847, were the two-masted schooners named Mikhail. The former was a warship. In 1848, these two vessels surveyed the northern part of the sea. In the same year, a larger warship, the Constantine, was assembled. Commanded by Lt. Alexey Butakov, the Constantine completed the survey of the entire Aral Sea over the next two years.
The exiled Ukrainian poet and painter Taras Shevchenko participated in the expedition, painted a number of sketches of the Aral Sea coast. For the navigation season of 1851, two newly built steamers arrived from Sweden, again by caravan from Orenburg; as the geological surveys had found no coal deposits in the area, the Military Governor-General of Orenburg Vasily Perovsky ordered "as large as possible supply" of saxaul to be collected in Aralsk for use by the new steamers. Saxaul wood did not turn out a suitable fuel, in the years, the Aral Flotilla was provisioned, at substantial cost, by coal from the Donbass. In the early 1960s, the Soviet government decided the two rivers that fed the Aral Sea, the Amu Darya in the south and the Syr Darya in the east, would be diverted to irrigate the desert, in an attempt to grow rice, melons and cotton; this was part of "white gold", to become a major export. This temporarily succeeded, in 1988, Uzbekistan was the world's largest exporter of cotton. Cotton production in Uzbekistan is still important to the national economy of the country.
Cotton is Uzbekistan's main cash crop, accounting for 17% of its exports in 2006. The construction of irrigation canals began on a large scale in the 1940s. Many of the canals were poorly built, allowing water to evaporate. From the Qaraqum Canal, the largest in Central Asia 30 to 75% of the water went to waste. Today, only 12% of Uzbekistan's irrigation canal length is waterproofed. Of the 47,750 km of interfarm irrigation channels in the basin, only 28% have anti-infiltration linings. Only 77% of farm intakes have flow gauges, of the 268,500 km of onfarm channels, only 21% have anti-infiltration linings, which retain on average 15% more water than unlined channels. By 1960, between 20 and 60 km3 of water eac
Ferghana horses were one of China's earliest major imports, originating in an area in Central Asia. These horses, as depicted in Tang dynasty tomb figures in earthenware, "resemble the animals on the golden medal of Eucratides, King of Bactria." The Ferghana Horse is known as the "heavenly horse" in China or the Nisean horse in the West. Dayuan, north of Bactria, was a nation centered in the Ferghana Valley of present-day Central Asia, as early as the Han dynasty, China projected its military power to that area; the Han imperial regime required Ferghana horses and imported such great numbers of them that the rulers of Ferghana closed their borders to such trade. That move resulted in a war. In 102 CE, the Chinese required of the defeated Ferghana that they provide at least ten of their finest horses for breeding purposes, three thousand Ferghana horses of ordinary quality. However, there are other views: the Records of the Grand Historian and Book of Han provide no description of Ferghana horses, as it seemed from these chronicles they were not employed in any known Han expeditions and campaigns.
Chinese statuary and paintings, as well as the Bactrian coin shown above, indicate that these horses had legs that were proportionally short, powerful crests, round barrels. The forelegs of the Chinese depictions are straight, resembling the Guoxia horse of present-day China. According to tradition, these horses sweat blood, giving rise to the name: "sweats blood horse". Modern authorities believe that blood-sucking parasites caused sweat to get mixed with blood when the horses were worked. Modern researchers, Mair notes, have come up with two different ideas; the first suggests that small subcutaneous blood vessels burst as the horses sustained a long hard gallop. The second theorizes that a parasitic nematode, Parafilaria multipapillosa, triggered the phenomenon. P. multipapillosa is distributed across the Russian steppes and makes its living by burrowing into the subcutaneous tissues of horses. The resulting skin nodules bleed sometimes copiously, giving rise to a something veterinarians call "summer bleeding."
Over 2,000 years ago two Chinese armies traveled 10,000 km to Ferghana to find "Heavenly Horses", the finest mounts known infected with a tiny worm causing them to "sweat blood" from skin sores: Sometime earlier the emperor had divined by the Book of Changes and been told that "divine horses are due to appear" from the northwest". When the Wusun came with their horses, which were of an excellent breed, he named them "heavenly horses". However, he obtained the blood-sweating horses from Dayuan, which were hardier, he therefore changed the name of the Wusun horses, calling them "horses from the western extremity", used the name "heavenly horses" for the horses of Dayuan. P. multipapillosa is thought to have been the cause of the "blood-sweating" of these famous and much desired horses from Ferghana, which Emperor Wu of Han China renamed "Heavenly Horses". He sent an army of 40,000 men in 104 BCE 5,000 km to Ferghana, but less than half the army reached their destination. Exhausted, they were defeated.
Another army of 60,000 men was sent in 103 BCE and who breached the walls of the city and cut off the water supply after a 40 day siege. Fearing imminent defeat, the inhabitants beheaded their king and presented his head to the Han general and offered the Han to take as many horses as they wanted. After installing a new puppet King, the Han left with 3,000 horses, although only 1,000 remained by the time they reached China in 101 BCE; the Ferghana agreed to send two Heavenly horses each year to the Emperor, lucerne seed was brought back to China providing superior pasture for breeding raising fine horses in China, to provide cavalry which could cope with the Xiongnu who threatened China. The Han dynasty bronze statuette Gansu Flying Horse is most a depiction of this breed. Horses in East Asian warfare Chinese Guoxia Hematidrosis Nisean horse Bonavia: The Silk Road From Xi’an to Kashgar. Judy Bonavia – revised by Christoph Baumer. 2004. Odyssey Publications. ISBN 962-217-741-7. Boulnois: Silk Road: Monks, Warriors & Merchants on the Silk Road.
Luce Boulnois. Translated by Helen Loveday. Odyssey Books, Hong Kong. ISBN 962-217-720-4. Forbes, Andrew. Chiang Mai: Cognoscenti Books. ASIN: B005DQV7Q2 Watson, translator.. Records of the Grand Historian by Sima Qian. Han Dynasty II, Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-08167-7. Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. North China Branch, China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. Journal of the North China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Issues 39-41. Http://chinesehoroscop-e.com/astrology/ferghana-horses.php http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20110922000098&cid=1103 https://books.google.com/books?id=WD8DAAAAMAAJ&pg=RA2-PA36&lpg=RA2-PA36&dq=nisean+orse&source=bl&ots=lFWw_hjTDC&sig=ACfU3U0sfhuW6wFv8EeFSZbBsDg50kUOyA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjiob-9jfHgAhUquVkKHQZ9CpQQ6AEwDnoECAsQAQ#v=onepage&q=nisean%20horse&f=false
Hotan, is a major oasis town in southwestern Xinjiang, an autonomous region in western China. The city proper of Hotan broke off from the larger Hotan County to become an administrative area in its own right in August 1984, it is the seat of Hotan Prefecture. With a population of 322,300, Hotan is situated in the Tarim Basin some 1,500 kilometres southwest of the regional capital, Ürümqi, it lies just north of the Kunlun Mountains, which are crossed by the Sanju and Ilchi passes. The town, located southeast of Yarkant County and populated exclusively by Uyghurs, is a minor agricultural center. An important station on the southern branch of the historic Silk Road, Hotan has always depended on two strong rivers - the Karakash River and the White Jade River to provide the water needed to survive on the southwestern edge of the vast Taklamakan Desert; the White Jade River still provides irrigation for the town and oasis. The original name of Hotan is said to have been Godana, the name used in the Sanskrit cosmological texts.
It carried the meaning of "land of cows". In Chinese, the same name was written as Yu-t ` pronounced as Gu-dana; the pronunciation changed over the years to Kho-tan. In the 7th century, Xuanzang tried to reverse interpret it in Sanskrit as Kustana. However, the Tibetans continued to call it Go-sthana, which carried the meaning of "land of cows", The oasis of Hotan is strategically located at the junction of the southern branch of the Silk Road joining China and the West with one of the main routes from ancient India and Tibet to Central Asia and distant China, it provided a convenient meeting place where not only goods, but technologies and religions were transmitted from one culture to another. Tocharians lived in this region over 2000 years ago. Several of the Tarim mummies were found in the region. At Sampul, east of the city of Hotan, there is an extensive series of cemeteries scattered over an area about 1 kilometre wide and 23 km long; the excavated sites range from about 300 BCE to 100 CE.
The excavated graves have produced a number of fabrics of felt, wool and cotton and a fine bit of tapestry, the Sampul tapestry, showing the face of Caucasoid man, made of threads of 24 shades of colour. The tapestry had been fashioned into trousers worn by one of the deceased. An Anthropological study of 56 individuals showed a Caucasoid population. DNA testing on the mummies found in the Tarim basin showed that they were an admixture of Western Europeans and East Asian. There is a relative abundance of information on Hotan available for study; the main historical sources are to be found in the Chinese histories when China was interested in control of the Western Regions, the accounts of several Chinese pilgrim monks, a few Buddhist histories of Hotan that have survived in Classical Tibetan and a large number of documents in the Iranian Saka language and other languages discovered, for the most part, early this century at various sites in the Tarim Basin and from the hidden library at the Mogao Caves near Dunhuang.
The ancient Kingdom of Khotan was one of the earliest Buddhist states in the world and a cultural bridge across which Buddhist culture and learning were transmitted from India to China. Its capital was located to the west of the modern city of Hotan; the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Khotan, like those of early Kashgar and Yarkant, spoke Saka, one of the Eastern Iranian languages. Khotan's indigenous dynasty governed a fervently Buddhist city-state boasting some 400 temples in the late 9th/early 10th century—four times the number recorded by Xuanzang around 630; the kingdom was independent but was intermittently under Chinese control during the Han and Tang Dynasty. After the Tang dynasty, Khotan formed an alliance with the rulers of Dunhuang. Khotan enjoyed close relations with the Buddhist centre at Dunhuang: the Khotanese royal family intermarried with Dunhuang élites and patronised Dunhuang's Buddhist temple complex, donated money to have their portraits painted on the walls of the Mogao grottos.
Through the 10th century, Khotanese royal portraits were painted in association with an increasing number of deities in the caves. In the 10th century, Khotan began a struggle with a Turkic state; the Kara-Khanid ruler, Sultan Satuq Bughra Khan, had converted to Islam: Satuq's son, began to put pressure on Khotan in the mid-10th century, sometime before 1006 Yusuf Qadir Khan of Kashgar besieged and took the city. This conquest of Buddhist Khotan by the Muslim Turks—about which there are many colourful legends—marked another watershed in the Islamicisation and Turkicisation of the Tarim Basin, an end to local autonomy of this southern Tarim city state; some Khotanese Buddhist works were unearthed. The rulers of Khotan were aware of the menace they faced since they arranged for the Mogao grottoes to paint a growing number of divine figures along with themselves. Halfway in the 10th century Khotan came under attack by the Qarakhanid ruler Musa, in what proved to be a pivotal moment in the Turkification and Islamification of the Tarim Basin, the Karakhanid leader Yusuf Qadir Khan conquered Khotan around 1006.
Yūsuf Qadr Khān was a brother or cousin of the Muslim ruler of Kashgar and Balasagun, Khotan lost its independence and between 1006 and 1165, became part of the Kara-Khanid Khanate. It fell to the Kara-Khitan Khanate, after which it was ruled by the Mongols; when Marco Polo visited Khotan in the 13th century, he noted. He wrote that: Khotan was "a province eight days’ journey in extent, subject to
Bactria. Bactria proper was north of the Hindu Kush mountain range and south of the Amu Darya river, covering the flat region that straddles modern-day Afghanistan, Tajikistan and parts of Northern Pakistan. More broadly Bactria was the area north of the Hindu Kush, west of the Pamirs and south of the Tian Shan with the Amu Darya flowing west through the center; the English name Bactria is derived from the Ancient Greek: Βακτριανή, a Hellenized version of the Bactrian endonym Bakhlo. Analogous names include Avestan: Old Persian: Bakhtrish, New Persian: باختر, translit. Bākhtar, Tajik: Бохтар, Pashto: بلخ, translit. Balkh, Uzbek: Балх, Chinese: 大夏. Bāhlīka. According to Pierre Leriche: Bactria, the territory of which Bactra was the capital consisted of the area south of the Āmū Daryā with its string of agricultural oases dependent on water taken from the rivers of Balḵ, Kondūz, Sar-e Pol, Šīrīn Tagāō; this region played a major role in Central Asian history. At certain times the political limits of Bactria stretched far beyond the geographic frame of the Bactrian plain.
The Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex is the modern archaeological designation for a Bronze Age culture of Central Asia, dated to c. 2200–1700 BC, located in present-day eastern Turkmenistan, northern Afghanistan, southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan, centred on the upper Amu Darya, an area covering ancient Bactria. Its sites were named by the Soviet archaeologist Viktor Sarianidi. Bactria was the Greek name for Old Persian Bāxtriš, in what is now northern Afghanistan, Margiana was the Greek name for the Persian satrapy of Margu, the capital of, Merv, in today's Turkmenistan; the early Greek historian Ctesias, c. 400 BC, alleged that the legendary Assyrian king Ninus had defeated a Bactrian king named Oxyartes in c. 2140 BC, or some 1000 years before the Trojan War. Since the decipherment of cuneiform script in the 19th century, which enabled actual Assyrian records to be read, historians have ascribed little value to the Greek account. According to some writers, Bactria was the homeland of Indo-Iranians who moved southwest into Iran and the northwest of the Indian subcontinent around 2500–2000 BC.
It became the northern province of the Achaemenid Empire in Central Asia. It was in these regions, where the fertile soil of the mountainous country is surrounded by the Turan Depression, that the prophet Zoroaster was said to have been born and gained his first adherents. Avestan, the language of the oldest portions of the Zoroastrian Avesta, was one of the old Iranian languages, is the oldest attested member of the Eastern Iranian languages. Ernst Herzfeld suggested that before its annexation to the Achaemenid Empire by Cyrus the Great in sixth century BC, Bactria belonged to the Medes and together with Margiana, formed the twelfth satrapy of Persia. After Darius III had been defeated by Alexander the Great, the satrap of Bactria, attempted to organise a national resistance but was captured by other warlords and delivered to Alexander, he was tortured and killed. Alexander conquered Sogdiana. In the south, beyond the Oxus, he met strong resistance. After two years of war and a strong insurgency campaign, Alexander managed to establish little control over Bactria.
After Alexander's death, Diodorus Siculus tells us that Philip received dominion over Bactria, but Justin names Amyntas to that role. At the Treaty of Triparadisus, both Diodorus Siculus and Arrian agree that the satrap Stasanor gained control over Bactria. Alexander's empire was divided up among the generals in Alexander's army. Bactria became a part of the Seleucid Empire, named after its founder, Seleucus I; the Macedonians Seleucus I and his son Antiochus I, established the Seleucid Empire and founded a great many Greek towns. The Greek language became dominant for some time there; the paradox that Greek presence was more prominent in Bactria than in areas far closer to Greece can be explained by past deportations of Greeks to Bactria. For instance, during the reign of Darius I, the inhabitants of the Greek city of Barca, in Cyrenaica, were deported to Bactria for refusing to surrender assassins. In addition, Xerxes settled the "Branchidae" in Bactria. Herodotus records a Persian commander threatening to enslave daughters of the revolting Ionians and send them to Bactria.
However, these few examples are not indicative of massive deportations of Greeks to central Asia. Considerable difficulties faced by the Seleucid kings and the attacks of Pharaoh Ptolemy II Philadelphus gave the satrap of Bactria, Diodotus I, the opportunity to declare independence about 245 BC and conquer Sogdia, he was the founder of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom. Diodotus and his successors were able to maintain themselves against the attacks of the Seleucids—particularly from Antiochus III the Great, defeated by the Romans; the Greco-Bactrians were so powerful that they were able to expand their territory as far as India: As for Bactria, a part of it lies alongside Aria towards the north, though most of it lies above Aria and to the east of it. And much of it produces everything except oil; the Greeks who caused Bactria to revolt grew so powerful on account of the fertility of the country that they became masters, not only of Bactria and beyond, but of In
Wuwei is a prefecture-level city in northwest central Gansu province. In the north it borders Inner Mongolia, in Qinghai, it is centrally located in between three western capital cities, Lanzhou and Yinchuan, making it an important business and transportation hub for the region. Because it is positioned along the Hexi Corridor the only route from central China to western China and the rest of Central Asia, many major railroads and national highways pass through Wuwei, nowadays. In ancient times, Wuwei is the eastern terminus of the Hexi Corridor. People began settling here about 5,000 years ago, it was a key link for the Northern Silk Road, a number of important archaeological finds were uncovered from Wuwei, including ancient copper carts with stone animals. The motifs and types of objects in the Wuwei graves, as well as their earthenware and bronze composition, constitute typical examples of the Han Chinese burial style that can be found all over China. Other graves found along the Hexi Corridor show Xiongnu and other minority influence, which are used to trace regimes such as the Northern Liang.
It became an important provincial capital during the Former Han Dynasty as the Hou Hanshu makes clear: "In the third year, Meng Tuo, the Inspector of Liangzhou, sent the Assistant Officer Ren She, commanding five hundred soldiers from Dunhuang. He, with the Wuji Major Cao Kuan, Chief Clerk of the Western Regions, Zhang Yan, brought troops from Yanqi and the Nearer and Further Kingdoms of Jushi, altogether numbering more than 30,000, to punish Shule, they attacked the town of Zhenzhong but, having stayed for more than forty days without being able to subdue it, they withdrew. Following this, the kings of Shule killed one another and, for its part, the Imperial Government was unable to prevent it." In 121 BC Han emperor Wudi brought his cavalry here to defend the Hexi Corridor against the Xiongnu Huns. His military success allowed him to expand the corridor westward, its importance as a stop along the Silk Road made it a crossroads of cultures and ethnic groups from all over central Asia. Numerous Buddhist grottoes and temples in the area attest to its role as a path for bringing Buddhism from India and Afghanistan to China.
During the Three Kingdoms period, Liangzhou was governed by Qiang leader Ma Teng. After the death of Ma Teng, Ma Chao assumed the post and governed the province for a short time before it fell into the hands of Cao Cao, ruler of Wei Kingdom. Famous cultural relics from Wuwei include the Galloping Bronze Horse, Western Xia mausoleums, Wuwei White Towers Temple, Tianti Mountain Grotto, Luoshi Temple, the Confucian temple. Wuwei's geography is dominated by three plateaus, the Loess and Mongolian. Elevation can be generalized as, the south is higher than the north, with an elevation ranging from 1,020 to 4,874 metres above sea-level, its area is 33,000 km2. Average annual temperature is 7.8 °C. The climate is cold arid with precipitation between 60 to 610 mm. Evaporation is from 1,400 to 3,000 mm. There are from 85 -- 165 frost free days. Summer temperatures can be in excess of 45.0 °C. Southwest of Wuwei, there is a 230 metres thick Tianzhu Formation made of clastics intercalated with sandy shale and shale.
Minerals deposits occurring in the vicinity of Wuwei include graphite, iron and limestone. A species of stone loach, Triplophysa wuweiensis, is named after Wuwei where it was first discovered. 1 urban district, 2 counties, 1 autonomous county, 116 towns, 41 townships Population 1,815,054. Urban: 509,600 with 38 ethnic groups represented including Han, Mongol, Tu, etc. Consistent sunlight and fertile soil make agriculture one of Wuwei’s biggest industries. Other important industries are textiles and construction materials. Melons, vegetables and livestock are all major agricultural products. Organic farming is a trend with more land being set aside for “green farming” each year. Land use can be broken down into the following: 790 square kilometres of water 34,800 square kilometres of forest 355,300 square kilometres of grassland. 247,000 square kilometres of “undeveloped” land. 39,100 square kilometres of farmland. 8,000 square kilometres of corn 4,000 square kilometres of vegetables 3,000 square kilometres of melons 5,000 square kilometres for livestock 800 square kilometres of vineyards Wuwei is served by the G30 Lianyungang–Khorgas Expressway and China National Highway 312.
Hill, John E. Through the Jade Gate to Rome - China to Rome. CreateSpace, South Carolina. ISBN 978-1500696702. Official website of Wuwei government Gansu Province Official Website
The Han–Xiongnu War known as the Sino-Xiongnu War, was a series of military conflicts between the Chinese Han dynasty and the Xiongnu confederation from 133 BC to 89 AD. Under Emperor Wu of Han's reign, the Han dynasty switched from a passive foreign policy focused on appeasement to an aggressive expansionist strategy to deal with the increasing Xiongnu incursions on the northern frontier. In 133 BC, the conflict escalated to a full-scale war when the Xiongnu realized that the Han were about to ambush them at Mayi; the Han court decided to deploy several military expeditions toward the regions situated in the Ordos Loop, Hexi Corridor, Gobi Desert and expelled the Xiongnu. Hereafter, the war progressed further west towards the many smaller oasis states of the Western Regions; the nature of the battles varied through time, with many casualties during the changes of possession or loss of actual control over the western states near the frontier regions. Regional alliances tended to shift, sometimes forcibly, when one party gained the upper hand in a certain territory over the other.
The Han empire's political influence expanded into Central Asia as a result. As the situation deteriorated for the Xiongnu, civil war weakened the confederation. In 50 AD, the Southern Xiongnu submitted to the Han empire, but the Northern Xiongnu continued to resist; the war resulted in the total victory of the Han empire over the Xiongnu state in 89 AD. The Xiongnu were replaced by the loose confederation of the Xianbei, which lacked the centralized features of Xiongnu organization, but continued to harass the Han to their south. During the Warring States period, the states of Qin and Yan conquered various nomadic territories inhabited by the Xiongnu and other Hu peoples, they strengthen their new frontiers with elongated walled fortifications. By 221 BC, the Qin ended the chaotic Eastern Zhou period by conquering all other states and unifying the entire nation. In 215 BC, Qin Shi Huang ordered General Meng Tian to attack the Xiongnu tribes, situated in the Ordos region, establish a frontier region at the Ordos Loop.
Believing that the Xiongnu were a possible threat, the emperor launched a pre-emptive strike against the Xiongnu with the intention to expand his empire. That year, General Meng Tian succeeded in defeating the Xiongnu and seizing the Ordos region. After the catastrophic defeat at the hands of Meng, Touman Chanyu and his followers fled far into the Mongolian Plateau. Fusu and General Meng Tian were stationed at a garrison in Suide and soon began the construction of the walled defenses, connecting it with the old walls built by Qin and Zhao; the fortified walls ran from Liaodong to Lintao, thus enclosing the conquered Ordos region, safeguarding the Qin empire against the Xiongnu and other northern nomadic people. Due to the northward expansion, the threat that the Qin empire posed to the Xiongnu led to the state formation of the many tribes towards a confederacy. However, after the sudden death of Qin Shi Huang, the ensuing political corruption and chaos during the short reign of Qin Er Shi would lead to various anti-Qin rebellions bring about the collapse of the Qin Dynasty.
A massive civil war erupted between various reinstated states, with Liu Bang victorious to establish the Han Dynasty. During the transitional years between Qin and Han, while the Chinese were focused towards the interior of their nation, the Xiongnu took the opportunity to retake the territory north of the wall; the Xiongnu led incursions to the Han frontier and had considerable political influence over the border regions. In response, Emperor Gaozu led a Han army against the Xiongnu in 200 BC, pursuing them as far as Pingcheng before being ambushed by Modu Chanyu's cavalry, his encampment was encircled by the Xiongnu. Realizing that a military solution was not feasible for the time being, Emperor Gaozu sent Liu Jing to negotiate peace with Modu Chanyu. In 198 BC, a marriage alliance was concluded between the Han and the Xiongnu, but this proved far from effective as the incursions in the frontier regions continued. By the reign of Emperor Wu, the Han empire was prospering and the national treasury had accumulated large surpluses.
However, burdened by frequent Xiongnu raids at the frontier, the emperor abandoned the policies of his predecessors to maintain peace with the Xiongnu early in his reign. In 136 BC, after continued Xiongnu incursions near the northern frontier, Emperor Wu had a court conference assembled; the faction supporting war against the Xiongnu was able to sway the majority opinion by making a compromise for those worried about stretching financial resources on an indefinite campaign: in an engagement along the border near Mayi, Han forces would lure Junchen Chanyu over with wealth and promises of defections in order to eliminate him and cause political chaos for the Xiongnu. Emperor Wu launched his military campaigns against the Xiongnu in 133 BC. In 133 BC, Xiongnu forces led by the Chanyu were lured into a trap at Mayi, while a Han army of about 300,000 troops laid in ambush against the Xiongnu. Wang Hui led this campaign and commanded a force of 30,000 men, advancing from Dai with the intention of attacking the Xiongnu supply route.
Han Anguo and Gongsun He advanced towards Mayi. Junchen Chanyu led his army of 100,000 men towards Mayi, but he became suspicious of the situation; when the ambush failed, because Junchen Chanyu realized he was about to fall into a trap and fled back north, the peace was broken and the Han court resolved to engage in full-scale war. In light of this battle, the Xiongnu b