Gateway to other worlds

Archologists research unknown societies on the Silk Road

Through endless gravel deserts in western China, the road led to the rich trading stations on the Silk Road. DAI Beijing
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An oasis in the midst of inhospitable desert: Turfan on the Silk Road was already an important stopover for travelers and traders thousands of years ago. Now German archaeologists are looking for evidence of past cultures - and have already made remarkable finds.

Turfan still captivates with its extreme contrasts: The city in the far west of China is located in one of the deepest depressions of the earth right next to the highest mountains. Here juicy grapes thrive in a dry, barren desert landscape and ancient relics can be found alongside modern achievements of civilization.

For Mayke Wagner and her colleagues from the German Archaeological Institute in Beijing Turfan is virtually an archaeological treasure trove. Because the dry climate has preserved remnants of the past, giving valuable insights into the culture and everyday life of earlier societies. Among other things, they show how astonishingly advanced the inhabitants of Turfan were thousands of years ago.

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Archeology worldwide / DAI
As of: 24.10.2014

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