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Dead cities' new lives

By Erik Nilsson (China Daily)

Updated: 2015-07-22 08:11:54

Dead cities' new lives

[Photo/China Daily]

The settlement was predominantly ethnically Han in the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) but also hosted but also hosted Sogdian, Turkic, Qiuci, Yanqi and Sindhu people, who wrote Chinese, Brahmi, Sanskrit, Persian and Sogdian. It became a Uygur kingdom in the 9th century, when the primary religion was Manichaeism. Residents later converted to Buddhism.

Qocho later became a vassal to the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). This allegiance led to its demise, when the rebellious Mongolian Islamic Chagatai Khanate destroyed the city around the 1390s.

The city wall, moat, religious buildings and residences are preserved.

So is Khan Fort-aka the Imperial Palace-which served as the government seat. A pagoda stands in the compound.

Qocho's eerie stillness is even headier than Yar's.

We wondered at how such a once-bustling metropolis could become so barren.

The only sounds in the dead city on Tomb Sweeping Day were the breezes. They hissed through once-grandiose buildings' nubs that remain as monuments to a moment when xenophobia and intolerance vanquished diversity.

The winds seemed to whisper warnings through the ages.

About this series

China Daily explores Silk Road destinations in 2015.


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