The Site of Xuanquan Introduction

2016-5-31 10:04| 发布者: 武子| 查看: 1249| 评论: 0|来自: Nomination Dossier

摘要: (1) Contribution to the Silk Roads' OUV The site of Xuanquan Posthouse refers to the remains of an important courier station in the Hosi Corridor built in the Han Dynasty during 2nd century BC and 3rd ...


(1) Contribution to the Silk Roads' OUV

The site of Xuanquan Posthouse refers to the remains of an important courier station in the Hosi Corridor built in the Han Dynasty during 2nd century BC and 3rd Century AD, located in the Gobi desert to the north of Huoyan Hill, which is an offshoot of Qilian mountains. The heritage has a complete structure, and a large number of Chinese documents written in bamboo and wooden slips from Han Dynasty were unearthed there, recording the postal system in the large transportation system of the Han Empire. These documents witnessed how the Xuanquan Posthouse guaranteed the transportation and communication along the Silk Roads.

(2) General information

The site of Xuanquan Posthouse was situated at the junction of Dunhuang city and Guazhou county and to the west of Hosi Corridor, on the Gobi sloping fields on the north side of Huoyan Hill, a branch of the Qilian Mountain. On the south side of the Posthouse is the Xuanquan Spring of Xuanquan Valley. Xuanquan Posthouse is part of the ancient transport system set up by the Han Dynasty (2nd century BC - 2nd century AD) in the Hosi Corridor88. Its main function is to pass a variety of mails and information and to entertain passing messengers, officials, official personnel and foreign guests. The site of Xuanquan Posthouse covers an area of 22,500 square meters in which 4675 square meters have been excavated. The site contains complete architectural community remains of the Han Dynasty, including Wubao (fortress), stables, houses and auxiliary buildings outside the fortress and sites of beacon towers in the northwest corner of the Wei and Jin dynasties (3-4 century AD)89. Post road remains of Han Dynasty was discovered some 20m north of the north wall. The Wubao takes up a square area of 50 m × 50 m, facing the east. On the northeast and the southwest corners of the square are turret ruins, surrounded by other architectural sites. The site of stables is located outside the south wall of the Wubao. In addition, abundant cultural relics have been excavated from Xuanquan Posthouse, totaling more than 70,000 pieces, dominated by Bamboo and wooden slips, silk manuscripts, paper-based documents, silk, crops and livestock bones.

(3) Attributes

Xuanquan Posthouse was set up by Han Empire from 2nd Century BC to 3rd Century AD in the Hosi Corridor. Consisting of remains of Wubao, houses, and stable it represents the function and layout of posthouse in Han Dynasty and reveals the main functions and basic structure of post stations in Han Dynasty. The slips clearly documented the passing horses and carts and the official settings, with descriptions of sealing, delivery and receipt of mails. Messengers from Asian countries such as Uisin, Farghana, Kingdom of Loulan, Khotan and Kucha in the Western Regions and Kapisa, Alexandra Prophthasia and Rouzhi, Qangly, Jiyue, Junqi Phi Ogaki and other Central Asian countries. These all provides exceptional testimony for the postal system in the large transportation support system in the Han Empire.

Xuanquan Posthouse is located on the Gobi slope. East of the Posthouse was Ming’an county of Dunhuang Prefecture in Han Dynasty; to the west of it was Dunhuang Prefecture in Han dynasty; it faced the Shule River and Great Wall of the Han Dynasty across the Xishawo saline-alkali marshes to its North; the Posthouse was connected with the Xuanquan Spring of Xuanquan Valley, exemplifying how ancient posthouses relied on provision support from towns and rivers and how man utilized nature to cross the Gobi desert. With its many unearthed cultural relics, including bamboo and wood documents recording diplomatic missions’ passing through, and other items such as calendar, stationery, silk fragments, lacquer ware, bronze ware, barley, alfalfa and other crops, as well as bones of horses, camels and other animals, Xuanquan Posthouse is a witness of the correspondence of diplomatic corps and how commodities, science and technologies were communicated along the Silk Roads.