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Astana Graves
Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Astana Graves are a series of underground tombs located 6km from the ancient city of Gaochang, and 42km from Turpan, in Xinjiang, China.
The tombs were used by the inhabitants of Gaochang, both commoners and locals, for about 600 years from 200 AD - 800 AD.
The complex covers 10 square kilometers and contains over 1,000 tombs.
Different plots for separate castes and families are marked by gravel dividers.
Due to the arid environment many important artifacts have been well preserved at the tombs, including natural mummies.

A typical tomb is entered by a 10 meter sloping staircase.
The tombs are not very large, usually only 2 meters high.
Some tombs also have murals inside.
The deceased were laid on a small raised platform in the back of the tomb, surrounded by possessions and even food.
Their faces were covered by cloths, some of which have distinct Persian motifs.
A small funeral brick was placed to next to each body, on which was written the person's name and other biographical information.
These bricks have been incredibly useful for historians to date the tombs' finds.

A new pavilion has been built outside the old graveyard.
The centerpiece is a large statue of Fuxi and Nwa, based on the silk banners found on the inner ceilings of the tombs.



Hui Chin and I joined a conducted bus tour from Urumchi to visit Turpan.

It was a very interesting trip and full of drama, as there was many interesting places to visit and there was also a number of arguments on the bus about the tickets and sights to be visited, the sitting arrangements on the bus and also about the food and the quality and hygene standard of the restaurants we have visited.

To cap it all of, my camera's battery ran flat, half way through, our spare battery and another camera sitting safely back at the hotel in Urumchi (laughing at our misfortune), but a few weeks later I had even worst news, when, after returning home, I found out that two of my new 2Gigabyte SD memory cards, although seemed to work perfectly at the time, have invisible pictures on them.
The pictures seem to exist alright, with all around the 200 plus kilobyte properties and showing as jpeg pictures, but can't be viewed.
I have lost some very interesting, unusual and irreplacable pictures of Turpan, Urumchi, Bishkek in Kyrgizstan and pictures of the countrysides of Kyrgizstan and Kazakstan.

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Now altough we were there and had our visual and phisical experiences, I have to take advantage of using Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia's resources with our greatful thanks. Author.

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Astana - Karakhoja Ancient Tombs


Astana - Karakhoja Ancient Tombs


Astana - Karakhoja Ancient Tombs


For a more information about Astana Graves see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astana Graves) see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, November 2007.
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
About Wikipedia
Disclaimers

This information was correct in November 2007. E. & O.E.




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