A report on Tarim Basin

The Tarim Basin is the oval-shaped desert in Central Asia.
Physical map showing the separation of Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin (Taklamakan) by the Tien Shan Mountains
Tarim basin ancient boats; they were used for burials
NASA landsat photo of the Tarim Basin
The Tarim Basin, 2008
Tarim Basin in the 3rd century
Tarim mummies, found in westernmost Xinjiang, within the Tarim Basin.
Fragmentary painting on silk of a woman playing the go boardgame, from the Astana Cemetery, Gaochang, c. 744 AD, during the late period of Tang Chinese rule (just before the An Lushan Rebellion)
Map of Taizong's campaigns against the Tarim Basin oasis states, allies of the Western Turks.
A document from Khotan written in Khotanese Saka, part of the Eastern Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages, listing the animals of the Chinese zodiac in the cycle of predictions for people born in that year; ink on paper, early 9th century
Uyghur princes from the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves near Turpan, Kingdom of Qocho, 8th-9th centuries
An Islamic cemetery outside the Afaq Khoja Mausoleum in Kashgar
Subashi Buddhist temple ruins
Northern Xinjiang (Dzungar Basin) (yellow), Eastern Xinjiang - Turpan Depression (Turpan Prefecture and Hami Prefecture) (red), and the Tarim Basin (blue)
Uyghurs in Khotan
Fresco, with Hellenistic influences, from a stupa shrine, Miran
Painting of a Christian woman, Khocho (Gaochang), early period of Chinese Tang rule, 602–654 AD

Endorheic basin in Northwest China occupying an area of about 888,000 km2 and one of the largest basins in Northwest China.

- Tarim Basin
The Tarim Basin is the oval-shaped desert in Central Asia.

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Xinjiang

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Landlocked autonomous region of the People's Republic of China (PRC), located in the northwest of the country at the crossroads of Central Asia and East Asia.

Landlocked autonomous region of the People's Republic of China (PRC), located in the northwest of the country at the crossroads of Central Asia and East Asia.

Dzungaria (Red) and the Tarim Basin or Altishahr (Blue)
Northern Xinjiang (Junggar Basin) (Yellow), Eastern Xinjiang- Turpan Depression (Turpan Prefecture and Hami Prefecture) (Red) and Altishahr/the Tarim Basin (Blue)
Physical map showing the separation of Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin (Altishahr) by the Tien Shan Mountains
Map of Han Dynasty in 2 CE. Light blue is the Tarim Basin protectorate.
Old Uyghur/Yugur art from the Bezeklik murals
The Tarim Basin in the 3rd century AD
A Sogdian man on a Bactrian camel. Sancai ceramic statuette, Tang dynasty
Mongol states from the 14th to the 17th centuries: the Northern Yuan dynasty, Four Oirat, Moghulistan and Kara Del
The Dzungar–Qing Wars, between the Qing Dynasty and the Dzungar Khanate
The Battle of Oroi-Jalatu in 1756, between the Manchu and Oirat armies
The Qing Empire ca. 1820
Scene from the 1828 Qing campaign against rebels in Altishahr
Yakub Beg, ruler of Yettishar
19th-century Khotan Uyghurs in Yettishar
Kuomintang in Xinjiang, 1942
Governor Sheng Shicai ruled from 1933 to 1944.
The Soviet-backed Second East Turkestan Republic encompassed Xinjiang's Ili, Tarbagatay and Altay districts.
Close to Karakoram Highway in Xinjiang.
Pamir Mountains and Muztagh Ata.
Taklamakan Desert
Tianchi Lake
Black Irtysh river in Burqin County is a famous spot for sightseeing.
Kanas Lake
Largest cities and towns of Xinjiang
Statue of Mao Zedong in Kashgar
Nur Bekri, Chairman of the Xinjiang Government between 2007 and 2015
The distribution map of Xinjiang's GDP per person (2011)
Ürümqi is a major industrial center within Xinjiang.
Wind farm in Xinjiang
Sunday market in Khotan
Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport
Karakorum highway
This flag (Kök Bayraq) has become a symbol of the East Turkestan independence movement.
"Heroic Gesture of Bodhisattvathe Bodhisattva", example of 6th-7th-century terracotta Greco-Buddhist art (local populations were Buddhist) from Tumxuk, Xinjiang
Sogdian donors to the Buddha, 8th century fresco (with detail), Bezeklik, Eastern Tarim Basin
A mosque in Ürümqi
People engaging in snow sports by a statue of bodhisattva Guanyin in Wujiaqu
Christian Church in Hami
Catholic Church in Urumqi
Temple of the Great Buddha in Midong, Ürümqi
Taoist Temple of Fortune and Longevity at the Heavenly Lake of Tianshan in Fukang, Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture
Emin Minaret
Id Kah mosque in Kashgar, largest mosque in China
Erkin Tuniyaz, the incumbent Chairman of the Xinjiang Government

Xinjiang is divided into the Dzungarian Basin in the north and the Tarim Basin in the south by a mountain range, and only about 9.7% of Xinjiang's land area is fit for human habitation.

Uyghurs

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The Uyghurs ( or ), alternatively spelled Uighurs, Uygurs or Uigurs, are a Turkic ethnic group originating from and culturally affiliated with the general region of Central and East Asia.

The Uyghurs ( or ), alternatively spelled Uighurs, Uygurs or Uigurs, are a Turkic ethnic group originating from and culturally affiliated with the general region of Central and East Asia.

A Uyghur girde naan baker
Uyghur man in traditional clothing, playing a tambur, a traditional Uyghur instrument.
A possible Tocharian or Sogdian monk (left) with an East Asian Buddhist monk (right). A fresco from the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, dated to the 9th or 10th century (Kara-Khoja Kingdom).
Uyghur hunter in Kashgar
Uyghur schoolchildren in Kashgar (2011)
Uyghur princes from Cave 9 of the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Xinjiang, China, 8th–9th century AD, wall painting
An 8th-century Uyghur Khagan
Uyghur Khaganate in geopolitical context c. 820 AD
Chagatai Khanate (Moghulistan) in 1490
Ethnolinguistic map of Xinjiang in 1967
Map showing the distribution of ethnicities in Xinjiang according to census figures from 2000, the prefectures with Uyghur majorities are in blue.
Protesters Amsterdam with the Flag of East Turkestan
A Uyghur mosque in Khotan
Map of language families in Xinjiang
Leaf from an Uyghur-Manichaean version of the ‘‘Arzhang’’.
Uyghur Meshrep musicians in Yarkand
Wall painting at Bezeklik caves in Flaming Mountains, Turpan Depression.
Xinjiang carpet factory
Uyghur polu (پولۇ, полу)
Doppa Maker, traditional Uyghur hats, Kashgar
A Uyghur man having his head shaved in a bazaar. Shaving of head is now seen mostly among the older generation.
Uyghur girl in clothing made of fabric with design distinctive to the Uyghurs
Uyghur women on their way to work, Kashgar. 2011

The Uyghurs have traditionally inhabited a series of oases scattered across the Taklamakan Desert within the Tarim Basin.

Kashgar

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Kashgar in the Kushan Empire under Kanishka the Great
Camels traversing the old silk road in 1992
The Chinese Tang dynasty during its greatest extension, controlling large parts of Central Asia.
Mosque entrance in old Kashgar
Kashgar road scene, 1870s
Kashgar (c. 1759)
Kalmyk Archer, Kashgar Army in the 1870s
Night interview with Yakub Beg, King of Kashgaria, 1868
A view of the City of Kashgar in 1915
Colonel Mannerheim at the Russian Consulate in Kashgar, 1906
Sign marking previous Russian Consulate in Kashgar
Map of Kashgar (labeled as SU-FU (KASHGAR)) and surrounding region from the International Map of the World (1966)
Map including Kashgar (labeled as Kashi K'a-shih (Kashgar)) (DMA, 1983)
Cafe built on site of old British Consulate-General. Kashgar. 2011
Kashgari Musicians in 1915
Kashgar market
Woman on motorcycle. Kashgar. 2011
Uyghur family with two calves for sale at Kashgar market.
Kashgar's Sunday market.
Kashgar Airport
Kashgar railway station
Map of the region including Kashgar (1893)
thumb|Downtown Kashgar. 2011
Id Kah Mosque
Kashgar minaret at night
The tomb of Afaq Khoja
Mosque next to the tomb of Afaq Khoja.
Mao statue in the city square of Kashgar.
An old Kashgar city street.

Kashgar (قەشقەر) or Kashi is an oasis city in the Tarim Basin region of Southern Xinjiang.

Tarim Basin in the 3rd century

Kucha

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Tarim Basin in the 3rd century
Tarim Basin in the 3rd century
Location of Kucha within Xinjiang with the county of Kucha in pink and the prefecture of Aksu in yellow
Kuchean monks and lay devotees circa 300 CE, in the paintings of the Cave of the Hippocampi (Cave 118), Kizil Caves.
The "Peacock Cave", in the Kizil Caves near Kucha, built circa 400 CE.
Kucha ambassador at the Chinese court of Emperor Yuan of Liang in his capital Jingzhou in 516–520 CE, with explanatory text. Portraits of Periodical Offering of Liang, 11th century Song copy.
Royal family of the oasis city-state of Kucha (King, Queen and young Princes), Cave 17, Kizil Caves. Circa 500 CE, Hermitage Museum.
Dali coins founded in Kucha
Bust of a bodhisattva from Kucha, 6th-7th century. Guimet Museum.
Wooden plate with inscription in a Tocharian language. Kucha, 5th-8th century. Tokyo National Museum.
A "Han Gui bilingual Wu Zhu coin" (漢龜二體五銖錢) produced by the Kingdom of Kucha with both a Chinese and what is presumed to be a Kuśiññe inscription.
King Suvarnapushpa of Kucha, from Cave 69, Kizil Caves.

Kucha, or Kuche (also: Kuçar, Kuchar; كۇچار, Кучар; also ; कूचीन), was an ancient Buddhist kingdom located on the branch of the Silk Road that ran along the northern edge of what is now the Taklamakan Desert in the Tarim Basin and south of the Muzat River.

Ili River

Dzungaria

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Geographical subregion in Northwest China that corresponds to the northern half of Xinjiang—hence it is also known as Beijiang.

Geographical subregion in Northwest China that corresponds to the northern half of Xinjiang—hence it is also known as Beijiang.

Ili River
Heaven Lake of Tian Shan
Kanas Lake
Bayanbulak Grassland
Dzungaria (red) and the Tarim Basin (blue)
Northern Xinjiang - Dzungarian Basin (yellow), Eastern Xinjiang - Turpan Depression (Turpan Prefecture and Hami Prefecture) (red), Southern Xinjiang - Tarim Basin (blue)
A map of the Dzungar Khanate, by a Swedish officer in captivity there in 1716-1733, which include the region known today as Zhetysu
Physical map showing the separation of Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin (Taklamakan) by the Tien Shan Mountains

Although geographically, historically, and ethnically distinct from the Turkic-speaking Tarim Basin area, the Manchu-led Qing dynasty and subsequent Chinese governments integrated both areas into one province, Xinjiang.

Tian Shan Mountains from space, October 1997, with Issyk-Kul Lake in Kyrgyzstan at the northern end

Tian Shan

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Large system of mountain ranges located in Central Asia.

Large system of mountain ranges located in Central Asia.

Tian Shan Mountains from space, October 1997, with Issyk-Kul Lake in Kyrgyzstan at the northern end
Tian Shan with the ancient silk road
Kyrgyzstan (borders marked in red) The indentation on the west is the Fergana Valley
Map of Tian Shan.
In the Karakol valley (Issyk-Kul Region, Kyrgyzstan)
Snow-capped peaks of the Tian Shan seen from an Issyk Kul Lake beach
Koldeneng Valley in Ili Prefecture

Tian Shan is north and west of the Taklamakan Desert and directly north of the Tarim Basin in the border region of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Xinjiang in Northwest China.

Settlements, 3rd century AD.

Taklamakan Desert

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Desert in Southwestern Xinjiang in Northwest China.

Desert in Southwestern Xinjiang in Northwest China.

Settlements, 3rd century AD.
Taklamakan by NASA World Wind
Desert life near Yarkand
Sand Dunes captured by NASA's Landsat-7
Map including the Taklamakan Desert (1917)
The Molcha (Moleqie) River forms a vast alluvial fan at the southern border of the Taklamakan Desert, as it leaves the Altyn-Tagh mountains and enters the desert in the western part of the Qiemo County. The left side appears blue from water flowing in many streams. The picture is taken in May, when the river is full with the snow/glacier meltwater.

The desert is part of the Tarim Basin, which is 1000 km long and 400 km wide.

Turpan

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Prefecture-level city located in the east of the autonomous region of Xinjiang, China.

Prefecture-level city located in the east of the autonomous region of Xinjiang, China.

Tarim Basin in the 3rd century
Buddhist Uyghur king from Turpan attended by servants. Depicted in Dunhuang Mogao Caves, Western Xia Dynasty.
"Mughal embassy", seen by the Dutch visitors in Beijing in 1656. According to Lach & Kley (1993), modern historians (namely, Luciano Petech) think that the emissaries portrayed had come from Turpan, rather than all the way from the Moghul India.
A model of the Turpan water system, (karez) in the Turpan Water Museum: Water is collected from mountains and channeled underground to grape vinyaards.
233x233px
Youth Road (QingNianLu), a Turpan street shaded by grapevine trellises
Turpan North Railway Station
Turpan Railway Station
Wall painting from a Christian church, Qocho (Gaochang) 683–770 CE

Historically, many settlements in the Tarim Basin have been given a number of different names.

Tocharians

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The geographical spread of the Indo-European languages, with Tocharian in the east.
Female donor with label in Tocharian, Kizil Caves.
The Tocharian script is very similar to the Indian Brahmi script from the Kushan period, with only slight variations in calligraphy. Tocharian language inscription: Se pañäkte saṅketavattse ṣarsa papaiykau "This Buddha was painted by the hand of Sanketava", on a painting carbon dated to 245-340 AD.
Tocharian Prince mourning the Cremation of the Buddha, in [[:File:Maya Cave 224, mural 3.jpg|a mural]] from Maya Cave (224) in Kizil. He is cutting his forehead with a knife, a practice of self-mutilation also known among the Scythians.
Major oasis states of the ancient Tarim Basin
Tocharian kneeling devotees circa 300 AD, in the paintings of the Cave of the Hippocampi (Cave 118), Kizil Caves.
The Buddhist Cave with the Ring-Bearing Doves (Cave 123) at the Kizil Caves near Kucha, built circa 430-530 CE.
Monks from the Cave of the Painters circa 500 AD, Kizil Caves.
Ambassador from Kucha (龜茲國 Qiuci-guo), one of the main Tocharian cities, visiting the Chinese Southern Liang court in Jingzhou circa 516–520 AD at the time of Hephthalite domination over the region, with explanatory text. Portraits of Periodical Offering of Liang, 11th century Song copy.
King Suvarnapushpa of Kucha is historically known and ruled 600–625 AD. Cave 69, Kizil Caves.
Tocharian knights from Kizilgaha caves (Cave 30). Circa 600 CE
Emperor Taizong's campaign against the oasis states
Prince Tottika, Kizil Cave 205.

The Tocharians, or Tokharians ( US : or ; UK : ), were speakers of Tocharian languages, Indo-European languages known from around 7600 documents from around 400 to 1200 AD, found on the northern edge of the Tarim Basin (modern Xinjiang, China).

Circa 210 BC, the Yuezhi resided to the northwest of Qin China.

Yuezhi

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Ancient people first described in Chinese histories as nomadic pastoralists living in an arid grassland area in the western part of the modern Chinese province of Gansu, during the 1st millennium BC. After a major defeat at the hands of the Xiongnu in 176 BC, the Yuezhi split into two groups migrating in different directions: the Greater Yuezhi and Lesser Yuezhi (Xiǎo Yuèzhī 小月氏).

Ancient people first described in Chinese histories as nomadic pastoralists living in an arid grassland area in the western part of the modern Chinese province of Gansu, during the 1st millennium BC. After a major defeat at the hands of the Xiongnu in 176 BC, the Yuezhi split into two groups migrating in different directions: the Greater Yuezhi and Lesser Yuezhi (Xiǎo Yuèzhī 小月氏).

Circa 210 BC, the Yuezhi resided to the northwest of Qin China.
artifacts were sinicized
Figures in one of the embroidered carpets of the Xiongnu Noin-Ula burial site, a luxury item probably imported from Bactria. They are thought to represent Yuezhis. 1st century BC - 1st century AD.
A later mural (c. 618–712 AD) from the Mogao Caves, depicting the Chinese mission of Zhang Qian to the Yuezhi in 126 BC.
Watershed of the Oxus River (modern Amu Darya)
A dagger excavated in Tillya Tepe.
The first self-declared Kushan ruler Heraios (1–30 AD) in Greco-Bactrian style Obv: Bust of Heraios, with Greek royal headband. Rev: Horse-mounted King, crowned with a wreath by the Greek goddess of victory Nike. Greek legend: TVPANNOVOTOΣ HΛOV – ΣΛNΛB – KOÞÞANOY "The Tyrant Heraios, Sanav (meaning unknown), of the Kushans"
Possible Yuezhi king and attendants, Gandhara stone palette, 1st century AD
Buddhist art c. 300 AD, depicting (left to right) a Kushan lay Buddhist, Maitreya, Buddha, Avalokitesvara, and a Kushan Buddhist monk.
Yuezhi horseman on the coinage of Heraios.
Nomadic figure, typically with a long nose, on a Bactrian camel. Southern Ningxia, 4th century BC.<ref>{{cite book |last1=Bunker |first1=Emma C. |title=Nomadic Art of the Eastern Eurasian Steppes: The Eugene V. Thaw and Other Notable New York Collections |date=2002 |publisher=Metropolitan Museum of Art |pages=120–121, item 92 |url=https://archive.org/details/NomadicArtoftheEasternEurasianSteppesTheEugeneVThawandOtherNotableNewYorkCollection/page/n133/mode/2up |language=English}}</ref>
Harness ornament in the shape of a coiled wolf, characteristic of nomadic artifacts of southern Ningxia and southeastern Gansu, 5th-4th century BC.<ref>{{cite book |last1=Bunker |first1=Emma C. |title=Nomadic Art of the Eastern Eurasian Steppes: The Eugene V. Thaw and Other Notable New York Collections |date=2002 |publisher=Metropolitan Museum of Art |page=45, item 7 |url=https://archive.org/details/NomadicArtoftheEasternEurasianSteppesTheEugeneVThawandOtherNotableNewYorkCollection/page/n59/mode/2up |language=English}}</ref>
Belt plaque in the shape of a standing wolf, characteristic of nomadic artifacts of southern Ningxia and southeastern Gansu, and related to the Scythian styles of Pazyryk. 4th century BC.<ref>{{cite book |last1=Bunker |first1=Emma C. |title=Nomadic Art of the Eastern Eurasian Steppes: The Eugene V. Thaw and Other Notable New York Collections |date=2002 |publisher=Metropolitan Museum of Art |page=122, item 94 |url=https://archive.org/details/NomadicArtoftheEasternEurasianSteppesTheEugeneVThawandOtherNotableNewYorkCollection/page/n137/mode/2up |language=English}}</ref>

The subsequent Kushan Empire, at its peak in the 3rd century AD, stretched from Turfan in the Tarim Basin in the north to Pataliputra on the Gangetic plain of India in the south.