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Astana Tombs

Location:The Astana Tombs site is about 41 kilometers east of Turpan by road G312
Opening time:9:00-17:00 daily
Best time for visit: all year long
Recommended time for a visit:1hours
Open:9:00-17:00 daily

How to Get There

1)Take private car to the Gebi desert.


Astana Tombs

 Do you want to explore the silk road in China ,if so Astana tombs is the famous attractions in  Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Astana Tombs is of great historical value and archaeological value.
   What make Astana Tombs more mysterious are two ancient mummies and a series of artwork, including different kinds of books, manuscripts and paintings of ancient funerary banner. The paintings depict Chinese myth about Nuwa and Fuxi, who created the world in the Chinese ancient myth. It is noteworthy that mummies here compare favorably with Egyptian mummies in both quantity and the quality, providing precious specimens for anthropology, history, medicine, and ethnology. The mummy of the well-known Gaochang General is 1.90 meters (6.2 feet) tall with well-preserved beard hair and clothes.

 The history of this tomb:

  The history of Astana Tombs could be dated back to the middle of the 200s to the late 700s. With the prosperous of Silk Road trade in about 100 BC, people both from China and Central Asia started to settle down in the areas along Silk Road, thus Gaochang, an oasis city gradually became a center of the Silk Road Civilization. These people lived in Gaochang retained a common Chinese belief that the next world was like the life before death, so the tombs contain the things people need such as food, clothing, money, and shoes, or representations of these commodities in the form of figurines.


Chinese archaeologists have undertaken over ten excavations at the Astana and Gaochang graveyards from 1959 onwards, unearthing 456 tombs, 205 of which contained manuscript fragments. Most of these fragments were originally part of funerary objects – paper shoes, paper hats, paper belts, paper coffins - made from discarded documents. Two thousand documents were found which yield insights into the life of the people there.

Astana Tombs

The construction of this tomb:

The tombs consist of sloping passageways leading downwards for 4 or 5m to a rockcut entrance, about a metre wide and over a metre high. A step then leads into a brick-lined chamber, square or oblong and measuring between two to four metres wide, three to four metres long and up to two metres high. Some tombs contain one or two narrow antechambers in which there are niches on either side for guardian beasts. These figures show a variety of animal features and some have human faces. In their exuberance they resemble the clay statues of Guardian Kings similarly found at the entrance to Buddhist temples.

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