Ancient City of Loulan
Loulan Ruins is situated on the west bank of Lop Nur. Loulan City served as the capital and economical, political and cultural centre of Loulan Kingdom. Loulan was one of the 36 kingdoms in the Western Region during the Han Dynasty. Loulan used to be a major point of interchange between China and overseas and a stop-off point for both incoming and outgoing trading caravans. The weary trade caravans plodding on the trade route would have a short refreshing stay and exchanged their merchandise with the local products in this oasis.
Loulan Kingdom was built in 176 BC and abandoned in 630 BC. It existed for only around 800 years. At its zenith, the state ruled over a vast region extending to Yangguan Pass in the east, reaching Yani Ancient City in the west and stretching to Aerjin Mountain in the south and Hani in the north. However, the prosperous city was waned into history as times passed by. No convincing evidence has been found on how the city declined and vanished so far.
The most visible structure in the ruins is the Three Houses in the center of the city. The walls of the rooms were built with adobe which is the only one of its kind here. The houses faced the South Gate.
Buildings at the west and east sides of the city were built with wood. Red paint remained could be discerned on the remnants of the timber. According to the complex’s location and layout, archeologists believe that it may be the palace of Loulan rulers.
A large amount of valuable relic has been excavated since the discovery of the ruins. These items include stone tools, pottery wares, bronze wares, iron instruments, silk cloths and ancient coins. The most significant historical find was the mummies of pretty Loulan girls. These corpses have laid there for over 3,800 years.