WEIGHT: 57 kg
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The original name of the city is unknown. The form Turfan while it is older than Turpan , was not used until the middle of the 2nd millennium CE and its use became widespread only in the post-Mongol period. Historically, many settlements in the Tarim Basin have been given a number of different names. Turpan has long been the centre of a fertile oasis with water provided by the karez canal system and an important trade centre.
It was historically located along the Silk Road. At that time, other kingdoms of the region included Korla and Yanqi. The city changed hands several times between the Xiongnu and the Han, interspersed with short periods of independence. After the fall of the Han dynasty in , the region was virtually independent but tributary to various dynasties. Until the 5th century AD, the capital of this kingdom was Jiaohe modern Yarghul 16 kilometres 9.
The Chinese character dominated Turfan in the eyes of the Sogdians. Kuchean-speakers made up the original inhabitants before the Chinese and Sogdian influx. The oldest evidence of the use of Chinese characters was found in Turfan in a document dated to AD.
Sogdians and Chinese engaged in extensive commercial activities with each other under Tang rule. The Sogdians were mostly Mazdaist at this time. In Astana Cemetery , a contract written in Sogdian detailing the sale of a Sogdian girl to a Chinese man was discovered dated to AD. Individual slaves were common among silk route houses; early documents recorded an increase in the selling of slaves in Turpan.
The only Sogdian men who married Chinese women were highly eminent officials. The Tang dynasty became weakened considerably due to the An Lushan Rebellion , and the Tibetans took the opportunity to expand into Gansu and the Western Regions. The Tibetans took control of Turfan in Clothing for corpses was made out of discarded, used paper in Turfan which is why the Astana graveyard is a source of a plethora of texts.