Chinese scholars, historians probe sites of historical interest in "Sea of Death"
  • Tue, 09/27/2005 - 12:00

A group of over 50 Chinese scholars and cultural workers left Korla City Tuesday for Lop Nur, known as the "Sea of Death" in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, to investigate historical sites in the region.

They will conduct probes at a series of historical sites such as the Tuyin Ruins, the ancient city of Loulan (Kroraina) and the Milan ruins, recorded in the narrative of Xuan Zang's pilgrimage to India in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Xuan Zang was a high monk of Tang Dynasty famous for translation of Buddhist scriptures.

The team will also investigate sites valuable to the study of ancient history and geography in China, said a source close to the team.

Noted scholar Feng Qiyong, Rong Xinjiang, a professor of history with prestigious Beijing University, and Wang Binhua, former head of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Archaeological Institute and an authoritative expert on the history and geography of Xinjiang, are among this group of scientists participating in the current expedition to Lop Nur.

Covering an area of 2,570 sq kms, Luo Nur, to the north of Ruoqiang County, was the biggest lake in northwestern China before it dried up in 1972 as a result of desertification and environmental degradation.

The Lop Nur research constitutes a part of "Xuan Zang's Road", a cultural program initiated by the China Central Television (CCTV), China Xuan Zang Research Center and the Beijing Science and Education Film Studio.

The team of Chinese scholars and historians will also follow the path of Xuan Zang in October. They will start at Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, and via the Gansu Corridor, Xingxing Gorge, Hami and Turpan Basin, end at the Tarim Basin in Xinjiang, where Xuan Zang set his foot.

Next summer, the team will embark on a journey along the route of Xuan Zang's pilgrimage for Buddhist scriptures, a trail of more than 10,000 kilometers through foreign countries like Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan and ending at Nalanda in India.

This is the first time China has launched cultural researches along the route through which Xuan Zang traveled more than 1,300 years ago.

Source: Xinhua

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