Cemetery found on Silk Road 1700 years old
Silk Road has been hiding a cemetery that dates back about 1,700 years which has been recently discovered. Roughly about ten tombs have been found with no clue as to who might be in those tombs. Out of the ten tombs excavated, seven were large brick structures.
The cemetery was discovered along the old ancient trading route that used to connect China to Rome, near the city of Kucha in northwest China.
The brick tombs almost resemble igloos, but with a larger entrance way, with bricks on the floor at the doorway entrance. Most of the brick tombs faced north. According to the Journal of Chinese Relics, there is one tomb named the M3 which “consists of a burial mound, ramp, sealed gate, tomb entrance, screen walls, passage, burial chamber and side chamber”.
This site was actually discovered in 2007 and excavated by the Xinjiang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology who was also assisted by local authorities. The institute also recorded the findings and they were recently published as well as translated into English.
Whoever is buried there is still a mystery waiting to be unlocked as there are no indications as to who might be in there, no writings or markers on the grave sites. The cemetery was also robbed years ago, as the site was definitely built for the wealthy. Although as previously stated no writings were found to determine what their names were or their positions or jobs they might held while alive.
Not knowing who was in the tombs does not mean they did not try to analyze any skeletal remains, in fact, they did just that. What they found out was the graves were used more than once, with a total of at least ten bodies being found in each grave site. This fact alone is cause for further studies on the remains and the gravesites.
In ancient times the city of Kucha was called Qiuci and was a very powerful city, and control over this area would be vital. The Silk Road trade routes passed through this area to the western civilization and the control of Kucha with the surrounding area would mean control of the western monopoly. An ancient was quoted as saying, “if you have Kucha, only one percent of the states in the Western Frontiers remain unresponsive.”
The ancient Buddhist kingdom is located on a branch of the Silk Road. Running along the northern edge of the Taklamakan Desert in the Tarim Basin and south of the Muzat River, Kucha at one time was the most populous oasis in the Tarim Basin. This is also the area around Kucha and the cemetery.
Four Christian signs have also been found along this Silk Road that has hidden this cemetery so well. The four mythological symbols of China that have been found around the graves are the White Tiger of the West, the Vermilion Bird of the South, and the Black Turtle of the North and the Azure Dragon of the East . China has always been full of beauty and mystery withholding many treasures to be found.