DUNHUANG, China, Nov. 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — In the Gobi Desert between Guazhou and Dunhuang in Jiuquan lies an ancient posthouse, sunk in sleep, that has been around for more than 2,000 years. On November 5, the Dunhuang Cultural Relics Administration announced the protection and utilization project of Xuanquan Posthouse Site, one of Dunhuang’s world cultural heritage sites, with an investment of 200 million yuan, is steadily advancing, and construction is expected to start next year. This also means that the "Resurrection" of the Xuanquan Posthouse Site will reproduce the grandeur of the ancient posthouse and become another important tourism highlight after Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang.
The Xuanquan Posthouse Site is located on the south side of Guadun Road, 61 kilometers east of Dunhuang City. Adjacent to the Flaming Mountain, a branch of the Sanwei Mountains in the south, and to the Xishawo in the north, it served as a large reception and transfer station for the exchange of personnel and mail between Guazhou and Dunhuang in the Han and Tang dynasties. If it hadn’t been for its accidental discovery during the second national cultural relics survey in 1987, this posthouse, which kept records for the large-scale transportation security system of the Han Dynasty and witnessed the system’s guarantee for long-distance transportation and communication on the Silk Road, may have been forever confined purely to literature. From 1990 to 1992, Gansu Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archeology carried out a detailed archeological excavation lasting for three years. More than 35,000 bamboo slips and more than 3,000 other relics of the Han Dynasty were unearthed, including more than 23,000 bamboo slips with Chinese characters, causing a sensation in academic circles. It was rated as one of the top ten archeological discoveries in 1991 and one of the top ten archeological discoveries during the Eighth Five-Year Plan. In order to prevent man-made damage, the Institute backfilled the site based on the principle of not changing the original state and preserving the historical truth after excavation. Today, to the human eye, the site appears as a sand dune surrounded by a wooden fence.
Once completed, this project will become a new development model that integrates transportation, culture and tourism in Gansu Province, vigorously promoting the construction of the Great Dunhuang Cultural Tourism Economic Circle, enhancing the rapid development of tourism in Dunhuang, and comprehensively strengthening the influence of Dunhuang tourism.
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