Thursday 6 October 2011
Chinese archaeologists say they’ve found evidence of agricultural activity in an ancient vanished city that was a pivotal stop along the famous Silk Road.
Scientists from the Institute of Geology and Geophysics said remote sensing procedures, field investigations and sample testing in the area showed there were once large tracts of farmland in Loulan, an important trading city that mysteriously disappeared in the third century AD, China’s official news agency Xinhua reported Sunday.
Farmland featuring regular and straight plots stretching for 200 to 1000 meters, as well as irrigation ditches running throughout, have been found, Qin Xiaoguang, a member of the research team, said.
Grain particles in the area’s ground surface are very likely the remains of crop plants, Qin said.
Evidence of an ancient canal measuring 10 to 20 meters wide and 1.5 m deep suggest the city, which is thought to have perished in drought, was once rich in water resources, the researchers said.