Excavated by:：Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region
Excavation team leader:：Yu Zhiyong
It is the first time ancient tombs with typical characteristics of China's main Han nationality have been found in the Uygur ethnic region. The tombs, built of bricks in the style of the Han Nationality, are the first discovered in Xinjiang. They have provided evidence that central China had close relations with the regions to the far west of central China during the late third to fourth centuries, according to archeologists.
The tombs were unearthed during the construction of a road earlier this year in Kuqa County, 740 km from Xinjiang's capital Urumqi and part of the ancient Qiuci State.
Qiuci State, which existed between the second century BC and 860 AD, was one of the 36 states in the Western Regions, a term used in the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) for areas west of Yumen Pass including present Xinjiang and parts of central Asia.
The tombs would help archaeologists with research into the political, economic and cultural exchanges between the government of Central Plains and states in the western oasis, and on the cultural influence of the Central Plains on the Western Regions.
Archaeologists from the Xinjiang institute have excavated nine tombs since August 22, 2007, finding skeletons of more than 30 people, some ancient coins and more than 60 pottery jars. It is thought there are another three tombs to be excavated.
Experts said the people buried in the tombs were probably either from the western regions deeply influenced by the Han culture or the Han residents in the region.