The earliest discovery: Swedish explorer Sven Heping and Bergerman

To say that the small river cemetery, the time to realize this place should be in 1900. As a guide of Swen Hedor (the famous Swedish geographical scientist, archeologist, and explorer), Oldool is a Lop Nur. After he was a guide in 1900, he lost a handicapped iron in the investigation of the Loulan area. Later, Svin Heping sent him to find the iron pupa and found a sandstorm in the process of finding the iron pupa.

In order to find the iron pupa, he turned inside, and finally I found it, and he accidentally entered the ancient city of Loulan. At that time, he collected some cultural relic specimens, some architectural components, and some text objects. He gave Sven Herod, and it was very important to see Sven Heping after watching it.

As a Lop Nur, Oldkes sometimes put sheep in it, sometimes go out to hunt and fish, and have long been in the Lop Nur area for a long time. In the end, he found a place. Later from 192 to 1934, China -Swiss jointly inspected the Northwest region and established a inspection team. Some archaeologists from Sven Hedding and Chinese, including Chen Zongqi and Mr. Huang Wenzheng, all went to the Robber area. The guide Sven Heping told him that I found another place where there was a thousand coffins. Because the local villagers saw a lot of white bones and many coffins, he thought that there was a thousand coffins.


In this way, Sven Heping was very interested at the time, because he found that Loulan City, he found a cemetery with a thousand coffins. In the end, he appointed Bergman (Swedish archeologist) to let Sven Heping’s guide Ol Deck, take him to find this place.

They went to the canoe in 1934, but they walked very hard for about a week. Later, the Ruburit Ordek wanted to give up a bit, saying that it might be washed away by water and might be buried by the desert. But at the time, Bergman insisted that we looked for it, so we finally found the Xiaoshi Cemetery.

After finding, Bergman took pictures of here, did some simple early work, and did 12 tombs. After the tomb was excavated, they returned to Stockholm, Sweden. This book- “Xinjiang Archeology” has been published internationally and caused a sensation.

In this book, he describes very detailed descriptions of the Xiahe grave, and is basically consistent with some of the phenomena we have discovered now. What impressed me the most was that he described this cemetery like a dry euphratica forest. He happened to be in a high place, on a stage, and his description of the 12 tombs he excavated was also very detailed. After he was excavated, he took a photo in 1934. After we arrived, we found that there was basically no change in contrasting his photos.


Swen Hedin inspections in the Gobi Desert

Lop Nur’s Cemetery


On the way to Xiaoshi Cemetery on December 28, 2002

Panorama of northwest area of ​​Xiaoshe Cemetery

After more than 60 years, I found Xiaoshi Cemetery again


The earliest time for us to enter Ruburie for archeological survey was 1979. In 1979, we inspected the Lop Nur area, mainly because the troops working in this area provided us with a clue, saying that they were investigating here and found a place called the ancient tomb because they found some tombs. They found some tombs. They found some tombs. It is said to be the tomb ditch.

Later, in 1979, when Japan’s NHK and CCTV filmed the old version of the Silk Road, they cooperated with this job, and we went to a team. My former director Wang Binghua led the team to this place of the ancient tomb. Because the landform environment in the Lop Nur area is very complicated, after we go, 50 meters before and after we can’t find each other, it is easy to lose the direction.


Therefore, in the area of ​​the ancient tomb, we conducted a three -day survey and finally found the cemetery. Now it is also called the Sun Cemetery. In the past, we called it the ancient tomb. At that time, the surface was indeed a circle like the sun, and the sun was radiation.

We have done work for more than a month and discovered more than 40 tombs. Because of watching Bergman’s “Xinjiang Archeology”, we also want to conduct some investigations and find the small river cemetery, but because of the environmental problems at the time, there are various factors for funding, after more than 60 years, we have not been able to reach this here. Essence


In 2001, Mr. Wang Binghua, the former director of my, followed a TV station in Hunan to make some shows and led the team to here. The camels they rented at that time were very difficult when they went. When they encountered sandstorms, the weather was cold, and they didn’t come here for ten days, but they had gone for so many days. Finally, they decided to find it again. this place. After finding this place, they observed and took pictures inside for a few hours, because they were insufficient to support all aspects, they started to withdraw.

Later, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage decided to conduct preliminary investigations and trials of the Xinjiang Archaeological Institute to conduct preliminary investigations and trials. So in 2002, I was the director and organized a team to conduct preliminary investigations and trials of this place.

Start discovering Xiaoshi graveyard

The first day we went in to follow the tower (Tarim River) and cross the tower river. At that time, the tower river was not large, and it was frozen. We took the team in for about two days. I went in on the 26th and camped in the wild for a day on the 27th. Later, when I encountered a big sand dune, we couldn’t go in our car, so I decided to lead me to form a team of five people to prepare for a week of support. It is very simple to raise. Two bottles of mineral water a day, two inlaids, and the daily food is this. Then pull our equipment, that is, sleeping bags, archeological tools.

Because it did not have a too accurate GPS point, I took the team to go in accordance with the approximate direction. At that time, the weather was very cold, and the water in the bag was frozen. Go forward.


Most human activities are on both sides of the river. When I went out to investigate, I found a large jade ax, a 26 cm long jade ax, and later found some sporadic pottery. A lot of pottery slices, copper mirrors, and arrows were also found in five kilometers away. These are typical pottery and relics, all of which are typical things of the Han and Jin dynasties. If there are no tombs or places where humans live, there will be no pottery, so this is a very important clue.

When I walked around 5.40 pm, I was on a small red willow bag and observed whether I went to the small river cemetery, but when I went up, I gradually shifted the sight from east to south. 3.5 kilometers.

Finally, when I looked at the southeast, I saw the Xiaohe Cemetery. The small river cemetery is very unique. It is surrounded by deserts. It is just like a steamed bun inserted a lot of chopsticks. In fact, there is a dry puppet forest on the highland. It is very special and spectacular.


At the time, everyone was very excited, but the five of us were tired to the limit. In the end, I still insisted on walking forward as much as possible, sleeping around one kilometer away from the river, sleeping in a place with a red willow, roasting a bake, and drinking mineral water.

After we arrived in Xiaohe the next morning, we made a circle around. The preservation of the small river cemetery at that time was basically consistent with the photos taken by Bergman more than 60 years ago.

M13 Niu Tou

Features of tomb burial: in front of each coffin, there are more than four meters high pillars


In the first layer of cleaning and excavation, we found that the cow head was tied to this pillar. The pillar was more than four meters high. Later, it was cleaned up further. The small red willow bag, this is its composition.


In the excavation, we must first unveil the cowhide of the bag. After we unveiled, we found that there are blood on the coffin and coffin. At that time, we analyzed that this must be slaughtered at the scene when the death was buried, and then peeled off the cowhide and wrapped it on it.


Later, the cowhide was opened and found that there was more than one cowhide on a coffin, and some had three colors of cowhide, so it must be three -headed beef. After unveiling this cowhide, there was a small cover cover to the top to remove the small cover, and the corpse inside was exposed. This coffin is very simple. Two side boards, the front and rear blocks, and the tail, just sting it up.

After we opened it, a tomb was very tough and preserved very well. It can be seen that when she died, she was still smiling. It was very serene. This was “Princess Little River”. This was an amazing discovery. Of course, there are also another tomb. It is also important. The number M13 is a relatively large coffin and a cowhide, and the Limu in front of the coffin is the largest in the entire cemetery.

M13 coffin covered with cowhide

M13 coffin female corpse side view


M13 removes the coffin cover

After we unveiled the cowhide and small cover, we found that this was an older woman, and she was buried in a coffee head in the coffin. Save very well. The elderly grandmother’s coffin was large, and the wooden coffin was also large, indicating that her status was relatively high at the time.

In addition, some men’s tombs, such as the tomb we numbered M24, he is a male, his coffin is also very large, and the wooden coffin is a female yin and wood, which is also very large. Why is it a female yin standing wood? He is a male root in front of the woman’s tomb, and a female yin stands in front of the male tomb.

After we opened it, we found that there were a lot of burial things. There were many arrow poles and cows, and his body had a funeral arrow pole, and his head and feet were inserted with a bone carved man. We Called a staff, indicating that this man may also have a high status at the time, and it may be a chief of the tribe and group.

I mentioned earlier that a lot of cattle heads were found in the excavation of the disturbance layer, and the cow head was tied on the pillars. Later, we understood that there were bull heads on the height of each coffin, and the column was all red, and the red dye was dyed. Because red represents life, represents the reproduction of life, and the front wood, including the coffin of female tombs, is the male root that is also red.

Men’s female yin standing wood, the upper part is blackened with charcoal, but the lower part buried in the soil, and the red was painted with red. So we can imagine that Oldke said that he found a thousand coffins, and he saw that situation. But as soon as we excavate, if we really want to save it, it is a very spectacular cemetery.

From the excavation we learned that this is a typical reproductive worship. A female shade in front of the male tomb, a male root in front of the female tomb, showing that they long for the birth and reproduction. Many burials, including the columns in front of its coffin, reflect the typical reproductive worship. And by discovering the female tomb, we found that there is a wooden ancestor, that is, after being hollowed out with two woods, and using a wool rope to close it to one piece, some are tied with spider scorpion heads, snake heads, and butt scorpions and snakes. It represents the reproduction of life.

Xiaohe Cemetery used to be rich in water grass

我刚前面讲到一个棺上有三种不同颜色的牛皮包着,那么这么多的墓,它得有多少牛,由此我们可以了解到,小河墓地的环境非常好,适合人类生存,也适合于Animal animal husbandry. And we made a DNA analysis of the cow and found that the cow was a European ox.

We made three months of excavations in 2003 and discovered more than 30 kinds of tombs. And in March each year, the windy season began. Because of wind and sandstorms, they could not see anything, and they could not be carried out by taking pictures, measurements, and drawing. Come out and come in again in the coming year.

Male roots in front of the coffin of Xiaohe Cemetery

Female Yinli Wood in front of the coffin of Xiaohe Cemetery

M13 Muzu


The rod of the embedded face

Leather boots unearthed from Xiaohe Cemetery

The mystery of unsolved: The search and guess of the living area around the small river cemetery

The entire small river cemetery we discovered 167, and 190 have been stolen. There are more than 360 tombs in the combination, which is quite spectacular. In addition, a large number of coffin covered with coffee has a hanging beef head, and the burial of the tomb also has a bull head, which shows that it has a large number of cattle.

There are some feathers on the magic weapon, which are boiled with beef bones and animal skin, which shows that the glue has been known in the early days. But such a large amount of beef and meat are eaten, and other parts cannot exist. The upper floor is 3500 years, and the lower level is 4,000 years. There is only 500 years of time difference. There must be a residential area, there is a living area, and there must be a garbage area in the living area. There will always be a garbage stack.

We analyze that their living areas should not be too far from the cemetery, because the productivity at that time, it is impossible to go too far away, and the pillars they made after the pills are cut to this place, because the column is also four meters for four meters How high. Therefore, their residential areas should be three or four kilometers from the cemetery. After the excavation, there is no way to compare only the tombs without living areas, so we have been looking for this place.

If you can find the place where the bone bone accumulates, you can find the residential area of ​​the person at that time. At that time, I thought that the coffin was so good, and there was a tenon -and -mortise structure. According to reason, there should be a certain scale of house structure or something in living. However, in this place where four or five kilometers, I have done all investigations, but I did not discover the slightest.

But later, I also analyzed whether there were two possibilities. One was simpler when people lived, but for the dead, they paid more attention to the burial of the dead.


And through these excavations, I also have an analysis. At that time, did the Xiaohe people, did they have a certain division of labor? The coffin is made of coffin, because the dried corpses of the river are wearing boots. Making boots is to make boots and felt hats. Some of the arrow rods they buried were small with inverted triangle patterns, so they should have a certain division of labor. And the felt hat is very good, like sheep shear, the texture is very good, and the cloak is also mixed with some red patterns.

Felt hat unearthed from m13 tomb



Eagle head burial in Xiaohe Cemetery

In addition, they use a large amount of feathers, the boots are not feathers, and they are buried with feathers and red wool to make decorations, and some tombs also find that there are tied feathers tied to a burial.


The most important thing is that we found a burial eagle head from the tomb during excavation. This is important, indicating that the feathers they use in large quantities are made of a feather of eagle.


In addition, the burial is woodcarvan face -exaggerated nose, and some eyes are made of beads, and we originally thought it was made of bones. the teeth of.

So through excavations, we guess they should have metal tools. Because we look at the cutting marks of their coffin, it is usually 3 to 4 cm, and they cannot use tutoring such as jade ax or stone ax. But in the small river cemetery, we did not find metal tools. This is a pity. Metal tools may also be expensive and take away when migration.

However, we also found that some copper slices are inlaid on the pillars, on the coffin standing wood, there are tall wood roots, and copper pieces are inlaid. What does this mean? Is it very expensive at the time, maybe there is no local, did it bring the migration? There are many questions, and many mysteries are worth further studies and analysis.


Idoris Abdu Hot Susler, former director of the Xinjiang Cultural Relics and Archeology Institute, Leading Leader of the Lop Nur Cemetery, has participated in major archeological excavations and other major archeological excavations and other major archeological excavations such as Xinjiang Naya, Loulan, “Xiaohe Cemetery” and the Keria River Basin. Research work is the largest number of people who have entered the Lop Nur area of ​​Xinjiang and the Taklama -Magnatan desert among Xinjiang. It is also the only Uyghur Stone Age archaeological expert in Xinjiang.


Reprinted from “Western Development” No. 12, 2019

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