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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Oldest grapevine discovered in Turpan


:: Xinhuanet - English ::

Xinjiang  Uygur China mapArchaeologists claim that they have discovered a grapevine dating back 2,500 years during the excavation of the Yanghai Tombs in Shanshan County Turpan , northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Turpan (Turfan) today in Xinjiang is famous for the grapes grown originally by the local Uygur people but now by Han as well and cultivated with the help of is a series of wells and underground channels that transfers water from the glaciers on the base of the Tian Shan mountains to communities in the area. It also uses gravity to bring water from the source to the surface.

Construction of the irrigation system started around 2000 years ago and are considered engineering marvels for their time.