Ruins is on the west bank of Lop Nur. Loulan City served as
the capital and economical, political and cultural of Loulan
Kingdom, one of the 36 kingdoms in the Western Region during
the Han Dynasty. Loulan used to be a major point of the interchange
between China and outside world and a stopping-off post for
both incoming and outgoing trading caravans. The weary trade
caravans plodding on the trade route would have a short refreshing
stay and exchanged their merchandise with the local products
in this oasis.
Loulan Kingdom was built in 176 BC and abandoned in 630 BC, exiting only around
800 years. At its zenith, the state ruled over a vast region to the Yangguan Pass
in the east, reached the Yani Ancient City in the west, stretched to Aerjin Mountain
in the south and Hani in the north. However, the prosperous city was waned into history
as times passed by. No convincing evidence has been found on how the city declined and
vanished so far.
The most visible structure in the ruins is the Three Houses in the middle of the city.
The walls of the rooms were built with adobe which is the only of its kind there. The houses
faced the South Gate.
Buildings at the west and east sides of the city were built with wood. Remains of red
paint can be discerned on the remnants of the timber. According the complex’s location and layout,
archeologists believe that it may be the palace of the Loulan rulers.
A large amount of valuable relic has been excavated since the discovery of the ruins.
These items include stone tools, pottery wares, bronze wares, iron instruments, silk cloths
and ancient coins. The most historically significant find was the mummies of Loulan pretty
girls. These corpses have lain there for over 3,800 years.