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Yumen Pass(Jade Gate Pass) and Yangguan Pass

The remains of these two important Han-dyansty gates are about 68 kilometers apart,at either end of the Dunhuang extension of the Great Wall.Until the Tang dynasty,when the gates fell into disuse,all caravans travelling through Dunhuang were required to pass through one of these gates,then the westernmost passes of China.

  Yumenguan lies about 80 kilometers northwest of Dunhuang,It was originally called the “Square City”,but because the great jade caravans from Khotan fourth centuries turmoil swept through Central Asia,disrupting overland trade,and the sea route via India began to supplant it.By the sixth century,as caravans favoured the northern route via Hami,the pass was abandoned in 1907,Sir Aurel Stein found bamboo slips naming the site as Yumenguan,and in 1944,Chinese archeologists discovered relics confirming this.With its 10-meter-high mud walls pierced by four gateways,the square enclosure covered an area of more than 600 square menters in the midst of unboutnded desolation.

  Yangguan lies 75 kilometers southwest part of Dunhuang but consist of only the ruins of a high beacon tower.From this pass,we will go into Lop Nur and famous ancient Loulan City,then along the south route of the Ancient Silk Road,go into India or central Asia.