Niya (Tarim Basin)

Niya (Tarim Basin)

Niya is an archaeological site located on the southern edge of the Tarim Basin in modern-day Xinjiang, Autonomous areas of China. Here numerous ancient archaeological artifacts have been recovered. Niya was once a major commercial center on an oasis on the southern branch of the Silk Road in the southern Taklamakan Desert. During ancient times camel caravans would cut through, carrying goods from China to Central Asia.


Official approval for joint Sino-Japanese archaeological excavations at the site was given in 1994. Researchers have now found remains of human habitation including approximately 100 dwellings, burial areas, sheds for animals, orchards, gardens, and agricultural fields. They have also found in the dwellings well-preserved tools such as iron axes and sickles, wooden clubs, pottery urns and jars of preserved crops. The human remains found there have led to speculation on the origins of these peoples.

Archeological findings from the ruins of Niya are housed in the Tokyo National Museum.

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