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New findings may unlock mystery of Kushan Empire

Chinese and Uzbek archaeologists have made new discoveries about an ancient Central Asian kingdom that could trigger debate about who established the Kushan Empire, a Chinese archaeologist announced Monday.

New findings may unlock mystery of Kushan Empire
Excavations near Samarkand in Southern Uzbekistan [Credit: Silk Road Vice Versa Project Photo Blog]
The discoveries were unveiled at a press briefing on the sidelines of an international seminar on the Belt and Road Initiative held in the northwestern Chinese city of Xi'an.

Wang Jianxin, a professor at China's Northwest University, said they found a large tomb believed to belong to royal families of the Kangju Kingdom in Southern Uzbekistan during a joint mission by Chinese and Uzbek archaeologists that began in 2013.

Wang, who is also in charge of the joint archaeological mission, said conventional wisdom holds that the Kushan Empire was built by Dayuezhi, another ancient nomad kingdom in the area, yet it was possible that the Kushan had defeated and incorporated the Dayuezhi.

According to Wang, since September 2015, archaeological experts from the two countries have been digging 20 km southwest of the Uzbek city of Samarkand, where they found the tomb along with pottery, stoneware, and other items made of bone, bronze and iron dating back to the 2nd century BC.

However, he noted more research and evidence are needed before coming to a conclusion about the relationship between the Kushan and Dayuezhi.

Source: Xinhua [September 27, 2016]

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