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Turfan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chinese: Turpan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: City in the Uygur autonomous ch'ü (region) of Sinkiang, China, long the center of a fertile oasis and an important trade center on the main northern branch of the Silk Road. An oasis city, it was traditionally on the border between the nomadic peoples of the north and settled oasis dwellers of Sinkiang. Under the Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) the Chinese knew it as the Chü-shih kingdom. In 450, it became the new state of Kao-ch'ang. Eventually taken in the 13th century by the Mongols, Turfan enjoyed a new commercial prosperity as the Central Asian land routes flourished.

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