Above: ongoing excavations at a ruined residence beyond the Niya River, Taklimakan Desert
Larger and continuous patches of salinized deposits are distributed on the northern bank of Tarim River to the north of Taklimakan Desert and at the foot of Tianshan Mountain.
They are from west to east, Tarim Basin (mainly including Taklimakan Desert and Lop Nor area), Alashan Plateau (including: Badain Jaran Desert, Tengger Desert ,Ulan Buh Desert and Hexi Corridor), Ordos Plateau (including: Mu Us Sandy Land and northern Loess Plateau), southeastern Inner Mogolia Plateau (including: Houshan Area, Otindag Sandy Land, and Horqin Sandy Land) and North China Plain (to the south of Beijing).
Yumen Section of Lan (Lanzhou)-Xing (Urumqi), and the Desert Highway in Taklimakan Desert.
The ruins are located in the south of the Taklimakan Desert, in the Tarim Basin, known as the Damago Oasis in the ancient kingdom of Khotan, a Buddhist civilization believed to date back to the 3rd century BC.
The southern end of the ancient Silk Road, a major historical trade route, went across the 337,000-square-km Taklimakan Desert, and a wide variety of cultural heritage items have been buried in what is now known as the "sea of death.
Wu said the ruins are the most intact of their kind to be discovered in the Taklimakan Desert since New China was founded in 1949.
The southern end of the ancient Silk Road, a major historical trade route, went across the Taklimakan Desert, and a wide variety of cultural heritage items have been buried in what is now known as the "sea of death.
As one approaches the Kunjerab Pass from the western corner of the Taklimakan Desert
, the sand-colored, rounded tops of the Pamirs gradually blend into the jagged, dark-hued Karakoram Mountains.
The prospect of being paid to trek for two months across the Karakoram range to reach Kashgar, and then living on the edge of the Taklimakan Desert
and the Tarim Basin beside the mountains of Central Asia, was a dream come true for Shipton.
Experts believe Damagou holds the largest number and the largest scale of ancient sites in the best condition in the south region of the Taklimakan Desert