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China and the Silk Road - Modern History of the Silk Road
A Chronology of the Silk Road
Estimated 500 BC - 14Th Century Emergence Maritime Trading Routes
This page was last updated on: December 24, 2019
This page was last updated on: December 24, 2019
-----> History of the Silk Road :
Silk Road (10) Modern History of the Silk Road II : 1925 A.D. to 1950 Re-discovery of the Silk Road
1946: French Forces are withdrawn from Lebanon, at the very western end of the silk road. After withdrawal, the country of
1946: Jordan (previously since World War I the British protectorate (State) of Transjordania) becomes an Independent State in the form of a constitutional Monarchy led by King Abdullah Ibn Hussein. It is the birth of the Haeshimite Kingdom of Jordania.
April 17, 1946: After a long Colonial Rule and Foreign overlordships, Syria becomes an Independent State as the Syrian Arab Republic.
April 1946: The newly emerging Kurdish state of the "Republic of Mahabad" sign a military alliance with the adjacent newborn state of the "Autonomous Republic of Azerbaidjan". Five days later on April 26 of 1946 the Soviet trained, equipped and backed Kurdish Forces face 600 Iranian troops supported by Cavalry and backed with heavy artillery. Kurdish peshmerga fighters repel the first Iranian attack and declares a victory. On May 3 a cease fire agreement is reached with leaves only occasional clashes between both parties.
May 1946: Kurdish and Azerbaidjani State sign an Oil agreement with the Soviet Union, to be ratified in parliament later.
March 1946: In response to United Nations Security council resolution 2 (in history) (and later 3), the Soviet Union promises to withdraw its troops still lingering in northern Iran and supporting the fledgling Kurdish and Azerbaidjani States. In reality, the withdrawal of Soviet troops is slow and protracted.
June 1946: a second Iranian offensive against the emerging Kurdish State of Mahabad defeats Kurdish Forces. Inside the State tribal support for religious and political leader Qazi Mohammad dwindles, especially when promised Soviet support does not arrive. Meanwhile, the United States and Allies put unrelenting pressure on the Soviet Union to stop supporting revolt in Iran.
June 1946, the British Government cracked down on the Zionist movement in Palestine, arresting many leaders of the Yishuv (I.e. Black Sabbath). Golda Meir (גולדה מאיר) took over as acting head of the Political Department of the Jewish Agency during the incarceration of Moshe Sharett. Thus she became the principal negotiator between the Jews in Palestine and the British Mandatory authorities. After his release, Sharett went to the United States to attend talks on the UN Partition Plan, leaving Meir to head the Political Department until the establishment of the exclusively Jewish "state of Israel" in 1948 (The Israeli Declaration of (Jewish) Independence (in Palestine) on May 14, 1948).
In response to a British crackdown on Jewish terrorist attacks on British and Arabs, Irgun Zvai Leumi (Led by Menachim Begin) mounted a reprisal terrorist offensive in Palestine. Among things, the King David Hotel - the locations of the British Administration in Palestine was bombed on July 22, leaving 91 dead. Later a the British Embassy in Rome was bombed. In Palestine Jewish terrorist groups again attacked Palestinian (Arab) villages and targets across Palestine, according to Irgun's own words and sources, a strategy devised to intimidate Arab (villages) and make them sue for a (long term) peace settlement with Jews in Palestine.
November 1946: Following another Iranian offensive backed with U.S. resources the newly formed "Republic of Mahabad" effectively ceases to exist. In the following 2 months the Iranian army clears all pockets of resistance, retaking all territories. Qazi Mohammad and the Kurdish State leadership are tried in court and subsequently hanged (in 1947). Peshmerga Forces are supposed to hand over their weapons for amnesty, however many Kurdish Arms are smuggled across the mountains to be available for a new Kurdish uprising in spring of 1947.
While the Kurdish State in north Iran crumbles the adjacent "Autonomous Republic of Azerbaidjan" suffers a similar fate. Its leadership ingloriously flees across the border to the neighboring Soviet State of Azerbaidjan (Today: Azerbaijan ).
February 1947: Birth of Mohammad Najibullah also Najibullah Achmadzai (Pashto: ډاکټر نجیب ﷲ احمدزی)(Life: 1947 - 1996), in life President of Afghanistan (In office: 4 May 1986 – 16 April 1992). With Soviet (USSR) support Najibullah was President during the Soviet Occupation and "management" of Afghanistan . This period ended around 1989 with the complete withdrawal of all Soviet troops from Afghanistan. Regardless a continuing civil war there after, Najibullah managed to hang on to power until the year 1992 when all forms of Soviet help were withdrawn forcing the newly established Afghan Defense Force to a grinding halt. He was deposed in April 1992 ending his career.
5 August, 1947: A massive 7.3 on the Richter scale earthquake rips through the remote Pasni Region in south-west Iran (now in Balochistan, Pakistan ) causing massive material damage but a mere 500 deaths (estimated).
November 1946 - February 1947: The first of now famous Dead Sea Scrolls (also known as the Qumran Scrolls) consisting mostly of deteriorated documents containing Hebrew script are discovered by herdsmen in Wadi Qumran, near the Dead Sea in the so called west-bank (of the Jordan River) area. With additional finds done by archeologists in the following decades (1948 - 1951 ; 1951 - 1956) and even as late as 2017 with the find of a 12th cave, the scripts reveal an early version of biblical text, some of which were previously entirely unknown to the world. Major linguistic analysis by Cross and Avigad dates fragments from 225 BC to 50 AD.
1945 AD: About half a Century after the Tours of the Great Explorers Sven Hedin and Aurel Stein another scholar, a British diplomat, a Cambridge Man and perhaps explorer the right honorable Professor Joseph Needham reached the trajectory of the Silk Road. Passing from Chongqing in Sichuan through a stop-over at Fengxian in Shaanxi Province and via Huixian in Gansu on to Lanzhou . To traverse the neglected and sometimes nonexistent road to the far west the Needham expedition traveled by army truck and reportedly visited the small peasant village of Shandan (in Zhangye Prefecture ) (where New Zealander Rewi Alley was dropped off), Jiuquan and JiaYuguan on the way to the famed Mogao Caves at the town of Dunhuang .
When the news of the Xiaohe finds first made it out to a world audience raised considerable interest, especially among archeological specialist. However, the true depth of their meaning would only be revealed overtime.
As the adjacent video vividly illustrates, it eventually turned out that a fairly large and developed ancient Civilization had existed in the Tarim River basin. A Civilization that had existed long before the existence of the magnificent cultures of the earliest Silk Road, as they were recorded by the envoys of the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) . These had so far been the earliest recorded civilizations in the regions.
What was even more shocking and is a news that still reverberates around the world was that the mummies found encapsulated and preserved within their tombs were apparently not of Asian ethnicity but of a Caucasian origin. Among things some had red or blond type hair and blue or green eyes.
As various researcher teams have since established, the settlement and the associated cemetery belonged to the Gumugou culture, also known as the Qäwrighul culture, which itself was part of a larger civilization which had lived surrounding the Lop Nor lake and along the rivers of the Tarim River Basin (and what is not Taklamakan desert). Another “beauty” found in the region, a mummy known as the “Beauty of Loulan,” also belonged to this culture. Various other stunning finds have been made recently at Loulan, Yingpan, Cherchen and other locations proving that as early as 2000 B.C. (when early Greek Civilization developed) a European type of peoples had been arriving from the far West (Iran, Iraq , the Black Sea and Turkey) traveling through Central Asia to the large Tarim River Basin fed by glacial rivers. There, they encountered Asian peoples with whom they
YouTube Video: PFS NOVA The Mysterious Indo-European Mummies of China (Part 1), describing the pre-Silk Road Aryan mummies.
intermarried and eventually build a Civilization with. As if all of this was not shocking enough, these peoples knew a primitive art of bronze working which is an art that was previously thought to have been developed in China independently from other parts of the ancient world. As historians now hold it, it is quite possible, if not increasingly likely that the migrations that occurred on the Eurasian continent in the millennia before the birth of Christ and the advent of the Silk Road have carried the ancient knowledge of bronze working into China at that time. One of the routes through which this knowledge must have traveled is the Tarim River Basin, which sort of establishes a silk road of knowledge in existence long before the opening of the historic Silk Road as dated by the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 221 AD) scribes to the year 138 BC.
1929: Arab-Jewish rioting in Palestine claimed at least 200 lives with many more casualties. It was the beginning of a long period of growing emnity which would eventually lead to the Arab Revolt in Palestine and subsequently to the (first) Arab-Jewish civil war in Palestine (1936 - 1939).
1929: Birth of Yassir Arafat, in life co-founder and leader of the P.L.O., Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1956 (Al-Fatah) in Cairo, Egypt.
1929: British archeologist Leonard Woolley published his book "Ur of the Chaldees" on Sumerian Civilization finds at Ur in Iraq.
1942: George Hogg, a British born journalist for the Manchester Daily, helps Rewi Alley - a New Zealander set up a school in Shuangshipu Town (Today: Fengxian , Fengxian County , Baoji City Prefecture , Shaanxi Province). It is called the Bailie School which will be the home for some 60 orphaned children. It is the beginning of a memorable adventure. In the next year George Hogg is made headmaster of the school, becoming the center of the Universe for the 60 odd orphans struggling for life in a very dark and turbulent period in Chinese history.
In 1943 - Edmond O. Clubb, the American Consul in Tihwa (Urumqi) at the time, sent a message to Washington D.C. Making a mention of local rumors which say that the Russians, who have invaded the ( Kazakh Populated) northernmost region of Xinjiang, have found uranium and are making preparations for mining uranium ore.
1943: Menachim Begin became leader of Irgun (Zvai Leumi), the Jewish Zionist Nationalist Armed (terrorist) organization in Palestine. Begin would later become one of the lead Politicans and eventually President of Israel.
Late in 1944: Chinese Nationalist Forces (Kuomintang) search the Bailie School in Fengxian for the needed fresh recruits to help fight the Japanese invaders in what is now the "War of Resistance against Japanese Agression". In order to escape the forced recruiting the Chinese armies have been notorious for, headmaster George Hogg decides to relocate the Bailie School to a location out of reach of both the Kuomintang and the Japanese Forces. The destination ultimately chosen for the relocation will be Shandan, a remote town situated over 1100 kilometers (700 miles) from Shuangshipu (Fengxian) in the Hexi Corridor of Gansu Province along the ancient Silk Road out of Xian and Lanzhou .
In November of 1944, at the onset of winter, the first group of boys sets out on a journey across frozen high passes and through deserts in order to reach their destination. In January of 1945 a second group of the remaining 27 boys sets out on this trail as well.
After some 450 miles and a month of arduous travels, the first group reached Lanzhou and the Yellow River, where with credit arranged for by Rewi Alley, Hogg was able to rent 6 venerable diesel trucks which would transport everyone of the silk road and the Hexi Corridor to Shandan in Zhangye (City) Prefecture. The Bailie School was re-established in an abandoned old Temple in Shandan.
22 March, 1945: Arab League is founded by 22 Nations in Cairo, Capital of Egypt. It is an organization which declares a goal of safeguarding the Sovreignty of member nations, extending cooperation and working together to advance the interest of Arab Nations. Significantly, its first President was the Palestinian leader Haj Amin Al Husseini, better known as the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (notorious for his cooperation with German Nazis in world war 2).
In July 1945, George Hogg stubs his toe while playing sports with his pupils. The toe is infected with tetanus. While two boys are sent by motorcycle to Lanzhou in a desperate rescue mission to retrieve the much needed antibiotics, George Hogg dies on July 22nd. He is buried a short ways outside of the small town of Shandan with a small headstone honoring his sacrifice and contribution.
July 26, 1944: Shah Reza Pahlavi, the former Iranian General turned founder of a new Monarchy in Iran dies in exile in Durban Johannesburgh, South Africa while his son retains the throne in Iran.
6 November 1944: The British administrator (Governor) of the British post-war mandate territory of Palestine is assassinated by Jewish terrorist of the LEHI Organization (Stern Gang).
November 1945 - September 1946: The "Iran Crisis".
Following the withdrawal of British and Commonwealth troops from Iran in September 1945, Soviet Troops linger in northern Iran. Having created, among things the Azerbaidjani Democratic Party (ADP), Soviet agents instigate insurrection in Azerbaidjani regions in northern Iran. The ADP spreads its influence throughout all of Azerbaidjani northern Iran and stages and subsequently dissolves the openly communist and modernist Tudeh Pary ("Party of the Masses") in the first week of September. Later in the same month, at the first ADP Party congress, the party establishes an armed militia which, with soviet arms, help and active support claim control of all villages and towns.
By mid-November when sufficient control is established the ADP declares the establishment of the "Independent" "Autonomous Republic of Azerbaidjan" in northern Iran.
In December of 1945, right after the establishment of the "Autonomous Republic of Azerbaidjan" in mountainous north Iran, the independent Kurdish State of Mahabad was established. The obligatory new religious leader of the newly emerging Soviet Russian backed State of the "Republic of Mahabad" is named Qazi Mohammad.
Tudeh ("Party of the Masses" ; Persian: حزب تودۀ ایران), the Iranian Communist Party, creates a mass movement for change in Iran while a Soviet backed insurrection is staged in north Iran. CIA agents and operatives launch a counter-propaganda offensive in Iran critizing inspiration and guidance taken from the Soviet Union, as well as the anti-Islamic character of Tudeh political ideas. The influence of the Tudeh Party continues in Iran and will be crucial in Iranian Politics in the next decade.
June 4 to 7, 1947 - "Peitashan Incident". Chinese forces and local tribal militia in north-west Xinjiang's lower or little Altai Mountains do battle with troops from the Republic of Mongolia in the disputed border zone between current day Altai Prefecture of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and the Province of Khovd in the Republic of Mongolia. At the time it seems as if Russia, by use of its proxy the Peoples Republic of Mongolia, is steering towards a full takeover of all of Xinjiang (a territory fully claimed by the Peoples Republic of China based (incorrectly) on the assumption that the current Chinese Nation can lay claim to all the territory claimed by the Manchu invaders of China during their further conquest dubbed in China as "The Qing Dynasty (1644 AD - 1911 AD)". However, the Qing were Manchu and not Chinese thus it cannot have been a Chinese Dynasty (in proper)).
August 15, 1947: Formerly British ruled India is split between predemoninantly Muslim Pakistan (with current day Bangladesh as eastern Pakistani Province) and the majority Hindu and other State of India, creating the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Democratic India. The political split causes a mass exodus of Muslims to Pakistan and others vice versa. In the violence and turmoil an estimated half a million people lose their lives. In the aftermath of the split, several territories, most notably the Jammu and Kashmir Region in the western Himalayas which
Map of the current day Republic of Mongolia showing the western border a line dviding the minor Altai Mountains (Chowd Altai) bteween Kazakh Territory (Altai Prefecture) and Mongolian Territory (Khovd Aimag). In this arrangement the Kazakh held on to pasturelands on the south-west slopes of the Mountains, whereas the northern- and eastern slopes fell under control of Mongolia and local Mongolian nomadic people. Naturally, disregarding politics the regions have always been interconnected.
Chinese controlled part of Xinjiang into the East Turkestan Republic and fight their way to the region of Koktogai which is also their native tribal pastureland. Not many historic details are known about this remote event, however ultimately the Kazakh's re-invading their own homeland were repelled, it is said with the help if Russian Forces, and ultimately ended up retreating into Chinese held territory more to the south.
Rumor has it that at the time the Koktogai Region had been the location of the first and only Russian Uranium mine, a crucial part of the ongoing Russian efforts to steal the American Atomic Bomb design, find uranium and produce nuclear weapons itself (At the time uranium was the only substance know to be usable as the nuclear fuel driving the atomic explosion). Based on the scarce information available it appears that the invading group of Kazakh's had received weapons from the Chinese Nationalist Army just prior to November 4 and that earlier in June of 1947 the Kazakh's had taken weapons from their Mongolian enemies at a place known as Peitaishan during the "Peitaishan Incident" (The BeiDa Shan are a mountain range also known as the smaller Altai Mountains (Chowd Altai) which extends in a south-eastern directions from the Altai Range and so forms the border between today's "Altai Kazakh Prefecture" of Xinjiang and Khovd Aimag (Province) in the far west of the Republic of Mongolia . This border had been disputed in the years prior to the "Koktogai Incident" and was fixed by various battles of the time. One such battle had included the Kazakh Tribe from Koktogai.
November 1947 AD - & U.S. Army Officers are flown out to the U.S. Consulate and "listening post" at Urumqi . On the long haul flight, they stop off at several points along the way in order to inspect sites designated by Douglas MacKiernan as possible spots for the location of (Ad Hoc) American strategic bomber bases to be used in case of war with the Soviet Union. Most notably, one of the sites included a
Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region Satellite Map 1A
A Satellite Image overview Map of Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region entire and parts of neighboring Nations of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, The Tuva-, Khakassia- and Buryatia Republic of the Russian Federation, The Republic of Mongolia, as well as Chinese Provinces and Territories of Gansu Province, Qinghai Province and Tibet Autonomous Region.
This Map Includes Cities and Towns (shown by size), the Irtush River Valley, the Dzungarian Basin of Xinjiang AR, the Taklamakan Desert in South-Central Xinjiang AR, a variety of border passes in the Karakoram Mountain Range and the Tian Shan Mt. Range, plus main waterways, rivers and lakes of this large region.
+ Nuclear Test Site
Tarim River Basin
(& Taklamakan Desert)
Malan Nuclear Test Site
large flat swath of dry desert land situated immediately north of Jiayuguan and Jiuquan in Gansu Province , two closely related rural towns better known for their position at the very western end of the Ming Dynasty Era Great Wall of China . Because the fortunes of the American alliance with the Kuomindang Government of Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai Chek) in the (2nd) Chinese Civil War turned sour and events were overturned by the victory of the Chinese Communist Party leading to the establishment of the Peoples Republic of China (Formally, Oct. 1st, 1949) no U.S. Bomber base ever emerged in the desert near the end of the Great Wall. However, although the American plan for a bomber base to reach Central Asia and the Russian atomic sites in Kazakhstan (Semipalatinsk ; Semey) "nearby" was thwarted, someone in the Chinese Administration had been informed and made due notice. Within 10 years of the American stop over and inspection of the site, the location at Jiayuguan / Jiuquan was secretly designated as a military base established for serving a role in the Chinese Atomic program and associated missile program). As was many years later, overtime the secret base served supporting functions for upcoming nuclear tests in the western deserts of China (P.R.C.) . Gaining a military airfield along the way at some time during the 1950's) it was further developed into China's first (nuclear) Ballistic Missile Testing Range which became designated with the codename: DongFeng 1.
On 20 May 1948, Folke Bernadotte was appointed "United Nations Mediator in Palestine", in accordance with UN-resolution 186 of 14 May 1948. It was the first official mediation in the UN's history.
January 1, 1949: Fighting ends in the undeclared Pakistan-India War in Kashmir through a United Nations mediated ceasefire agreement. The territory of Kashmir albeit still disputed is split into a Pakistani Controlled part and an Indian Controlled part, the line of split runs along the factual (military) lines of control held by the armies of both opposing the Nations. It is the start of long period of military occupations, cross border wars and insurrections of the local peoples.
15 May 1948 – 10 March 1949: The first Arab-Israeli War (also dubbed 1948 Arab–Israeli War) breaks out in western Asia after a unilateral declaration of the founding of the State of Israel by Jewish colonists and settlers in Palestine sparks all out civil war in Palestine. With the essentially illegal act of the unilateral founding of a Jewish State occupying large parts of Palestine while United Nations negotiations (the first ever in world history) are still ongoing, Arab States of the Region feel themselves forced into war with the newborn but illegal state of Israel. A coalition of Arab States including Egypt, Syria, and the Kingdom of Jordan, supported by expeditionary forces from the State of Iraq invade Palestine in order to put a stop to the emergence of the Jewish State of Israel.
While being cornered from all sides the newly created illegal State of Israel receives massive help from the United States of America from where large shipments of military equipment, ammunition and airplanes and financial aid are received. Jewish volunteers join the fight from all over the world particularly from the United States.
17 September, 1948: United Nations chief Palestine peace mediator, the Swedish Diplomat Folke Bernadotte, in World War 2 saviour of some 31 thousand Jews from German Concentration Camps, is murdered in Jerusalem by the Jewish Terrorist Stern Gang (LEHI group), eventhough this group had officially been disbanded and banned as part of the 29 May 1948 unilateral declaraton of the formation of the State of Israel in occupied Palestine. Ralph Bunche, previously the deputy negotiator, succeeds him as Chief Negotiator.
After the assassination, the new Israeli government declared Lehi a terrorist organization, arresting and convicting some 200 members as a token gesture to placate the United Nations. Meanwhile LEHI terrorist Chief of operations Menachim Begin (Life: Brest, Russian Empire 15 August 1913 - 9 March 1992 Tel Aviv, Israel) enters democratic politics later to become the 6th Prime Minister of Israel (21 June, 1977 - 10 October 1983) and even sharing a Nobel Preace Prize with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat (1979) after signing a peace treaty with that State.
6 October, 1948 AD: The 1948 Ashgabat Earthquake (Turkmen: 1948 Ашгабат ыер титремеси; 1948 Aşgabat yer titremesi; Russian: Ашхабадское землетрясение 1948 года; Ashkhabadskoye zemletryasenie 1948 goda) strikes 25 kilometers south-west of Ashgabat in the Turkmen Soviet Republic ( Turkmenistan ). The 7.3 magnitude earthquake event rips open the ground, heavily damages concrete buildings, levels historic adobe homes and derails freight trains. Through heavy censorship by the Uzbek Government the true extend of the damage and loss of live remains unknown to most of the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.), let alone the outside world. A considerable percentage of the entire Uzbek population, an estimated 10 to 110 thousand people loose their lives.
15 October 1948 – 10 March 1949 In the so called October battles, Israel launched a series of military operations to drive out the Arab armies and secure the northern and southern borders of Israel.
November 1948 - After seeing off his newly wed (and 3rd) wife in Shanghai , around November 10 Joseph S. MacKiernan, a CIA spy in undercover function embarks on his last drive across China, taking one month to reaching his first goal, the City of Tihwa , today better known as Urumqi. During World War 2, the city had been MacKiernan's station. He reached Tihwa (Urumqi) on December 10 of 1948 AD ostensibly bringing with him a truck load of (secretive) equipment. The equipment likely included Geiger tellers and other sensors intended to be used in order to detect and locate any (Russian) atomic test in Central Asia .
Within half a year Douglas MacKiernan would become the first CIA Agent to be killed in the line of duty.
December 1948: the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 194. It called to establish a UN Conciliation Commission to facilitate peace between Israel and Arab states. However, many of the resolution's articles were not fulfilled, since these were opposed by Israel, rejected by the Arab states, or were overshadowed by war as the 1948 conflict continued.
1949: After 60 years of neglect, archeological excavations resume at the ancient ruined site of Nimrud near Mosul (Historical Niniveh) in northern Iraq. Excavations are led by Sir Max Edgar Lucien Mallowan, Britian's pre-eminent scholar and expert in the field of ancient Middle Eastern History. Numerous archeological missions have followed through the decades until the total destruction of the site by ISIL in March of 2015.
In 1949, Israel signed separate armistices with Egypt on 24 February, Lebanon on 23 March, Jordan on 3 April, and Syria on 20 July ending the First Arab-Israeli War (or in fact freezing it in place for about a decade while Israel was built). The Armistice Demarcation Lines, as set by the agreements, saw the territory under Israeli control encompassing approximately three-quarters of the prior British administered Mandate as it stood after Transjordan's independence in 1946 becoming the Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan.
As a result of humiliating defeats suffered by the Arab Nations of Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq, Israel controlled territories of about one-third more than was allocated to the Jewish State under the United Nations partition proposal and subsequent resolutions. After the armistices, Israel with a Jewish population of just over 600 thousand, had control over 78% of the territory comprising former Mandatory Palestine or some 8,000 square miles (21,000 km2), including the entire Galilee and Jezreel Valley in the north, whole Negev Desert in south, West Jerusalem and the coastal plain in the center.
The armistice lines were known afterwards as the "Green Line". The Gaza Strip and the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) were occupied by Egypt and Jordan respectively. The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization and Mixed Armistice Commissions were set up to monitor ceasefires, supervise the armistice agreements, to prevent isolated incidents from escalating, and assist other UN peacekeeping operations in the region.
1949: Women win the right to Vote in Syria and later that year in the new Peoples Republic of China, established on October 1, 1949 with the National Capital at Beijing .
1949 onwards: Archeologist began to uncover fossilized remains and artifacts of Homo Erectus dated between 80 thousand B.C. and 500 thousand B.C. in many locations in Northern China.
August 29, 1949, the Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb. The nuclear test dubbed Joe-1 by western intelligence (after Joseph "Uncle Joe" Stalin) was conducted near the city of Semipalatinsk (Today: Semey) on the steppes of the then Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan and had roughly the same yield as the A-Bomb that destroyed Nagasaki in August of 1945, around 21 kilotons of TNT (equivalent). The test came as a considerable shock to U.S. Government circles but not to its intelligence circles in Central Asia , especially at Tihwa.
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January-February 1934: Battle of Kashgar takes place between united Uighur and Kyrgyz Forces of the East Turkestan Republic and Kuomintang Nationalist Army units composed of Hui consripts and officers. The latter are victorious capturing and then executing various rebel leaders and following.
March 1934: In western Chinese Turkestan ( Xinjiang ) reportedly, the rebellious Muslim Emir of the First East Turkestan Republic, Abdullah Bughra, was beheaded by the Chinese Muslim 36th Division of the National Revolutionary Army (Kuomintang) led by General Ma Zhongying. (According to various sources) His head is put on display in front of the Id-Kah Mosque, the main Mosque of Kashgar .
April 1934: Chinese Hui Muslim General Ma Zongying gave a public speech the the historic Id-Kah Mosque the main mosque of the silk road market town of Kashgar, in the west of Chinese Turkestan (Xinjiang). The General urges local Muslims to be loyal to the Chinese Nationalist Kuomintang Government (rather than claim Independence or be involved with Russia or other parties).
1934: Official discovery of The Xiaohe Tomb complex (also: Ördek’s Necropolis) is located to the west of "wandering lake" Lop Nur . This bronze-age burial site was originally discovered by Ördek’s, a helper of Sven Hedin during his early expeditions around Lop Nor. The information was thus passed to Folke Bergman, who may be considered Hedin's pupil in these matters, and subsequently missions were sent there in order to rediscover more lost silk road heritage. Since then, the site has become world famous.
Today the Xiaohe Tomb site is nothing more than an oblong sand dune found in a vast wind and sand blown wasteland.
Although the site at first was never excavated (among things due to political events in China), since the early 1990's the site has regained interest and by now is well explored. More than thirty well preserved caucasian mummies have been excavated. The entire Xiaohe Tomb complex contains about 330 tombs, about 160 of which have been violated by grave robbers.
An excavation project by the Xinjiang Cultural Relics and Archaeology Institute began in October 2003. A total of 167 tombs have been dug up since the end of 2002 and excavations have revealed hundreds of smaller tombs built in layers, as well as other precious artifacts. In 2006, a valuable archeological finding was uncovered: a boat-shaped coffin wrapped in ox hide, containing the mummified body of a young woman.
In the period 1929 to 1935 a lesser known Swedish explorer by the name of Folke Bergman (1902 AD - 1946 AD) traveled through the Xinjiang Region in order to record its geographical features and in the search of archeological remnants of the rich history of the regions and the Silk Road. During these exploits, while in the regions of the Lop Nor lake , the explorer was inadvertently introduced to a local Uyghur hunter, one Ördek, who subsequently revealed to him a tomb site that had been discovered by him already in the year 1910 AD while working with Sven Hedin.
The site which Bergman was led to is now known in archeology circles as the Xiaohe (Little River) bronze age historical site. As was in the following months well document, the neolithic site at Xiaohe in Lop Nor consisted of the clear remains of small and primitive settlement which also had an adjoining cemetery on a hill marked by circularly arranged wooden posts. The site was close to a river bed, which Bergman named Xiaohe, or “Small River.”, hence the current name of the site.
Today the cemetery attached to the Xiaohe has been named the “Ördek’s necropolis,” in honor of Sven Hedin's Uyghur guide who originally
Sven Hedin and Folke Bergman seated togther inside a yurt during Hedins last great mission of exploration in 1934. The Xiaohe Tomb find was the crowning piece in years of exploration along the Silk Road in Xinjiang.
discovered the site. It is the location of infamous historic finds such as the first hashish (marihuana) and the first woven pants in world history, which by chance of a weaving quality unsurpassed in China until at least the 7th century AD.
Schematic overview of the main pathways of the Silk Road(s) in Asia, throughout the millennia between Rome and Byzantium in the west and Chang An, Luoyang, Datong or Beijing in the far east of Asia. Main road is depicted in red, by ways in blue. The Eurasian steppe route is often seen as separate but factually and historically should not be discounted as such. + Click Map locations to link through to information by location!
1929: Beginning of archeological excavations at Palmyra in Syria under supervision of the general director of antiquities in Syria, Henri Arnold Seyrig. While excavating the ruins, Seyrig managed to convince the villagers to move away by promising them the building of a new and better equiped French-built village next to the site which would become known as Tadmur. The clearing of the entire Palmyra site of population was completed in 1932.
1930: Kurdish national movement forces led by Sheikh Mahmud rise up in northern Iraq, but are eventually suppressed by British supported Iraqi Forces. While a similar Kurdish uprising in Iranian parts are defeated during the summer (June and July), the insurrections in northern Iraq last well into 1931. Afterwards a dream of Kurdish National independence remains alive and simmering.
Around the year 1930, by then legendary Silk Road explorer Sir Aurel Stein undertakes early excavations at Kerman (کرمان), ancient Capital of Kerman Province in western Iran famous for its Zoroastrian Culture. The research by Stein involves Shahr-e Sūkhté (Persian: شهرِ سوخته , meaning "[The] Burnt City") a mysterious bronze age site measuring 25 hectares containing numerous graves and other ruined structures.
1930: Constantinople (Historically: Byzantium), the former Capital of the Eastern Roman Empire is renamed Istanbul, which had since long been the locally popular (Turkish) name for the city.
In 1930: A mining team sent in to explore and prepare a certain location in Gobustan in current day Absheron Province of Azerbaijan , due south of Baku on the Caspian Sea coast, rediscovers the true archeological and cultural value of this location. Today known as the Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape, the miners discover abundant rock engravings and
engraved caves, alerting the world of their presence, thus saving a record of over 40 millennia of human activity for future generations.
1931: The clandestine fundamentalist Zionist Jewish organization of Irgun Zvai Leumi (National Military Organization) is established in Palestine. Its aims are to overthrow powers of British occupation forces and rival Palestinian and Arab groups in Palestine through the force of arms.
1931: Death of the Sharif of Mecca, Hussein Ibn-Ali, King of Hejaz. In previous decades he was a major leading figure in the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Rule, loser in the Arab Civil War and father of King Faisal I of Syria (1918 - 1920) who was also later King of Iraq (1923 - 1933). He was also Father of King Hussein (Rule: 1946 - 1951) of trans-Jordania (Today: Jordania).
1932: Black American writer, poet, political activist and photographer Langston Hughes (Life: 1902 - 1967), in his days and later remembered as the most influential writer of the 1920s (Harlem) Black American Renaissance (Movement), reaches the Silk Road as he tours several southern states of the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.), notably described by him as Nations much alike the dustry cotton producing states he knew so well from his early life in the United States. He thus travels through Moscow to spend several months on the road in Turkmenistan , Uzbekistan and Tajikistan . Under the title "A Negro views the Soviet Union" he leaves historic account of life in these souther parts of Soviet Central Asia, among things lauding the apparent racial and social equality and other perceived progress made in the Soviet Union under guidance of Marxism-Leninism.
September, 1932: The family of Saud establishes the Nation of Saudi Arabia, which it will rule from that day forward until today. Ibn Saud, victor in the Arab Civil War (1902 - 19250 is the first King of Saudi Arabia .
1933: Iraqi military forces with British air support once more defeat a Kurdish uprising in northern parts of Iraq. In the same year Iraq becomes and officially independent State with King Faisal (Previously of Syria) as the head of the ruling Monarchy.
August 9, 1933: Uighur Leader Timur Beg (Life: 1886 - Nov. 9, 1933) who previously had declared himself Emir is killed by Chinese (Hui) Muslim General Ma Zhancang, who with his 36th Hui Division has been dispatched to stamp out any rebellions in Xinjiang and reclaim the territory for China (the Kuomintang Nationalist Republic). Timur Beg is shot, then beheaded and subsequently the head of the dead Emir is put on display at the Kashgar Id-Kah Mosque (Uyghur: ھېيتگاھ مەسچىتى, Хейтгах Месчити Hëytgah Meschiti, Chinese: 艾提尕尔清真寺; pinyin: Àitígǎěr Qīngzhēnsì) (from Persian: عیدگاه Eidgāh, meaning Place of Festivities) center of Uyghur life in Kashgar since centuries as a warning to the local population.
November 8, 1933; Nadir Shah, the self proclaimed King of Afghanistan is assassinated. He was succeeded by his son Mohammed Zahir Shah (Rule: 1933 - 1973). It is the beginning of the last Monastic reign period in Afghan history, a time during which the Afghan Nation bloomed.
1933: A giant earthquake and aftershocks hit Gansu Province along the rim of the Tibetan Plateaux costing an estimated 70 thousand human lifes in towns and villages across the region.
1933: Andre Parrot, a French archeologist, led a team to do excavations at Tell Hariri, better known as the ancient Mesopotamian City of Mari (which is situated along the silk road in modern day Syria). It is the first archeological dig at the ancient city sacked by the competing Babylonians in the year 1760 BC (estimated).
1925: Zionist-Revisionist Movement was invented and founded by Vladimir Jabotinsky. The Jewish movement called for armed struggle against British occupation forces in Palestine. Among things, over the next years and decades the success of the movement would lead to growing Jewish migration into Palestine. The Zionist Theory would later be copied by the Jewish terrorist organization Irgun Zvai Leumi, which was headed by Menachim Begin. Begin would become a crucial military leader and later President of Israel making Zionism the founding theory of the State of Israel (founded in 1948 in Palestine).
1925: Reza Khan formally became the Shah of Iran, the newly founded revolutionary state previously known as Persia. The so called Shah of Iran founded a new Monarchy and Dynasty known as the Pavlevi's. Supported by foreign regimes and investments, the new Dynasty went on to rule the Nation with an iron fist.
1925: Unrest and insurrections become more and more frequent in Kurdish territories split between Iraq, Iran and the newly founded state of Turkey. In Turkish held territories a substantial uprising is defeated with arms driving the Kurds across the border into Iraq (and Iran) from where they start operating a guerilla type war. This guerilla war lasts through to this day.
1925: A nationwide uprising against French Occupation starts in Syria. Armed Druze rebels initially book military successes against the French in southern Syria. In December Damascus , the historic Capital of Syria, falls to Druze armed forces.
In 1927 A.D. a massive earthquake struck the city of Wuwei in the Hexi Corridor of Gansu Province , reducing most of the local buildings and monuments to rubble. The quake also known as the Gulang Earthquake event after the location of its epicenter is estimated to have measured around 7.6 to 8.0 on the Richter Scale and was felt across the Yellow River Basin to a distance of over 700 kilometers away. Although the regions were sparsely inhabited at the time, the total death toll of the quake event stands at an estimated 49.000 souls. Reportedly, in the town of Gulang almost the only thing left standing was a 20 meter long section of the city walls and some decorated archways. All cave houses and rural dwellings in the wider regions of Gulang and