From Urumqi, Gustaf Mannerheim travelled over the Bogda Shan range to the ancient ruined cities scattered in the Turpan Depression. He spent time collecting manuscript fragments and other ancient scraps at the ruins of Jiaohe and Gaocheng, and visited the Buddhist caves at Bezeklik in the Flaming Mountains and in a gorge behind the Uyghur village of Toyuk. He then continued on to the eastern part of Xinjiang, visiting Barkol and Hami before crossing the border into Gansu Province. In Gansu, his first significant stop was Dunhuang, an ancient crossroads on the Silk Road.
Hexi Corridor: Barbarians Inside the Gate Route Map Click on the features to view details about Mannerheim’s route from Jiayuguan into territories traditionally occupied by the Western and Eastern Yugur peoples. The modern Sunan Yugur Autonomous County is shaded orange on the map and my route is depicted by the blue line. View Chapter 11: [...]
In order to disguise the military nature of his secret mission, Gustaf Mannerheim, a colonel in the Russian Imperial Army, conducted extensive ethnographic research and collected Silk Road artifacts during his journey through China from 1906 to 1908.