History of Wuwei

In ancient times, Wuwei was called Liangzhou (涼州 – the name retained by today’s Wuwei’s central urban district) and is the eastern terminus of the Hexi Corridor. People began settling here about 5,000 years ago. It was a key link for the Northern Silk Road, and a number of important archaeological finds were uncovered from Wuwei, including ancient copper carts with stone animals. The motifs and types of objects in the Wuwei graves, as well as their earthenware, lacquer, and bronze composition, constitute typical examples of the Han Chinese burial style that can be found all over China. Other graves found along the Hexi Corridor show Xiongnu and other minority influence, which are used to trace regimes such as the Northern Liang. It became an important provincial capital during the Former Han Dynasty as the Hou Hanshu makes clear:

“In the third year [170 CE], Meng Tuo, the Inspector of Liangzhou (modern Wuwei), sent the Assistant Officer Ren She, commanding five hundred soldiers from Dunhuang. He, with the Wuji Major Cao Kuan, and Chief Clerk of the Western Regions, Zhang Yan, brought troops from Yanqi (Karashahr), Qiuci (Kucha), and the Nearer and Further Kingdoms of Jushi (Turfan and Jimasa), altogether numbering more than 30,000, to punish Shule (Kashgar). They attacked the town of Zhenzhong (Arach) but, having stayed for more than forty days without being able to subdue it, they withdrew. Following this, the kings of Shule (Kashgar) killed one another repeatedly and, for its part, the Imperial Government was unable to prevent it.”

In 121 BC Han emperor Wudi brought his cavalry here to defend the Hexi Corridor against the Xiongnu Huns. His military success allowed him to expand the corridor westward. Its importance as a stop along the Silk Road made it a crossroads of cultures and ethnic groups from all over central Asia. Numerous Buddhist grottoes and temples in the area attest to its role as a path for bringing Buddhism from India and Afghanistan to China.

During the Three Kingdoms period (184-280), Liangzhou was governed by Qiang leader Ma Teng. After the death of Ma Teng, Ma Chao assumed the post and governed the province for a short time before it fell into the hands of Cao Cao, ruler of Wei Kingdom.

Famous cultural relics from Wuwei include the Galloping Bronze Horse (铜奔马), Western Xia mausoleums(西夏碑), Wuwei White Towers Temple (白塔寺), Tianti Mountain Grotto (天梯山石窟), Luoshi(Kumārajīva) Temple (罗什寺塔), and the Confucian temple (文庙).

Source From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuwei,_Gansu#History