Kermuqi Tombs with Stone Coffin in Altay

Why is Kermuqi Tombs So Special?

The upper limit of the age of the ruins is the Bronze Age, and the lower limit extends to Han and Wei Dynasties. Tombs in the site are of various shapes, with large-scale grave-courtyard sarcophagus tombs, stone-enclosed stone-piled tombs and sarcophagus tombs being the most representative. The number and types of stone carvings are the highest in Altay.

Where is Kermuqi Tombs

Located in the northwest and southwest of Erqiek Township, Kiriko, 12km southwest of Altai City, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

History of Kermuqi Tombs

Most of the tombs are large-scale coffin tombs, stone-piled tombs and sarcophagus tombs, with nearly 50 tombs of various types distributed in the most concentrated burial site. Stone people are also called graveyard stone people or grassland stone carvings because they are mostly located in the east of the tomb and face east. The stone men in Xinjiang’s cemeteries can be roughly divided into four periods:

In the first phase, the bronze age (1200-700 BC) was the initial stage of the cemetery stone people. Its modelling is primitive and unsophisticated, showing a stone statue featuring a round face.

The second phase, the development period, includes the early Iron Age, Han Dynasty to the Southern and Northern Dynasties (700 BC to the middle of the 6th century AD). Its carving is gradually exquisite, and the facial carving tends to show gender characteristics, with round, square and oval faces, with human faces as the main part.

Main Attraction of Kermuqi Tombs

The cultural and historical connotations contained in the Erqiek Stone People and Tombs in Kiriko are called Kiriko Erqiek Culture by many archeologists because of their important position in the archaeological history. It is the most representative cultural heritage in the Altai grassland civilization history, with high historical value, scientific research value and unique cultural and artistic value.

The tombs of the Erchek Stone Man and the sarcophagus in Kiriko can be dated to the Bronze Age and later to the Han and Wei Dynasties. Stone carvings, portraits and tombs are all distributed in the territory of Erqiek Township, Kiriko, with the township government as the center, forming four distribution lines of the ruins, namely, the northern line, the ancient tomb sites of Tiyielmin, Kokseem Lao Kemuqi, Aktobe and Kuktobe; North by west, Xie Tianerde, Haiyinaer, Karashlik Tomb Site; West, Akshi Tomb Site; Southwest line, the ancient tombs of Karatas and Karashlikbiet. The distribution area is about 12.5 kilometers from north to south and 3.5 kilometers from east to west, with a total area of 43.7 square kilometers.

The main remains of the Erchek Stone People and sarcophagus tombs in Kiriko include tombs and stone carvings.

Best Time to Travel Kermuqi Tombs

Every autumn, that is, August and September, is the best time to visit Altay.

At this time, the weather began to cool and the fruits began to mature. This is a very suitable time to travel. At this time, most scenic spots began to hang attractive gold. Let’s travel in the golden ocean. The natural scenery around Altay is very beautiful. In our spare time, we take our family to Altay to play, eat delicious fruits and enjoy different local conditions and customs. I believe this is a very beautiful moment and a very happy memory.

Useful Travel Tips

  • Photographs of cultural relics should be taken at will, which may cause damage to cultural relics.
  • In order to make it convenient for tourists to visit, many cultural relics exhibitions are not protected by glass. All tourists should not touch with their hands during the visit to avoid damage.
  • During the visit, listen more to the explanation of the narrator. If you did not know a cultural relic before, you would not be able to understand it comprehensively and in detail in a short period of time.

Nearby Attractions

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Edited by Doreen/张洋