Ancient City of Yotkan

The Ancient City of YotkanToday, the only remaining clue to the whereabouts of the Ancient City of Yotkan available is a stone stele that informs the visitor the site is a cultural relic of the Xinjiang region. Located 10 km(6.2miles) west of Hotan, Yoktan was an important city in the ancient and prosperous Yutian, a state in the Western Region that from 60 BC was under the sovereignty of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 24 AD). 

A swamp with an area 10 square kilometers (3.86square miles) and a depth of 5 meters (16feet) covers the remains of Yotkan. Many relics have been excavated including pottery figurines, and other wares showing strong Persian and Greek influences. Other important finds have been of bronze Buddha, oracles, various ancient coins, books items of gold and jade that all tell of the past glory of the wealthy city that once stood at this spot. Among the gold items found is a duckling similar to that discovered in the Dunhuang Mogao Caves. 

Although Islam predominates in the area today, Yutian was once the center of Buddhism in the West Region. It is interesting that among the finds at this site have been Christian coins and a cross. These seem to confirm visits by Christian Missionaries, a fact that underlines the cultural and religious importance of the city.

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