Gansu, one of the birthplaces of China's brilliant ancient culture, has a long history. Human life existed in the area more than 200,000 years ago. It is said that Fuxi, one of the three legendary emperors, to whom the first Chinese calendar and script were attributed, was born in Gansu. The other two Huang Di (Yellow Emperor) and Yan Di, who are regarded as the progenitors of the Chinese nation, were also born and lived there.The appearance of agriculture in the Jinghe and Weihe valleys more than 3,000 years ago ushered in the brilliant agricultural civilization in the Yellow River Basin.
Since the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220) Gansu, thanks to its special topographical environs and geographical position, has not only served as a major route between the eastern provinces and Xinjiang but also as a natural passage linking China with Central and Western Asia. It was through the Hexi Corridor in Gansu that Zhang Qian, envoy of the Western Han Dynasty, went to Central Asia and that Xuan Zang, a famous monk of the Tang Dynasty, traveled to India in search of Buddhist scriptures.
The Venetian traveler Marco Polo took the same route when he cam to China during the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368). The Silk Road opened up by Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty ran more than 1, 600 kilometers through Gansu.
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