Yongchang County (Chinese: 永昌县; pinyin: Yǒngchāng Xiàn) is a county located in the southern half of the prefecture-level city of Jinchang in north-central Gansu province, China, bordering Qinghai to the south. It has been associated with the historical Liqian and Fanhe counties. The village of Zhelaizhai, located in Jiaojiazhuang township, has been the subject of international academic and media attention for its potential connection to Sino-Roman relations.
Rural area of Yongchang County
Location in Jinchang
|Coordinates (Yongchang County government): Coordinates:|
|Country||People's Republic of China|
|Township-level Divisions||10 township-level divisions|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (China Standard)|
The ancient Northern Silk Road passes through Yongchang County; numerous Han envoys were sent west along this trackway, some parties exceeding 100 members, late in the first millennium BC. The Han dynasty sent one mission to Parthia, which was reciprocated around 100 BC: Roman emissaries were captured by the Chinese in 30 BC along the Silk Road at Yongchang.
At various times during the 20th century and early 21st century, the county has entered the sight of media because some of the inhabitants of Jiaojiazhuang township's Liqian village (骊靬村) (Zhelaizhai), located where the ancient Liqian county had existed in the early imperial period (Western Han dynasty to Sui dynasty), have been theorized to be descendants of a Roman legion. Although this story has been seized upon by enthusiastic Chinese of the area and non-specialist Westerners, at least two eminent Chinese authorities have shown that the notion has serious shortcomings.
In 1996, Yongchang County was made up of four towns and six townships. In 2000, Dongzhai township and Shuiyuan township both became towns. Since that change, Yongchang County has been made up of the following six towns and four townships:
- 永昌县历史沿革 [Yongchang County History] (in Chinese). XZQH.org. 17 June 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
- Hogan, C. Michael (19 November 2007). "Silk Road, North China - Ancient Trackway in China". The Megalithic Portal.
- Yuping, Cao (May 2007). 者来寨里的“欧洲”村民. China's Ethnic Groups (in Chinese). Ethnic Groups Unity Publishing House: 52–53.
- Hoh, Erling (14 January 1999). "Lost Legion". Far Eastern Economic Review. pp. 60–62.
- "Do descendants of Roman soldiers live in Gansu?". China Daily. 21 July 1998.
- Ying-shih, Yu (1967). Trade and Expansion in Han China: A Study in the Structure of Sino-Barbarian Economic Relations. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 89–91.
- I-tien, Hsing (1997). 漢代中國與羅馬帝國關係的再檢討 (1985-95) [Relations between Han China and the Roman Empire Revisited (1985-95)]. 漢學研究 [Chinese Studies] (in Chinese). 15 (1): 1–31.
- 2016年统计用区划代码和城乡划分代码：永昌县 (in Chinese). National Bureau of Statistics of the People's Republic of China. 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
统计用区划代码 名称 620321100000 城关镇 620321101000 河西堡镇 620321102000 新城子镇 620321103000 朱王堡镇 620321104000 东寨镇 620321105000 水源镇 620321200000 红山窑乡 620321201000 焦家庄乡 620321202000 六坝乡 620321203000 南坝乡
- 走进永昌-中国永昌 (in Chinese). Yongchang County People's Government. Archived from the original on 11 May 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
新城子镇 红山窑乡 焦家庄乡 城关镇 东寨镇 六坝乡 南坝乡 水源镇 朱王堡镇 河西堡镇
- "Yongchang". Google Maps. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
- Media related to Yongchang at Wikimedia Commons
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