Suoyang City, also called Kuyu City, stands in the Gobi desert 70 kilometers southeast of Anxi Town. It was a key ancient city on the Ancient Silk Road and once played a very important part in politics, economy, culture and military of the area. It was built during the Western Han Dynasty to resist the invasion of the Hun, ensure the smooth operation of Silk Road and consolidate the centralization reign.
The design of Suoyang city followed the style of the ancient cities of Tang Dynasty. In the northeast, there was a grand fane with a main tower of 14.5 meters high and more than 1000 small towers standing in a line.
And beside it there used to be a wide open oasis connecting Jiuquan county and western regions. There are also many ancient sites surrounding it, but Suoyang Ruins is the best preserved.The former Suoyang city had the best-reserved ancient military defense system and irrigation system in China. It was a perfect sample of combining the ancient culture with natural beauty.
Here Stein found the remains of a town enclosed in massive walls of stamped clay. Outside the city walls were traces of a canal, clay towers and pottery shards. Stein was particularly impressed by a large stupa, which he tentatively dated to the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD). Nearby were smaller stupas filled with hundreds of miniature clay stupas made from moulds. Fragments of green-glazed pottery, depicting winged dragons, appeared to have come from the roof of a temple, long gone. Within the city walls were mounds of ancient dwellings and refuse heaps. The latter contained fragments of porcelain and glazed stoneware, along with many bronze and copper coins. Most of the coins and pottery dated to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) and Sung Dynasty, indicating continuous occupation during this period. The presence of porcelain pieces from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 AD) suggested that the site had served as a temporary shelter centuries later.