[Wu-wei ; Liangzhou]
Chinese town in central Gansu Province, historically a major communications centre and military town on the Silk Route. From the Western Han period (206 bc–ad 9), Wuwei was an important frontier post guarding a strategic part of the Great Wall in the Hexi Corridor. A large garrison was stationed at the town, manning several outlying forts and watch-towers along the Silk Route. Many Han (206 bc–ad 220) documents written on bamboo slips have been found in several of the watchtowers around Wuwei. An important Han tomb (Leitai, nr Wumei) of ad 186–219 contained bronze figurines and models of chariots and horses, including a ‘flying horse’ (Lanzhou, Gansu Prov. Mus.; see China, People’s Republic of §VII 3., (vi), (b) ).
During the Northern and Southern Dynasties period ( ad 310–589) Wuwei was the capital of several lesser states, including the Former Liang (313–76...