The significance of the Gansu Corridor to China's foreign relation after the second century BCE has long been well-known to scholars all over the world. By contrast, due to the scarcity of relevant historical sources, we still possess very limited information about this area before it became a part of the Ran Dynasty and then an important section of the Silk Road. Such a gap in our knowledge has to be filled by archaeological excavations.
Since the late 1940s, a number of archaeological sites bearing similar characteristics and dated to the first half of the second millennium BCE has been discovered and excavated along the Gansu Corridor. Cultural relics from these sites, which belong to what is now called Siba 四欛 Culture by Chinese scholars, have shown many interesting features. Probably due to financial difficulties, however, none of the excavations, except for a relatively minor one (Gansusheng and Jilin 1998), has been reported in detail up to now, though they were carried out more than ten years ago. During the past decade, a few western scholars, including Noel Barnard, Emma C. Bunker and Katheryn M. Linduff, were allowed to examine some Siba artifacts personally in China, but they have not published any photos or detailed reports of what they saw, either.
The lack of detailed reports of excavations, however, does not mean that this culture is less important. As seen from its high frequency of appearance in Chinese archaeological journals and books, Siba culture is apparently considered to be a very important one by Chinese scholars themselves. What I would like to do in this paper, therefore, is to glean as much information as possible which is widely scattered in various sources in order to give a more comprehensive picture of Siba culture and to attract the attention of scholars to it.include '../includes/navbar.html'; ?> include '../includes/footer.html'; ?>