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China

The ruins of Jiaohe in the Yarnaz Valley 10 km (6 mi) west of Turpan. An important site along the Silk Road, the city was situated on an islet in the middle of a river, which served as a natural barrier and enabled the city to be built without walls. From 108 B.C. to A.D. 450 it was the capital of the Anterior Jushi Kingdom; later, it became a prefecture capital until it was destroyed by the Mongols in the 13th century.