Tian Shan

System of mountain ranges located in Central Asia

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Tian Shan
天山
Central Tian Shan mountains.jpg
The Tian Shan range on the border between China and Kyrgyzstan with Khan Tengri (7,010 m) visible at center
Highest point
PeakJengish Chokusu
Elevation7,439 m (24,406 ft)
Coordinates42°02′06″N 80°07′32″E / 42.03500°N 80.12556°E / 42.03500; 80.12556
Geography
Countries
Range coordinates42°N 80°E / 42°N 80°E / 42; 80Coordinates: 42°N 80°E / 42°N 80°E / 42; 80
Geology
Age of rockMesozoic and Cenozoic
Climbing
Official nameXinjiang Tianshan
TypeNatural
Criteriavii, ix
Designated2013 (37th session)
Reference no.1414
State PartyChina
RegionAsia
Official nameWestern Tien-Shan
TypeNatural
Criteriax
Designated2016 (40th session)
Reference no.1490
State PartyKazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan
RegionAsia

The Tian Shan,[a] also known as the Tengri Tagh[1] or Tengir-Too,[2] meaning the Mountains of Heaven or the Heavenly Mountain, is a large system of mountain ranges located in Central Asia. The highest peak in the Tian Shan is Jengish Chokusu, at 7,439 metres (24,406 ft) high. Its lowest point is the Turpan Depression, which is 154 m (505 ft) below sea level.[3]

One of the earliest historical references to these mountains may be related to the Xiongnu word Qilian (simplified Chinese: 祁连; traditional Chinese: 祁連; pinyin: Qí lián) – according to Tang commentator Yan Shigu, Qilian is the Xiongnu word for sky or heaven.[4] Sima Qian in the Records of the Grand Historian mentioned Qilian in relation to the homeland of the Yuezhi and the term is believed to refer to the Tian Shan rather than the Qilian Mountains 1,500 kilometres (930 mi) further east now known by this name.[5][6] The Tannu-Ola mountains in Tuva has the same meaning in its name ("heaven/celestial mountains" or "god/spirit mountains"). The name in Chinese, Tian Shan, is most likely a direct translation of the traditional Kyrgyz name for the mountains, Teñir Too.[7] The Tian Shan is sacred in Tengrism, and its second-highest peak is known as Khan Tengri which may be translated as "Lord of the Spirits".[8]
Cite error: There are <ref group=lower-alpha> tags or {{efn}} templates on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist|group=lower-alpha}} template or {{notelist}} template (see the help page).

  1. ^ Prichard, James (1844), History of the Asiatic Nations, 3rd ed., Vol.IV, p. 281
  2. ^ "Ensemble Tengir-Too". Aga Khan Trust for Culture. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  3. ^ Cite error: The named reference readersnatural was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  4. ^ 班固 Ban Gu (2015-08-20). 漢書: 顏師古註 Hanshu: Yan Shigu Commentary. 祁連山即天山也,匈奴呼天為祁連 (translation: Qilian Mountain is the Tian Shan, the Xiongnu called the sky qilian)
  5. ^ Liu, Xinru (2001), "Migration and Settlement of the Yuezhi-Kushan: Interaction and Interdependence of Nomadic and Sedentary Societies", Journal of World History, 12 (Issue 2, Fall 2001): 261–291, doi:10.1353/jwh.2001.0034, S2CID 162211306
  6. ^ Mallory, J. P. & Mair, Victor H. (2000). The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West. Thames & Hudson. London. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-500-05101-6.
  7. ^ Prichard, James (1844), History of the Asiatic Nations, 3rd ed., Vol.IV, p. 281
  8. ^ Wilkinson, Philip (2 October 2003). Myths and Legends. Stacey International. p. 163. ISBN 978-1900988612.

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