¡¡¡¡Alphabetic writing systems of a fairly advanced type had already been devised and used by the minority peoples living in Yanqi, Guizi and Yutian as early as the Han Dynasty. The 11th century saw the compilation of The Great Turkic Dictionary by the Uygur scholar Mahmut Kashgar. Many Chinese words and expressions still in use by the Han people are assimilated from the languages of minority nationalities. The famous Dunhuang murals, the Yungang and Longmen caves and the Thousand-Buddha Caves of Kizir are all creations of the Xianbei, Tufan and other groups in the Western Regions as well as of the Han. Murals on the cliffs of the Huashan Mountain towering over the Zuojiang River in Guangxi are reportedly works of ancient artists of the Zhuang ethnic group, dating back to the Qin Dynasty. The thousand lively figures, animals, bronze drums and gongs in the murals are of high artistic quality. In the Jianchuan Cave of Yunnan is a large collection of stone carvings done by the Baiman and Wuman peoples. The "Ten Books of Music" handed down from the Tang Dynasty can be traced to ethnic minorities living in Qiuci, Sule, Yutian and Gaochang of the Western Regions.

      Among the folk musical instruments now in general use throughout China are flutes, pipas, plucked stringed konghou, two-stringed bowed hu fiddles, waist drums, copper gongs and cymbals, all of which came from ethnic minorities since the Han Dynasty. There is a wealth of literary works by minority writers. Among these outstanding literary works are: Song of the Sules of the Xianbei group, An Anthology from Yamen by the Hui poet Sha Duci of the Yuan Dynasty, the Inside History of Mongolia, the first literary work of the Mongolians in the Ming Dynasty, A One-Story House and Weeping Scarlet Pavilion by the Qing Dynasty Mongolian writer Inzanashi, ¡°Knowledge Gives Happiness¡±, a long narrative poem of the Uygur people dating back to the 11th century, Life of King Gessar, an 11th-century epic of the Tibetans, Junggar, a long epic of the Mongolians, Manasi, the epic of the Kirgiz people, and Ashima, a long narrative poem by the Sani people of the Yi ethnic group.

      In the field of science and technology, the Ten-Thousand-Year Almanac published by the Yuan government was compiled by Jamal al-Din, a Hui. His contributions to astronomy included the founding of an observatory in Dadu (Beijing) and the design of seven scientific instruments, including the armillary sphere.

      The design and construction of Yuan Dynasty palaces in Dadu by the Hui architect Yehdardin had a great influence on the development of the city in Ming Dynasty and the building of the Imperial Palace now standing. A Uygur agronomist of the Yuan Dynasty, Liu Mingshan, wrote Essentials of Agriculture, Sericulture, Clothing and Food. And a celebrated Mongol mathematician of the Qing Dynasty, Ming Antu, wrote A Quick Method for Determining Segment Areas.