Archaeologists claim that as early as 2,500 years ago people living in the current northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region had begun to use blast blowers, as they discovered a bronze blowpipe in the Yanghai Tombs in Turpan.
"The function of the blowpipe is much like that of the blast blowers which people are using now," said Lu Enguo, a research member with the Xinjiang archaeological research institute.
"Although we discovered bronze blowpipes several years ago in Kuqa County and the northern part of Xinjiang, they were all made in the Han (206 B.C.-220) and the Tang (618-907) dynasties," said Lu.
"But after research we concluded that the blast blower we discovered in the Yanghai Tombs was made in the Warring States period (475 B.C.- 221 B.C.), the oldest one we ever discovered in this region," said Lu.
"It proves that as early as 2,500 years ago the local people living in Xinjiang had grasped the ability to smelt bronze," said Lu.
According to Lu, although similar in function, the blowpipe is still different from the current blast blowers in structure as an uneven bronze part takes the place of the blast fan and a bronze tube is used to blow wind.
The Yanghai Tombs can be dated back from 1,000 B.C. to the Christian era, where pottery, wooden wares and textiles were unearthed.
(Xinhua News Agency June 7, 2004)