The Study on Spatial Types and Genetic Mechanism of the Oasis Historic Cultural Towns and Villages in Xinjiang from the Perspective of Regional resources

FUli Meng, Yi He


The site of collective memory, the oasis historic cultural towns and villages along the ancient Silk Road in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region are featured by its accumulation of regional resources and multi cultures of various ethnic groups across time and space. Part of the oasis systems of arid and semi-arid areas in Xinjiang, a northwest province in China, these towns and villages have been designated as the important agricultural and nomadic heritage systems in the world.

Noted for their historical and cultural values, the towns and villages are regarded as an important cultural heritage ,its long historical changes has attracted wide interest of researchers in the field.

In the context of rapid urbanization featured by its space-time condensation, numbers of these oasis historic cultural towns and villages are gradually shrinking, which propels the need to explore excellent samples as its basic task in the present study.

Applying methods of geospatial information to the study on typical oasis historic cultural towns and villages, the article intends to analyze their spatial pattern, characteristics and genetic mechanism. That is, based on Maps of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the article first adopts ArcGIS10.2 of the geographic information data processing platform for map digitization, and then deals with topography and geomorphological map, water resource distribution and cultural heritage distribution.

The results show that:   Spatial distribution of the oasis historic cultural, towns and villages in Xinjiang is not balanced. These towns and villages, together with the oasis of “Conjugate feature”, are distributed not only around Tianshan Mountains but also along the rivers and lakes in the areas of the mountainous plains. Three types of settlement and ten sub-types are proposed according to different formation of regional resources. Propose Two key driving mechanisms, namely, “Appropriate exchange mechanism” and “Time and space mechanism”, are put forward, together with other four types of core factors. The use of integrated GIS tools and field will be adopted in future studies to enrich structural information collection, to better analyze and evaluate the oasis historical villages and towns, and to restructure the oasis historic cultural landscapes. 


Regional resources perspective; the Oasis historic villages and towns; Spatial characteristics and types; Genetic mechanism

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.