Portrait of Magistrates wife by Piassetsky
Portrait of Magistrates wife by P. Piassetsky

QinShuRoads sub-PROJECTS:


If the Qinling Roads to Shu are not familiar to you it is useful to first read the introduction in the Introduction to the Hard Roads to Shu. This is a general English language introduction to China's Shu Roads and their long and colourful history. The sub-Projects below address facets of this long history and are listed here for you to browse.


The Projects have main web pages where the topic is summarised and access is provided to documents, tables, translations, images, presentations and other material. Projects are sub-Projects of the main Web Site focus on the ancient Roads from Qin (Shaanxi) to Shu (Sichuan). You are welcome to explore the following web pages.


Documents and papers listed in Qin Shu Roads projects are accessed using Adobe Acrobat PDF format for reading and/or download. The PDF files need an Acrobat Reader. Images can generally be viewed in the browser but most presentations of Maps and geographic data require access to Google Earth as they are in KML or KMZ file formats.


You are welcome to direct questions and comments to David Jupp via email at dlbjupp@ozemail.com.au



Projects List


Australia-China Collaboration Project 2006-2009

This collaborative project ran between 2006 and 2009 with the Australian activity supported by the Australia-China Council (ACC). In China it was supported by Provincial and local Governments and carried out in cooperation with the Hanzhong City Museum and the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Soil and Water Conservation at Yangling in Shaanxi Province. The project demonstrated how modern technology can support historical research, help preserve history and be used for the development and promotion of historical and adventure tourism in the Qinling and Ba Mountainous regions. The contents of the present web site are products of or extensions to this formative project.

Sir Eric Teichman's Tangluo Road

Sir Eric Teichman was a British diplomat who travelled extensively through China and other central Asian areas between 1917 and 1943 following which he was unfortunately killed, two weeks after returning from his last journey, at the age of 60. Sir Eric wrote a number of books about his journeys, the first being "Travels of a consular officer in North West China". Sir Eric Teichman's journey across the Qinling from Hanzhong to Fengxiang included a main route of the ancient Tangluo Road. The Project provides access to a number of documents about Sir Eric's journey as well as the Ancient Tangluo Road. It has translations of supporting material not presently available in English and also access to maps and Google Earth presentations. Sir Eric shared his journey with the habitat of the Qinling Panda and other endangered animals. Fortunately, their paths did not cross.

Alexander Wylie's Travels & Writings

Alexander Wylie (1815-1887) (Chinese name: Weilie Yali 伟烈亚力) was a British Protestant Missionary who spent many years in China and was well-known for his Chinese language skill and scholarship. in 1868, Alexander Wylie and Griffith John made an adventurous journey beyond the current reach of steamboats on the Yangtze and on to Chengdu (成都) along the Min River (Wylie, 1868). They then went by road north to Hanzhong (汉中) and back to the Yangtze at the Hankou settlement via the Han River (汉水) Valley. The Project contains much related material as well as a document on Wylie's journey. The document was augmented by travel across the equivalent roads in 2012.

Fr. Armand David's Travels across the Qinling in 1873

M. l'Abbe Armand David (1826-1990) (Chinese name: Tan Weidao 谭卫道) was a was a French Natural Historian and Lazarist missionary who made three major journeys into the interior of China. After an initial period of missionary work, his primary objective became to study and collect specimens of the wildlife, flora and fauna. During his first two expeditions to China (1866 and 1868-70), he was the first European to see and study many species, including the Giant Panda (called at that time in Sichuan the White Bear, 白熊, Ailuropoda melanoleuca). This Project contains related material on Fr. David's Third Expedition including a journey across the Qinling mountain range in 1873 from near Xi'an to Hanzhong. He travelled the ancient Baoye road and provided useful information for historians as well geologists, natural scientists and people interested in the Qinling Shu Roads.

Qing Dynasty Qinling Plank Road Map

This Project grew around a map curated by the US Library of Congress. It is a Qing period long scroll map (17 metres) of the route from Baoji to the Sichuan border along the northern Plank Road. Its historical value is high. It was collected by Arthur Hummel who alerted Herold J Wiens to its presence. Herold Wiens' 1949 Thesis and Paper brought it to the wider attention. The Project site provides access to many supplementary materials as well as a translation of a comprehensive paper by Feng Suiping.

2012 Field Notes & Visit Reports

In June 2012, Field work was carried out in Sichuan and southern Shaanxi to check places described by Alexander Wylie in 1868. The first stage was along the Jinniu (Golden Ox) Road between Chengdu and Hanzhong. From Hanzhong, Alexander Wylie used a linking road to go to Shiquan, avoiding fierce rapids on the middle Han River. From Shiquan he took a boat to Hankou. The visit also included a field investigation of the linking road and places on it - such as the Guluba settlement where Italian missionaries had settled in the late Qing period. This Project includes items making up the base of information for the work, including the GE presentations, documents, papers and other references.

Yan Ruyi's Han River Maps 1813-1822

In the 13th Jiaqing year (1808) of the Qing period, the scholar official Yan Ruyi (严如熤, 1759~1826) was appointed as Hanzhong Zhifu (Prefect). In Hanzhong, Yan Ruyi managed the production of the “Hanzhong Gazetteer” (Yan and Zheng, 1813) and was engaged, also with the help and support of Zheng Bingran, in a much more extensive mapping activity of the Qinling and other regions of Shaanxi, Sichuan, Hubei and Gansu that reached its conclusions at the beginning of the reign period of the Daoguang Emperor in 1822. This Project web page collects material and maps relating to three major mapping exercises carried out under the guidance of Yan Ruyi. They were firstly maps for the Hanzhong Gazetteer in 1813; secondly maps of the regions north and south of the Han River covering the catchment area of the Han River and adjacent border regions; and thirdly maps for a complete overview of the four province defenses published in 1822. This Project collects all related material including maps, translations and documents. Its contents will expand as the project develops.

The Chinese Name for Australia

The name for Australia in Chinese was provided by a scholar missionary in 1835 and accepted as the name for Australia by Chinese in the mid-1840s. The background and related materials as well as a major document are provided in this Project web page. The document outlines the rather complex history of how Australia came to have its present name in Chinese and identifies the missionary who "discovered" it. It also outlines the similarly complex history of how this name in Chinese became accepted by Chinese as the Chinese name for Australia. This happened as Chinese were starting to look outward at the world that was by then attacking China. The writer found it an intruiging and educational journey; it has been a great experience and a satisfying project.

The Kangxi Jesuit 'Secret Map' of 1721

The Kangxi Emperor commissioned a group of French Jesuit missionaries to develop a set of Maps of China. Between 1708 and 1718 they carried out extensive field work throughout China resulting in an extensive Atlas in 1718. A revised edition of their Atlas was presented to the Emperor in 1721 after which the maps quickly travelled to Europe where they were to become incorporated into the latest maps. This Project web page provides access to the document describing this activity and the accuracy of maps and mosaics produced from them. It also provides access to Quicklook Jpegs and Google Earth super-overlays of maps and mosaics.

Catholics on the Shu Roads and in the Han Basin

With 400 years of history engaging with Chinese and pursuing its mission to bring China to Christianity, the Catholic Church has a special place in China's history of interaction with the west. During these years, reports of the Shu Roads and extensive use of China's ancient roads by Catholic travellers provides another look at the history of the Qinling Plank Roads. This Project provides an introduction to the interactions and access to the documents on this web site that cover aspects of this history.

Yan Ruyi's 1813 Hanzhong Fuzhi

This Project web page collects scans of the and images in the Hanzhong Gazetteer of 1813. The scans are taken from a modern version in which the maps are copied in expanded scale and the characters modified to simplified Chinese and written left to right. The re-drawings are faithful to the original form and so make them ideal for studies of map scale and metric.

Dr P. Piassetsky's Han River drawings

Russian travellers accompanying Col. Sosnovsky’s expedition came to Hanzhong from Hankou along the Han River by boat in 1874 and then travelled to Gansu and Lanzhou via Mianxian, Liuyang, Huixian and present day Tianshui (Qing period Qin Zhou). A personal report of the expedition by Dr. P. Piassetsky included gravure productions of his sketches from the places visited. The book was published in 1880 in Russian and was quickly translated and published in French (1883) and English (1884). This Project web page collects high resolution scans of the gravure prints of Dr Piassetsky's marvellous drawings using the French translation in a B5 format. It is intended over a little to time to scan all of those along the Han River.

Herold J Wiens and his early publications on Shu Roads

This Project concerns an American Geographer Herold J Wiens. Prof Wiens Thesis, published in 1949, provided a comprehensive examination of the Shu Roads. Herold Wiens Thesis is probably still the most comprehensive material about the Shu Roads in English language. The site makes his paper and Thesis available for study and citation. Herold Wiens grew up in China as his family founded a Mennonite mission in Fujian in a town called Shanghang (上杭) in a Hakka (客家) area of the upper reaches of the Han river (韩江). The story of his family and Herold's early years can be found in a privately published book written by his sister, Adina Wiens Robinson, called "China Beckoning".


General Research Material Link HERE


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