Hangu Pass or Hanguguan is a pass separating the upper Yellow River and Wei valleys—the cradle of Chinese civilization and seat of its longtime capital Xi'an—from the fertile North China Plain. It lies on the south bank of the Yellow River just east of its eastward bend out of the Ordos Loop at Tong Pass in Shaanxi. It was the site of many battles during the Warring States and early imperial eras, when it was the chokepoint shielding Qin, Guanzhong, or Luoyang from outside attack. Today, the term Hangu Pass refers to two locations: firstly, to a museum park including a reconstruction of the gate in Lingbao county, Sanmenxia city, Henan and secondly, to the archaeological site of the gate in Xin’an county, Luoyang city, Henan.
The state of Qin fortified the pass in 361 BC as its eastern border, protecting access to their homeland from the armies of the other Warring States competing to succeed the Zhou. It continued to protect the Guanzhong area of the Qin and Western Han empires. Under the Eastern Han that succeeded Wang Mang's "Xin dynasty", its fortifications protected the capital Luoyang in the other direction, staving off attacks coming from the west and northwest.
Between 2012 and 2013 a team from the Luoyang Cultural Relics and Archaeological Institution conducted an archaeological excavation at the site in Xin'an, Luoyang, on an area of more than 3,000 square meters. This excavation brought several roads, platforms and walls to light.
Hangu Pass in fiction
In Kingdom manga and anime, this pass was the last chokepoint Li Mu and his 5 allied Coalition Army in order to defeat Qin. Their attacks was repelled with great losses, forcing Li Mu to make a decision of attacking Xianyang via Zui.
- 顾馨. "22 World Heritage sites in China along the Silk Road- Chinadaily.com.cn". www.chinadaily.com.cn. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
- "Hangu Pass--the 2100 years ago's pass site found in Henan province". Chinese Archaeology. 2014-04-25. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
- Centre, UNESCO World Heritage. "Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor". whc.unesco.org. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
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