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11. Where was Danevang
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12. A Dan-gaard on the Tibetan Plateau

About the Name Dan

It is quite clear that "dan", "danu" or "dani" is a proto-Indo-European word meaning river. Many big European rivers are called or have been called something with dana. The Dnieper was called Danapris, Danaprum or Danaper of the Greeks and Romans. The Dniester was in ancient times called Danastius, Danastro or Danaster. Also the names of the rivers Danube and Don origin from dan. In ancient time the French river Rhone is called Rodanus by several ancient writers.

So we can believe that peoples, who call themselves something with "dan", must, in some way or another, descent from an ancient Indo-European people living along a river.

Xiongnu, whom we in the west know as the Huns, attacked the likely Proto-Indo-European Yuezhi people on the green slopes of the Qilian Mountains. They killed their king and made a drinking cup of his skull. It happened about 170 BC.

Yuezhi's original homeland
Yuezhi's original homeland - the extention is subject to some uncertainty and debate.

The main body of the Yuezhi withdrew then westward and settled in the Fergana Valley. This group was called "Da Yuezhi" by the Chinese, which means "Great Yuezhi".

But some of the Yuezhi people did not want to leave the land of their ancestors It is assumed, that they withdrew a little higher up in the mountains and found a kind of coexistence with the Qiang tribes, already living there. The Chinese called them for "Xiao Yuezhi", which means "Little Yuezhi".

Some believe, that the Han Dynasty Chinese called the Yuezhi for "Da Yuezhi" because the Yuezhi's real name, as they called themselves, in Chinese ears sounded like "da" or "ta".
Yuezhi burn graves near Hami Typical landscape in modern Gansu
Left: Yuezhi burn graves near Hami - Yuezhi burned their deads.
Right: Typical landscape in Gansu - Yuezhi raised horses, it would not be very easy today, it is too dry. The modern landscape seems to be better suited for camels.

Chinese are fond of playing with words, which sound alike or nearly alike but have different meanings, this is a Chinese tradition. Modern Chinese humour takes full advantage of this kind of wordplay. And the language offers plenty of opportunities for making such jokes.

Then it could be, that they called the Yuezhi for "Da" Yuezhi, partly because "Da" sounded like the name, the Yuezhi called themselves, and partly because they separated between the main body of Yuezhi, who went west, and the rest of the Yuezhi, who remained near their homeland. In this way, they got a double meaning of the expression, which they found interesting.

It is not likely, that "Yuezhi", "Moon worshippers", was the name they called themselves. It must have been a name, which the Chinese labeled them. It seems, that the Han Dynasty Chinese felt somewhat superior to the peoples of the west and often gave them rather condescending names.

Note how they describe the "Qiang People" in the classical document "Weilu."

"Section 3 - Qiang tribes
From Dunhuang in the western area of Chou Qiang (insurgent Qiang) in Nanshan Mountains (South Mountains) and several thousand li against west to Congling (Pamir) are remnants of Yuezhi and Congzi Qiang (Brown Onions Qiang) - Baima Qiang (White Horse Qiang) - and Huangniu Qiang (Yellow Ox Qiang)."

Group from the Kushan excavation site Hadda at the Khyber pass near Jalabad in Afganistan - Kushans were descendants of the Yuezhi
A group from the Kushan excavation site Hadda at the Khyber pass near Jalabad in Afganistan. Kushans were descendants of the Yuezhi, so it is likely that this is how Yuezhi looked like.

It is not very likely, that a people would call themselves for "Brown Onion Qiang" or "Yellow Ox Qiang" or similar. It is obvious, that the Han Dynasty Chinese felt themselves superior and liked to label the tribes and peoples of the West with some fancy names.

The Greeks never used the terms Great and Little Yuezhi. They apparently knew nothing of these indications. Only the Chinese used the names "Da-" and "Xiao-" Yuezhi.

If so, Yuezhi's real name, as they called themselves, could be something that sounds like "Da" or "Ta", then it could have been "Dan" or "Tan", as it is spelled in runes on the runestone of Jelling in Denmark, indicating a proto-Indo-European people living along a river.

It is not surprising that the suffix "Dan" or "Tan" seems also to have a certain tradition in the area, because many peoples lived along rivers. Just think of "Qi Dan", "Kho-tan", "Tan-gut" or "Dan Xiang."

Portrait of Kushan ruler on a coin.
Kushan ruler with a big nose, artificial skull deformation and the royal ponytail hairstyle.

The "Qi Dan" and "Dan Xiang" peoples showed up close to thousand years later in the history (see chapter 17. and 18.). They both claimed, that they were descendants of Tuoba Xianbei, and they were both by the Chinese called something with "Dan". This suggests that the term "Dan" also were part of the Xianbei peoples' own names, as they called themselves.

A Tangard at Koko Nor and in the Nanshan Mountains

The Greek geographer, Ptolemy, who lived in Egypt, knew about a people called "Tha-gouroi", which was roughly located in the Nanshan Mountains in Qinghai ("The Cambridge History-" page 152). Ptolemy lived from 90 to 168 AC, and the Xianbei tribe Tuyuhun first established their kingdom at Koko Nor in 329 AC; Therefore, we must believe that this Tha-gouroi was a little Yuezhi's territory.

John E. Hill sees in the Greek Tha-gouroi a Chinese word "Ta'guo": a "Tan-gard," which has been "hellenized".

Tan-gard with Greek letters

Tan-guo (Tan-gard) spelled with Greek letters.

This is a very good observation by John E. Hill. However, most likely he thinks, that only Chinese call a nation "-guo" eller "-gard". But it is not necessary to take the detour over Chinese. Ptolemy can have obtained his knowledge from merchants, who had been in direct contact with the Kushans, and they had of course been able to tell about an original homeland in the Nanshan Mountains, where some of their remaining compatriots still lived. A homeland they can have called "Dan-gard" or "Tan-gard" in line with the Scandinavian expressions "As-gard" and "Mid-gard".

"Gård", "garth", "geard", "garden" and so on origin from a common Indo-European word meaning a well-defined area of some kind. Modern Chinese names for nations, expressed with alphabet, use also the ending "-guo", for exampel in Djung-guo" (China), "Fa-guo" (France), "Dø-guo" (Germany), "Mei-guo" (USA) and so on. The actual pronunciation of the Chinese "guo" is very close to the Scandinavian "gård".

A typical landscape in Gansu - with a group of wild camels in the background
A typical landscape in modern Gansu - with a group of wild camels in the background.

It is said, that the main body of the Yuezhi, who left the land of their ancestors, were divided into five different groups, most likely according to which part of their homeland, they came from.

One of the groups, called "Guise-Huang", overcame the other groups and gave rise to the name "Kushans", under which they became known in West.

However, the Chinese continued to call them "Da Yuezhi".

Let us again turn our attention to the description of the Qiang people in the classical document "Weilu".

Portrait of The Yuezhi king Shaka on a coin
The Yuezhi king Shaka with a big nose and royal ponytail hairstyle.

In section 3 - Qiang tribes, it is said: "From Dunhuang in the western area of Chou Qiang (insurgent Qiang) in Nanshan Mountains (South Mountains) and several thousand li against west to Congling (Pamir) are remnants of Yuezhi and Congzi (Brown Onions Qiang) - Baima (White Horse Qiang) - and Huangniu Qiang (Yellow Ox Qiang)."

"Each of these peoples have their own chief. They have borders to the north to various royal judges. Neither the distance (from China) or the extent (of the territories) are known."

So the Han Dynasty document confirms, that not all Yuezhis went to the west. It mentions "remnants of Yuezhi", which must have been "Xiao Yuezhi", who lived in the mountains.

In the northern part of the modern province of Qinghai in a wide valley is a beautiful salty Lake with the ancient name "Koko Nor". Modern Chinese call the lake "Qinghai Lake".
The salty lake Koko Nor seen from space The shore of Koko Nor
Left: The salty lake Koko Nor seen from space.
Right: The shore of Koko Nor.Photo Pixabay

In notes to the translation of "Weilu" John E. Hill writes: "Little Yuezhi were descendants of the Yuezhi people, who took refuge in the Qilian Mountains in the early period of Han, when Yuezhi was attacked by the great Xiongnu leader, Modun, and their main force was driven westward into Central Asia ", and continued, "In late Han Dynasty time they could apparently put in the field around nine thousand armed men, their main centers were the Xi Ning valley and Lianju Territory (east and west of Koko Nor) in Wuwei, with a few groups in the north of Zhanggye. See HHS 87/77, 2899." de Crespigny (1984), p. 478, n. 15".

Another comment found by John E. Hill: "Xia Hou's Lieutenant Chang Ho crossed Huang Ho (a river) (late in the year 217 AC) and reached Little Huang Tung's territory east of Koko Nor, the center of Yuezhi tribe, who had been the main force in the uprising." (See notes to the classic text Weilu)

So this indicates that it was the Yuezhi, who lived at Koko Nor.

The Kingdom of Tuyuhun at the Koko Nor

However, it is also known that in 329 AC the Tuyuhun Xianbei people created a kingdom, centered around the salty lake Koko Nor and the Qaidam basin in the northeastern part of the modern Chinese province of Qinghai.

What became of the little Yuezhi people, and how the country was taken over by Tuyuhun, I do not know.

Maybe they had already left the Tibetan plateau and sought new land to the west like so many other people in the Migration Age did. Perhaps little Yuezhi was displaced by the invaders, or they found a form of coexistence with the Tuyuhun. Maybe they were absorbed by Tuyuhun; nobody knows.

Tu-Yu-Hun around Koko Nor
The migration state Tuyuhun around Koko Nor.

The appearance of the Xianbei tribes was commented by the learned Yan Shigu, who worked at the court of the first Tang ruler Li Shimi. He wrote in a comment in Sima Qins historic work, Shi Ji: "Nowadays, these "Hu" peoples have green eyes, red beard and their appearance is like bearded monkeys, and they are originally from this kind."

On the time of Yan Shigu the dominant steppe barbarians were the Xianbei tribes, so it must have been those, he spoke about.

The Tuyuhun people was a branch of the Murong Xianbei people.

The scriptures from Dunhuang give us some information about Tuyuhun's language.

Stone lion in Qinghai made by the Tuyuhun people
Stone lion near Dulan in Qinghai made by the Tuyuhun people.

The Dunhuang documents, P. 1283 (in Tibetan), tells of the Qi Dan (See Chapter 17 "Qi Dan people") people's language: "In the language, they (Qi Dan) and Tuyuhun could broadly communicate with each other." As Tuyuhun was a branch of Murong Xianbei and Qi Dan descended from Tuoba Xianbei, this indicates that the migration time's Xianbei tribes spoke very much the same language.

The Xianbei peoples created the Wei Dynasty and many other migration states. Sui and Tang Dynasty originated from Xianbei people, who had accepted Chinese culture. Their language must necessarily have had a marked influence on the development of the Chinese language.

And since there are many words in Chinese that can be traced to a Proto-Indo-European origin and there are other cultural similarities with Europe and Scandinavia, this could possibly indicate that the original Xianbei language and culture was one of the common sources, which has affected both Scandinavian and Chinese culture.

Ancient burial mounds in the Qaidam Basin of Qinghai
Ancient burial mounds in the Qaidam Basin of Qinghai.

Around the salty Lake Koko Nor and in the Qaidam basin in the northeast of the modern Chinese province of Qinghai hundreds of traces of ancient burial mounds have been found, believed to originate from the Tuyuhun.

In some of the old documents, which Stein and Pelliot brought back from Dun Huang, it is said that an "Aza" people still had a foothold around Koko Nor about 800 to 900 AC. They conducted raids into the Chinese Dun-Huang area, where they abducted children and young people as slaves. (See "Life Along the Silk Road" page 176). In modern Tibetan, slaves are still called "tralpas", which reminds of the Scandinavian "thrall".

In "The History of Tibet" by Alex Mcay (page 46) he makes the point that it was the royal family, who called themselves "A-cha'i" (found in Tibetan Literature as "A-sha") and the people were called "T'u-yu-She", in Tibetan "Thogon" or "Tho-Yu-Gon."

Tomb from the Tang Dynasty period in the Qaidam Basin
Tuyuhun tomb from the Tang Dynasty period in the Qaidam Basin on the Tibetan plateau.

Tuyuhun was a rather mysterious kingdom, as one does not know much about. When the kingdom was at its greatest extent it covered very near the same area as the later Dan Xiang kingdom, namely the North Qinghai and parts of the modern provinces of Gansu, Xin Jiang, Ning Xia and Sichuan.

A branch of the Silk Road passed through the Qaidam Basin, and it seems to have made the Tuyuhun people rather wealthy. Persian and Byzantine coins and hundreds of remains of silk have been found.

It is said about the A-Zha people: "After many years of war, they were finally defeated by the Tibetans in 663 AC and never again regained their independence. "See: Mole (1970), p. 2, 30 and 73, n. 22" (Hill).

The Tuyuhun kingdom lasted for about 300 years. It ceased to exist around 663 AC. Some sources say it was destroyed by the king of Tibet, others say it was conquered by the King of Turfan, and still others say it was conquered by the Western Wei.

The high altitude plateau in Qinghai Province
The high altitude plateau in Qinghai Province.

The nationwide Chinese CCTV 1 Television Channel in cooperation with The Japanese TV brought an excellent series about the Silk Road. Among was an episode about Qinghai, which make up the western part of the Tibetan plateau, where the little Yuezhi, Tuyuhun and Aza once lived.

The broadcasting showed the Qinghai plateau, which has an altitude of around 3000 m. The landscape reminds about parts of Iceland, as far as I could see. Completely without trees, cold, even in the summertime there can fall snow.

On the plains are a lot of ancient burial mounds, all robbed once in the past. They are dug up, and everything has been removed. By the construction of these mounds, large amounts of wood have been used. They are built up in layers of timber logs and soil.

Logs of cypress used in Tuyuhun burial mounds I
Logs of cypress used in Tuyuhun burial mounds.

So many parts of Qinghai may in a remote past have been covered by forest. It can be shown, that for the older graves bigger timber logs had been used than for the younger graves. This suggests that big trees were increasingly difficult to find. It complies with the fact that cypress grows extremely slow. Today the area is absolutely treeless.

Some Tuyuhun graves from the Tang Dynasty times resemble tombs on China's northern plain.

Despite the fact that the graves were robbed, there have been found some things in Qinghai.

The most interesting is some silk carpets produced with the same technique that was used in the West and what nowadays is called the Middle East. The reconstructed silk rug motifs showed an apparently dark-haired people of European appearance, big noses, eyes, etc. The subject of the carpets displays people, who live an active and cheerful life, they go hunting, drinking and gets some good dinners. A man is shown throwing up as if he had got too much to eat and drink. Many other findings indicate that they had good connections with the West and the Greeks in Bactria.

Fragments of the Classical Chinese Novel - Three Kingdoms

First volume of the Classical Chinese Novel - Three Kingdoms First volume of the Classical Chinese Novel - Three Kingdoms.

In the classic Chinese novel "Three Kingdoms" are also here and there reported about possible Indo-European peoples in the western mountains and plateaus.

The classical Chinese novels must have the same truth-value as the Icelandic sagas. Person descriptions and details of individuals deeds are certainly fiction, while descriptions of the underlying society and environment are most likely fetched from reality. The details of the underlying environment are the "infinitely small", which may suggest us to believe, that the main characters and the intrigue are also true.

The classic Chinese novel, "Three Kingdoms" gives a very detailed description of the strategy and tactics of the political intrigues and warfare in China during the historical period of the same name, approx. 220 AD to 300 AD. That was in the wake of the collapse of Han Dynasty. The novel was written during the late Yuan Dynasty time, under the domination of the Mongols in 1320 AD, many years after the events it describes. However, using the historical basis given in "The Annals of the Three Kingdoms" written about 300 AD during the Jin Dynasty, which immediately followed the Three Kingdom period.

Qiang defence towers in Danba in Sichuan
Qiang defence towers in Danba in Sichuan.

"Three Kingdoms" was Mao-Zhe-Dongs favourite reading. Here he got a lot of inspiration about, how he could overcome his enemies with sly means, mainly something with: "let the one enemy's hand beat the other enemy."

King Cheliji of Western Qiang and his minister, Ya Dan, had been persuaded by the King of Wei to take part in the war in China. The king sent thousands of Qiang fighters led by the general, Yu Eji, against the kingdom of Shu. They were armed with bow and arrows, crossbows, spears and swords, iron scepters with spikes and flying hammers.

"Flying hammers" were intended to throw in the face of the unprepared enemy at close range. Perhaps it is from such a thing, the Olympic discipline hammer throwing comes.

They had provision wagons clad with iron plates, pulled by camels or mules. When they camped for the night, they drove the armoured wagons together in a ring and chained them together.
Irish defence towers from Meelick Defence towers in North Ossetia in the Caucasus Mountains
Left: Irish defence towers from Meelick.
Right: Defence towers in North Ossetia in the Caucasus Mountains.

Initially, the Shu troops were defeated: "Suddenly opened the Qiang rows, and their iron wagons came roaring as a tide, and their crossbow shooters filled the air with nails." Their leader stepped forward armed with a steel hammer in his hand and shouted: "I am Marshal Yu Eji, don't go forward any longer little general". (Three Kingdoms III page 1669).

Isn't so we imagine the god Thor, ruthlessly and merciless pushing forward in an iron wagon, with a hammer in his hand?

"Qiang bases their warfare on raw strength and courage alone. How do they care about intelligent tactics?", said one of the Shu generals.

Ultimately the civilized Chinese defeated the natives with a cunning plan. ("Three Kingdoms" III page 1672)

Flying hammers like "Mjølner", Thor's hammer, had a tradition in China. In the "Creation of the Gods", a classic novel about the transition from the Shang to the Zhou Dynasty, is told, that a famous Chinese warrior from the Shang Dynasty had a small but deadly "stringed" hammer, which he used as a throwing weapon. The string made it possible for him to recover the hammer after the throw. Thor's Hammer also had the ability to return to his hand after a throw.

The Qiang king, Ma Teng, was the son of a Qiang father and a Chinese mother. He was "8 span tall with a heroic physics and striking features." (One "span" is a little less than ten inches, which is about 0.24 m, thus the king was close to 1.9 m. tall) "Three Kingdoms" II page 998 and I page 545).

Ma Teng was lured into an ambush and killed by the King of Wei.
Xu Chu fights against Ma Chao. Picture from the long corridor in the Summer Palace at Beijing
Xu Chu fights against Ma Chao. Painting from the long corridor in the Summer Palace at Beijing.

His son Ma Chao attacked the Kingdom of Wei to avenge his father. The king of Wei describes Ma Chao: "He was bright and white, as he was covered with powder, lips as red as if they were covered by Vermillion, broad-shouldered, narrow around his waist, with a powerful voice and agile physics, dressed in a white armour and helmet." (Three Kingdoms II page 1001). Ma Chao had a lion emblem in his helmet. (Three Kingdoms III page 1173)

During a battle between Wu and Wei, a distinguished Wu Chinese got lost from his platoon. He met a group of Wei soldiers led by the Qiang king, Shamoke. "Shamoke had a deep red colour on his face and outstanding green eyes. He swung a scepter with steel spikes and carried two bows. He showed his martial attitude." The noble Chinese turned around his horse and tried to flee from such as a formidable opponent, but Shamoke shot an arrow through his head. ("Three Kingdoms" III page 1467)

In the notes to the "Three Kingdoms" it can be read, that Qiang had a religious relation to white horses, which they sacrificed to their god. ("Three Kingdoms" in the notes page 547, 551).

This indicates that their god most likely had been "The Great White King" - God of the West.

Fragments of the Classical Novel - The Journey to the West

Brother Monkey is fighting with one of the red-haired devils of the West Brother Monkey is fighting with one of the red-haired devils of the West. A theme from the classic novel - The Journey to the West.

Another classic Chinese novel is "Journey to the West." It was inspired by the Buddhist monk Xuan Zang's journey to India to fetch holy scriptures. Xuanzang had through several generations purified himself by living a virtuous life. He is exceedingly good, totally unworldly and impractical and was therefore continually in trouble. One monster after another wants to get him and eat him because if they eat his precious purified meat, they will have an eternal life. However, Xuanzang is accompanied by his more earth-bound and practical disciples, who every time save him from being eaten. The various incidents on the road to the west are totally adventurous and have no direct historical relevance. The disciples are Brother Monkey, Brother Pig and Brother Sand. The novel has been developed by professional story-tellers up through Ming and Qing Dynasty, and it must to some extent reflect the common popular ideas of the time about the West and its inhabitants.

During Xuanzang and his disciples travel along the Qilian Mountains or the Nanshan Mountain Range, they are held up by robbers. A poem describes how the robbers look like:

"One's blue face and prominent canine teeth were worse than an evil god's.
The other's outstanding eyes were like death stars.
The red hair at their temples appeared to be in flames.
Their brown (body-) hair was sharp as needles
("Journey to the West" page 1277)

This must be the professional story-tellers' dramatic notion of what kind of robbers, one would expect to meet at the Nanshan mountains along the Silk Road near the border of present Qinghai province.

The Indo-European Peoples in the Western Mountains disappeared from History

Nobody knows what became of the Yuezhi and Xianbei peoples who lived in the mountains West of China. We can only guess.

I think, they lost their ethnic and national identity and their language and became mixed up with all the other Chinese - those who were not in the past persecuted and exterminated as devils. We must consider that a very large part of the descriptions of the devils in the classic novel "Journey to the West" includes red hair, big eyes and big nose, which - compared to Chinese - are typical Caucasian features.

The fight against the devils is an old and central theme in Chinese culture, and it can not have been completely taken out of thin air.

An old Taoist picture board was shown in a flight magazine from Southern China, "Blue Sky Aviation" in connection with a tourism promotion of Sichuan scenic mountains. It was brought without any special comments.

A Taoist picture board from Aba county in Sichuan The modern province Sichuan
Left: A Taoist picture board from Aba county in Sichuan, which represent a typical devil surrounded by secondary devils.
Right: The modern province of Sichuan.

Note the head just above the main diabolical figure. It has yellow hair Note also the little demons bottom right, who has brown hair.

It is from Aba County near the Sichuan border of Qinghai and Gansu, which today is Qiang area. So it could also have been Yuezhi area in a remote past, later Tuyuhun area and in late middle age Dan Xiang area.

The existence of such picture proves, that such persons with light hair must have lived there in the past. From where else should the painters get the idea?

Today, one cannot find persons in this area with light or brown hair, they are all black haired. People which were genetically disposed for light or brown hair seem to have had a very high mortality rate during the history. Only the Chinese-Japanese Silk Road Expedition in the eighties could show a little blond girl from a nomadic people high up in the Qilian mountains.

Modern Chinese is not a pure mongoloid people. Often one can see persons, who have strikingly Caucasian features, such as big eyes and big nose. A very large part of Chinese has completely white skin. Therefore, I believe, that the remains of Yuezhi and Xianbei tribes were also among the modern Chinese people's ancestors.

Common Place Name Endings in Central Asia and Scandinavia

Many salty lakes in central Asia are called something with "nor", like for example, Koko Nor, Orku Nor, Ebi Nor, Ubsa Nor, Ayar Nor, Ulungur Nor, Durga Nor, Kara Nor and the now-vanished Lop Nor.

Quite similar place name endings are used in Scandinavia for shallow lagoons with brackish water; like for example Kertinge Nor, Korsør Nor, Stege Nor, Hedeby Nor, Vindeby Nor and so on. Flemming Rickfors has identified more than thirty "nor" in Denmark and Norway.

Kertinge Nor
Kertinge Nor at Kerteminde on the island of Fyn.

Another interesting thing about place names in Qinghai and the nearby areas is that many cities and places are named something with "-ning" for example Xining or Ning Xia; just as countless villages in Denmark, for example, Revninge, Kertinge, Refsvindinge and Mesinge.

It can be shown that the old Danish ending "-ning" basically means person or persons. It can be found in Danish words like hedning (heathen person), færing (Faroe Island person), islænding (Iceland person), flygtning (refugee), slægtning (relative), usling (wretch, creep) and many other danish words.

In this way, we can imagine how the -ning names had been formed, forexample the Funen villages names Mesinge and Revninge. There were already some natural formations, called "Mes" and "Rev", lakes or rivers or similar. The people who lived there before the modern Danes arrived, had given them this names. Perhaps such short names stretch as far back as to the Older Stone Age hunters.

When ancient Danes settled this places at the beginning of the first millennium they logically named the places Mes-ninge and Rev-ninge, which means the persons who live around "Mes" and "Rev".

It could be argued that "ning" does not mean person, but it is a derivation, inflection or something similar to the English "ing" form. But if you think more carefully about what is the meaning of the English -ing form, then you must realize that it basically also means person.

In Chinese one address each other in general with "ni", just as in Swedish, but in North China and especially in Beijing one might address superiors and older people with the more respectful "ning". This supports that -ning originally meant person or persons.

The endings in the terms Midgard and Asgard from Norse mythology refers quite clearly to areas. Modern Chinese names of nations, expressed by alphabet, also uses the ending "-guo", which has the same origin as -gard (gaard in Danish) and very much same pronunciation as the Danish word, for example, "Djung-guo"(China)," Fa-guo"(France)," Die-guo"(Germany)," Mei-guo" (USA) and so on.

I think that either the Yuezhi tribes, the Xianbei peoples, Aza or all these groups called shallow salt lakes for - nor, like in Koko Nor, and their cities and similar areas for -ning like in Xining, other areas were called -vang like in Dun-h(w)ang, and larger well defined regions for -gard (guo), like in the modern name for China. In very much the same way as for example Kertinge Nor, the numerous Danish place names with -ninge like Mesinge and Revninge, Danevang and Midgard and Asgard from the Norse mythology.

Some of the ancestors of the Danes were Eastern Indo-European peoples, so-called Iranian peoples. Indo-Europeans have of course also left their traces in the eastern languages, such as in Chinese.

In modern times the Chinese provinces of Qinghai and Gansu are mostly inhabited by the Turkish muslim Hui nationality.
See: The Peoples of the West - Draft English translation by John E. Hill

and: The Western Regions according to the Hou Hanshu - Translatet by John E. Hill

Also: Silk Road Links - Kenyon College. with a lot of links to sites about Asian history and the Silk Road.

Flemming Rickfors has identified more than thirty place names with - nor in Denmark og Norway: Verasir.dk - Langskibenes herkomst - Salt, Fersk og Nor vand (danish)

Se også The History of Chinese Relations with the Hsiung Nu - translatet by Daniel C. Waugh.
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