Nobody knows how old these ruins are. Our way upstream the river is also a way back into history. The legends tell that Yu the Great (2200 BC) was the first who controlled the waters of the Yellow river by building a system of irrigation canals and, by dredging the riverbeds allowed ancient Chinese culture to flourish along the Yellow river. The upper Yellow river area is the cradle of Chinese culture.
Today agricultural irrigation extending so much, that the wetlands are in danger and the basin of the Yellow river at Maqu is drying out.