This site is situated in the desert area of Kum River, a branch of Kongque River, in Ruoqiang County. In 1934, Folke Bergman, a Swedish archaeologist who participated in Sino-swedish Northwest China Scientific Expedition organized by Swen Hedin, first discovered the site.
When Bergman and his team arrived at Lop Nor Desert, Ordek, a Uygur guide who had helped Swen Hedin find the ruins of ancient Loulan Kingdom told them that he had found a new graveyard, and worked as guide for Bergman. They started off to the Kum River Valley and did their explorations here. By the end of May of 1934, when they moved southward along Kum River, they found a new river branch and decided to follow it to do their surveys, and named the river as Xiaohe(small river). After they covered the distance of 65 kilometers, guided by Ordek,Bergman found the ancient graveyard. So it was named after Ordek. The graveyard, which was said to keep thousand coffins, thus became the most mysterious and difficult ancient site in the history of Western Region explorations and Loulan archaeological surveys. At that time, Bergman numbered the site as Number Five Graveyard Site, which is what we say the Xiaohe Graveyard.
In the Lop Nor Desert, a sand-dune stands on which there stand very compacted wooden poles like the stems of dead diversiform-leaved poplar trees, which are the most striking sign of the graveyard and the sign was not only rare enough in the world but also it has not been interpreted up to now. Bergman did a short time surveys here and in 1939 his book “Archaeological Researches In Sinkiang” was Published, and his discovery and research of Xiaohe Graveyard has been regarded as his major achievement in his archaeological activities.