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|Monday, July 09, 2001, updated at 13:41(GMT+8)|
5,000-year-old "Pyramid" Discovered in North ChinaChinese archaeologists has discovered a pyramid-shaped building, dating back more than 5,000 years ago, in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, in north China.
The "pyramid", located on a mountain ridge one kilometer north of Sijiazi Township in the Aohan Banner (county), is a three- storied stone building, with the bottom layer being more than 30 meters long and 15 meters wide.
The "pyramid" belongs to the Hongshan Culture period of 5,000 to 6,000 years ago, according to Guo Dashun, a famous Chinese archaeologist.
Seven tombs and ruins of an altar were found on the top of the "pyramid". At the site of the altar there are many fragments of broken pottery carved with the Chinese character mi" (rice). Archaeologists said that the character "mi" may have something to do with people's understanding of astrology in ancient times.
In one of the tombs, archaeologists found a bone flute and a stone ring, and they unearthed a stone sculpture of a goddess the size of a human body in another tomb.
Archaeologists were surprised to find a stone-carved linga on the wall of a tomb and a small stone statue of a goddess below the linga in the same tomb.
Archaeologist Guo said that many of the relics were first-time discoveries and they are of great significance in studying the burial customs, religious and sacrifice rituals, and the social structure of the Hongshan Culture.
He pointed out, the discovery of the "pyramid" is also of great significance in exploring the origin of the Chinese civilization.
The Hongshan Culture, belonging to the Neolithic culture, is mainly distributed in the juncture area between Inner Mongolia, Liaoning and Hebei provinces.
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