Archaeologists have found large quantities of cliff carvings at a Neolithic site in Lingwu city innorthern Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, northwest China.
Hundreds of vivid and life-like pictures depicting human figures and animals, as well as scenes of hunting, battles and sacrificial rites are carved or engraved on the rocks with heightsin a range from some 10 centimeters to three meters in an area of 10 square kilometers.
Wei Zhong, deputy director of the regional cultural relics bureau, referred to it as the first discovery of cliff carvings onthe eastern bank areas of the Yellow River, the second longest river in the country.
One of the precious art forms of ancient China, cliff carvings usually present rituals, calligraphy and water painting masterpieces. Some huge and valuable pieces in the Helan Mountains,at the juncture of Ningxia Hui and Inner Mongolia autonomous regions, and on groups of cliffs along the world-famous Ancient Silk Road, are regarded as unique in the art world.
The Helan Mountains alone, once a nomadic area, is the home to 10,000 rock paintings carved by nomadic people in northern China approximately 2,000 years ago. They are scattered over a vast areastretching several hundred kilometers.
Wei Zhong acknowledged that the recent discovery is of great historic, artistic and scientific value and the local autonomous regional government will resort to prompt measures to protect these priceless carvings, including setting up a database about cliff carvings.