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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 15:31, April 21, 2005
10 new archeological discoveries 2004 in China
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On 17 April, sponsored by China Archeological Society and China Cultural Relics Journal we came to find that the national 10 new archeological discoveries of importance were approved via the assessment and secret ballots by famous archeologists from among the 22 new archeological discoveries in 2004.

1 .A prehistoric site at Beifudi in Yixian County, Hebei Province (Neolithic Period) of about 7000 �C 8000 years ago. Discovered at the site are a great number of dwellings and ash-pits, and moreover, in the site for sacrifices the major findings consist of jade-pieces, stone pieces and potteries and particularly the discovery of a lot of carved ceramic masques. They are so far the masques, the earliest of the kind and the most well preserved ones from prehistoric times.

2. Tomb area for Fresh and Cool Temple in Ruicheng, Shanxi Province (New Stone Age) : A total of 262 tombs have been dug here with excavation of more than 200 articles of jade-pieces, jade-battle-axes and hollowed and rectangular jade-pieces. The jade burial articles indicate the special way of burials here and will play beyond doubt a big role for explaining the processes of rejuvenation of the area.

3. Palatial site at Erlitou, Yanshi, Henan Province (Xia and Shang Dynasties), an important discovery of palaces and walls as well as rammed-earth foundations has been excavated. In the palatial area nine large-sized building sites have been dug and two groups of them were found with obvious axial lines. The ruined sites can be considered to be the palatial sites, the earliest of its kind in China.

4. Xiaohe tomb site at Lop Nor in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (Bronze Age), the exterior of the tomb is an oblong sand dune and excavated from insides are 15 mummies with well-preserved apparels on. Why the mummies can be so well preserved is because they were kept air-tightened in the ox-hide bags before they were interred. Erected atop the sand dune are tall timbers symbolizing the reproductive organs of the male and the female. They are the cultural traces of the people in Lop Nor area in times immemorial.

5. A ruined site of a Western Zhou city at Tanheli, Ningxiang County, Hunan Province (Western Zhou Period), A city wall of the Western Zhou Period was found here, bringing to light the two large-sized artificial building sites of yellow earth and clearing out two large-sized sites of houses of possible palatial buildings. Discovered and cleared out on the highland outside the city are 7 small-sized tombs for nobles and lords and excavated from among them are a great amount of Bronzeware and jadeware.

6. Tombs for nobles of the Kingdom of Yue at Hongshan, Wuxi, Jiangsu Province (Spring and Autumn Period), It has brought to light a complete picture of the burial rule for the nobles of the Kingdom of Yue to be interred in one tomb area in the Spring and Autumn Period. The tombs consist of small, medium, large and extra-large sizes, representing five classifications of noble tombs at that time and more than 2000 pieces of burial articles were found from the 7 excavated tombs. One of the tombs at Qiuchengdun stretches some 57 meters long in the shape of a Chinese character "Zhong" (center), an extra-large one for a noble of the Kingdom of Yue, which is next only to the tomb of the King of Yue at Yinshan, Shaoxing. It is the second large tomb with a total finding of 1100 burial articles. Most of them are unique and exquisite sets of blue porcelain ritual wares, musical instruments and jadeware.

7. Ruins of the Southern Gate of the Palace Wall of the Dragon City in the Sanyan period of the Sixteen States at Chaoyang, Liaoning Province(Sixteen States Period): The gate facing the south was initially built in the Former Yan and sank into complete oblivion in the Yuan Dynasty, underwent construction and reconstruction in the six periods of Former Yan, Later Northern Yan, Northern Wei, Tang and Liao and Jin (Kin), lasting a total time of over 1000 years. This is an archeological finding rarely seen in the excavation of city ruins in China. The structure of doorway is well preserved with a unique architectural style, which has provided us with a substantial material for the study on city gate in north China in the Sixteen States Period.

8. Two tombs of the Southern Han in the Guangzhou University City area, Guangdong Province (10 Countries of Five Dynasties Period), Two large brick-tombs of the Southern Han Period were found respectively at Qinggang of Beiting Village to the west of the Xiaogu Circular Islet and the Major Fragrant Hill. According to the excavation study they are the Kangling and Deling tombs of the Southern Han Period. The hosts of the two tombs were respectively prefectural lords Liu Yan and Liu Yin of the Southern Han State. Of the two tombs we've discovered a round mound built on top of the Kangling tomb, the style of a "combination of altar and tomb into one" being the example the first of its kind ever found in the country.

9. Ruins of an imperial street of the Southern Song Dynasty along Yanguan Lane in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province (Southern Song Period), An imperial street including a bridge ramp and pier, roads, palace site, surrounding walls and waterway and stonework sluice as well as stone-slab street, ruins of importance of the Southern Song Dynasty were discovered here. Particularly, the finding of a well-preserved imperial street of the period has helped us to determine the central axis of the Lin'an city of the Southern Song Dynasty. And the finding of the base for bridge ramp and pier as well as the ruins of a waterway is the typical case for street to go parallel along with a waterway in the layout system of cities in south China in ancient times.

10. Ruins of a Brewery for Jiannanchun Liquor at Chengguan Town in Mianzhu, Sichuan Province (From Qing Dynasty to Republic of China), We've cleared out a large group of ruins in close connection with the technology for liquor brewing, which include the water-wells, wine-cellars, stoves and ovens, cooling halls, water-drainages, ponds, distilling facilities, road-bases and granary, plinths and wall-base and so on and so forth. This shows the whole process of material soaking, steaming and yeasting and distilling, all the way down to the discharging of sewage water. The ruins lasted from the Qing Dynasty to the Republic of China.

By People's Daily Online

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