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China discovers earliest cave dwelling complex
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14:30, January 19, 2009

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Chinese archeologists discovered in Shaanxi Province the earliest known cave dwelling residence complex to date. This large scale ancient complex shows that the history of ancient people living in cave dwellings can be traced as far as 5,500 years ago. The private pottery kilns found at the complex indicate that the concept of private property had already developed by that time.

The Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology recently organized a large scale excavation. During excavation, archeologists discovered that there are 17 relic cave dwellings in total, spread out in rows out to the edge of a cliff near the bank of the Jing River, close to Yangguanzhai Village in Gaoling County of Shaanxi Province in northwestern China. The cave dwellings are part of the cultural heritage from the Banpo phase IV of the Neolithic Age, roughly 5,500 years ago.

A single dwelling covered an area of over 10 square meters, with a simple layout similar to the shape of the Chinese character "吕" (lu). It consisted of a front room and a backroom connected to one another. The front room was an ordinary room, while the backroom was a cave dwelling. Beside the dwellings, archeologists also found pottery kilns and caves used to store potteries where a great number of potteries, greenware sherds and some pottery-making tools were also unearthed.

By People's Daily Online

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