China archeological news in brief

20:07, March 24, 2010      

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The following are some highlights of China's archeological discoveries reported Wednesday:

CHINA RAPTOR DINOSAUR TO JOIN JAPAN SHOW

A newly discovered species of raptor dinosaur in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region will debut at an international dinosaur show in Japan in 2012, Chinese archeologists said here Wednesday.

The Tokyo show would be the third overseas trip of dinosaur skeletons found in Inner Mongolia, where many skeletons had been found under the Gobi desert and on mountain cliffs, said Prof. Tan Lin, a researcher with Haolong Institute of Geology and Paleontology based in Hohhot, the regional capital of Inner Mongolia.

Tan was one of the leaders of an international exploration team to Inner Mongolia in 2008.

One of their major findings is the Linheraptor, named after Linhe City where it was discovered by a British student and his friend. It is a relative of the famous Velociraptor, one of the terrifying stars of the movie Jurassic Park.

Michael Pittman from University College London and Jonah Choiniere of George Washington University discovered the fossil after Choiniere saw a claw protruding from a cliff face.

It was the first near complete skeleton of its kind that had been found in China's Gobi desert since 1972, said Prof. Tan.

About 2.5 meters in length and 25 kilograms in weight, Linheraptor is believed to have lived 80 million years ago and depicted as a fast and agile predator that preyed on small horned dinosaurs and other plant-eating dinosaurs.

RUINS OF ANCIENT CITY FOUND IN EAST CHINA


Archeologists in eastern Jiangxi Province have found ruins of an ancient city that dates back to the Eastern Han Dynasty about 2,000 years ago.

The site, located on a deserted mesa atop a hill near Fujiacun Village in Fengcheng City, covers about 18,000 square meters and is surrounded by a moat, the provincial institute of archeology said in a press release Wednesday.

About 30 meters of the city wall was still standing on its west and pieces of broken tiles scattered on the ground, it said.

Some villagers claimed they had seen stone implements at the site in the past, but none was found during a field trip by archeologists this week.

Researchers said the implements might have entered into private collection.

The ruins, however, are believed to provide new clues for China's research on the city structure of the Eastern Han Dynasty (24 - 220 AD), two to four centuries after Emperor Qinshihuang united China for the first time.

ANCIENT GARBAGE PITS, HOME AND TOMBS IN SICHUAN

Archeologists in southwestern Sichuan Province said Wednesday they had found ruins of 30 ancient garbage pits, a house and 35 tombs in a village on the outskirts of the provincial capital Chengdu.

The ruins covered nearly 2,000 square meters in Sanxing Village in Qingbaijiang District, said Yang Zhanfeng, a researcher with Chengdu Institute of Archeology.

Excavations began in late December to make way for an express railway linking Mianyang and Leshan cities, he said.

The pits, which vary from rectangular and circle to irregular shapes, contained pieces of broken pottery, which led experts to assume they were garbage pits.

Ruins of a mud house, rectangular in shape, covered about nine square meters and had an entrance that faced the east.

While it was hard for Yang and his colleagues to tell which historic period the house and pits belonged, it was apparent most of the 35 tombs were typical of the Shang Dynasty (16-11 centuries B.C.) in the remote period of China's written history.

"Most of them had well-preserved skeletons inside," he said.

Archeologists have also found stone implements and pottery ware at the site.

"The finding will hopefully fill up the gap in our research on cultural and social life in Sichuan Province before China was united for the first time by Qinshihuang in 221 BC," Yang said.

Source: Xinhua
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