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Relics shed light on human history

(Shanghai Daily)

09:22, January 18, 2012

THE top archeological discoveries of 2011 have been published and one expert says serious archeology is suffering because of rapid infrastructure development. Zhang Qian digs in.

Compared with 2010's spectacular findings of Cao Cao's tomb, dinosaur bones and an ancient shipwreck, 2011 seems to be a small year. But archeologists still notched up some remarkable discoveries contributing to the knowledge of human history.

"China's Top Six Archeological Discoveries in 2011" was recently released by China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

The list includes a Paleolithic site at Ulan Moron Town of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, a prehistoric settlement site near Horqin Left Middle Banner in Inner Mongolia, a cemetery of the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century-770 BC) at Suizhou City in Hubei Province, a mausoleum of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-23 AD) in Xuyi County in Jiangsu Province, a Western Han tomb in Dingtao County in Shandong Province and the Cham Grotto in Dinggye County of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

The academic and scientific value is the major standard for judging the list, says Liu Qingzhu, a researcher in the Archaeology Institute of CASS, who also comments online about each discovery.

All the discoveries help to fill in the blanks in the archeological map of China, says Chen Chun, professor of cultural heritage and museum studies at Shanghai Fudan University.

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