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Archeologists discover traces of ancient civilization in Chinese desert

(Xinhua)

09:29, October 19, 2011

HOHHOT, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Archeologists have discovered 10 sites of ancient civilization in the Badain Jaran Desert, China's third largest desert located in northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

An archeological team composed of 11 experts from Inner Mongolia, Beijing and Sichuan have unearthed large quantities of stone and pottery handicrafts dating back 5,000 years from the sites, which, the experts believe, indicate civilization once flourished in the desert.

Experts say one of the most distinguished findings was a black-red painted pottery jar, which represents Neolithic art that dates back 4,500 years.

It was unearthed from a site where archeologists have discovered civilization ruins in an area of 15,000 square meters.

The experts said stone wares made of flint and agate were found in all 10 sites.

The Badian Jaran Desert is 47,000 square km and sparsely populated. It is famous for having the tallest stationary sand dunes in the world. Some dunes reach a height of 500 meters. But it also features spring-fed lakes that lie between the dunes.

Archeologists said all the relic sites are near such lakes.

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