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Tuesday, September 19, 2000, updated at 22:40(GMT+8)

Origin of Chinese Palaces Found

Chinese archaeologists recently declared that they have found the origin of Chinese palaces in a Neolithic site.

Removing two-meter thick of earth accumulation, archaeologists unearthed the ruin of a 5,000-year-old building in Qin'an country in west China's Gansu province.

It could be the ancestors of Chinese palaces, archaeologists said.

The original look of the building is nowhere to find, but people can still tell its splendor from the main pillars, measuring 80 centimeters in diameter, and the thick and solid walls remained.

Situated at the center of a Neolithic site called Dadiwan, the building is half-way up the hill and overlooking an ancient riverbed.

Consisting of a main room, two side rooms, a front room and a back room, the building is as large as a basketball field.

According to the ashes of about 10 centimeters thick in a large pit in the main room, archaeologists further mapped out a picture that ancient tribe leaders met regularly in the building, and around the fire to keep themselves warm.

The main room was divided into nine sections by eight pillars. The number nine is always an auspicious and sacred figure representing supreme power.

Even though the wood pillars were already destroyed by fire, the earth layer covering the pillars surface remain intact. This proves that prehistoric residents have rendered their greatest efforts to protect this building, which cost them dearly, said archaeologists, pointing to it as the earliest proof of China's fire proof history.

Surrounding the rooms is a 40-centimeter-thick wall made of grass and earth. Noticing the 142 pillar holes lined in the wall, archaeologists deduced that prehistoric people in the first step added earth to the surface of the pillars and then wrapped them tightly with fences.

When the earth dried up, the fences were taken away and mixture of grass and earth were filled into the pillars.

It is amazing that this building method shares similarity with modern building technique.

What is more surprising is that the floor is as flat and bright as that made of cement nowadays. With a pressure testing machine, archaeologists found out that its intensity reaches that of cement of grade 120.

Experts believed that many of its features are found in traditional Chinese wood structures for the following 5,000 years, and therefore the building provides important clues to studying the origin of Chinese architectures.

It has fully demonstrated that the art of architecture existed as far back in primitive society, which is far back than common people expect, they said.

Dadiwan is the earliest Neolithic site yet found in China, where the earliest color pottery and earliest rice were unearthed.

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Chinese archaeologists recently declared that they have found the origin of Chinese palaces in a Neolithic site.

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