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17 June 2003
Ancient sacrifice site found in China

A pit believed to be used for ritual sacrifice has been unearthed by archaeologists at the largest and best preserved ancient village in China. The pit, named Jisikeng, was discovered at the new Banpo Site Museum (Xiían, West China) and is expected to provide evidence of the sacrificial activities of the Banpo people, who lived 5,000 years ago.
     At the centre of the pit was a 70 cm high columnar stone object, buried to a depth of 20 cm. Two smaller pits and columnar groundwork relics were found in the same area, with more than 40 walnut sized earthenware articles piled in each of the pits. The stone columns, named Jizizhu, were used to commune with gods and spirits.
     The site was discovered in 1953 and the Banpo Site Museum began development in 1958.

Source: Xinhua News Agency (9 June 2003)

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