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3 August 2003
3,000-year-old Chinese earthenware restored

Some 700 pieces of earthenware made in the ancient Shu Kingdom have been unearthed by archeologists after they were buried thousands of years ago at the Sangxingdui Ruins in southwest China's Sichuan Province.
     Some of the most striking pieces made of various materials like bronze and jade were found accidentally in 1986 in Sanxingdui, a small village in Guanghan City, Sichuan. Sanxingdui is regarded as the site of the earliest and largest ruins of the ancient Shu people, with earliest occupation dating back to the late Neolithic period from 5,000 to 3,700 years ago.
     The earthenware pieces, including bowls, basins, Chinese goblets, 50-centimeter-tall serving vessels and 20-centimeter-tall pots, will be exhibited at the Sangxingdui Museum in Guanghan later this year. The bizarre shapes of the pieces give valuable clues to the lives of the ancient people who inhabited the place, said Chen De' an, chief archeologist at the Sanxingdui Ruins.
     Since 1986 archeologists have launched five large-scale excavations at the ruins, unearthing hundreds of thousands of earthenware fragments. Chen said it was a difficult and time-consuming job to repair and restore fragments into a full earthenware piece.

Sources: English.eastday.com, Shanghai Daily (31 July 2003)

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