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15 May 2004
6,000-year-old human skull found in Shanghai

The skull of a man believed to have lived more than 6,000 years ago has been dug up in Shanghai's Qingpu District (China). Researchers believe the man was aged 25 to 30 when he died and had immigrated from an outlying area. They say the skull is about 1,000 years older than any other found in Shanghai. The skull was excavated from February to April at the Qingpu District site called Songze Ancient Culture Ruins, which was first found in 1957. The city government plans to build a site museum to protect it.
     The Songze Ancient Culture Ruins is the origin of the famous Songze Ancient Culture (3900-3200 BCE) - one of the city's early important cultures. More than 1,000 pieces of jade, pottery, stones and bones have been excavated from more than 148 ancient tombs.
     Experts said it is 6,000 years since the western part of today's Shanghai dried up into land and this newly excavated ancestor is the city's earliest "live evidence" of its history. Huang Xuanpei, a renowned archaeologist who participated in the excavation, said: "We will conduct more authentication upon the skull and will try to restore the skull by modern methods. Besides, we can compare the characteristics of ancient and modern Shanghai people."
     In addition to the skull, archaeologists have excavated the city's earliest sacred platform of 230 square meters, an earliest house and about 40 artifacts at the same site. Most of them were older than 6,000 years.

Sources: China View, Shanghai Daily (13 May 2004), China Daily (15 May 2004)

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