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12 March 2006
Two prehistoric settlements unearthed in central China

Chinese archaeologists have found two prehistoric settlements, dating back to more than 4,000 years ago, at the Puchengdian ruins in central China's Henan province. The Puchengdian site were designated as the first group provincial-level cultural relic protection units of Henan in 1963. With an area of 150,000 square meters, the site contain relics of the Neolithic age and the Xia, Shang, Zhou and Han dynasties. One of them was confirmed by archaeologists to belong to the late period of the Longshan culture (3000 BCE-1700 BCE), the other belongs to the early period of the Erlitou culture (1900 BCE-1500 BCE).
     The older city covers an area of more than 16,000 square meters, with the east, west and south walls still existing. A well-preserved pottery kiln was unearthed in the relic city site, which comprised a kiln chamber, fireplace, workshop and ash pit. The ruins of houses, storages, graves with jar-shaped coffins and places for open-air activities were also discovered at the site.
     During the months of excavation, more than 400 findings dating back from the Neolithic age and dynasties of Xia (2100 BCE-1600 BCE), Shang (1600 BCE-1100 BCE), Zhou (1100 BCE-771 BCE), Han (206 BCE-220 CE) and Song (960-1279 CE) were discovered at the site.
     The 260 meter by 204 meter settlement of the Erlitou Culture, located at southwestern part of the Puchengdian ruins site, covers an area of 53,000 square meters. The city walls were tamped with special soil from other places with the aim to make the walls firmer. Erlitou site in Yanshi county, some 100 kilometers west of Zhengzhou, Henan's capital city, discovered in 1959, is the largest site associated with Erlitou Culture on a land of three square kilometers

Source: China View (12 March 2006)

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