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8 October 2006
Remains of 6,000-year-old house discovered in Shaanxi

Chinese archaeologists have discovered the remains of houses dating back 6,000 years in northwest China's Shaanxi Province. The remains were located on a section of a farming terrace in Linglong Village, Chencang District of Baoji City. The remains were about one fifth the size of the original houses which are estimated to be nearly 200 square meters, archaeologists said.
    The houses were built on two 8 to 10-cm-thick layers of hard earth. The remains of a wall is nearly 15 meters long and 40 to 50 cm wide, and 103 cm tall. A 1.6 meter ditch was found outside the wall, which archaeologists believe was used to discharge water. The remains were destroyed during the middle or end of the Yangshao Culture dating back 5,000 to 7,000 years when people usually lived in houses built partly underground, said an expert with an archaeology team of Baoji. However, the remains show the houses were built above ground, indicating that people during the Yangshao Culture period had already begun to built houses above ground. The discovery also shows that ancient people were aware of the advantages of building houses on the ground. They were more convenient to entry, dryer and let in more sunlight, the expert said.
    The Yangshao Culture, known for its painted pottery with a variety of finely designed geometrical patterns, was centered in the middle reaches of the Yellow River and extended to central China's Hubei Province and north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. It remains unclear whether the houses had a special purpose such as offering sacrifices to gods or ancestors, said archaeologists.

Source: China View (4 October 2006)

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