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24 February 2011
Early Iron Age tomb complex discovered in China

The remains of a large and densely distributed early Iron Age burial site have been unearthed in eastern Xinjiang/Uyghur Autonomous Region (China). The cluster of tombs covers more than 10,000 sq. meters in an area 100 km. south of Hami City. The site is the oldest such tomb grouping found in Hami Prefecture.
     Artifacts include not only those made of wood and pottery, but also ones made of bronze, iron, bone and stone. Aspects of the artifacts and other indicators such as some distinct burial customs and construction styles, including the presence of a sacrificial altar, the first one found in Xinjiang, may signify the discovery of a hitherto unknown people or culture that settled along this southern edge of the Silk Road approximately 3,000 years ago.

Edited from People's Daily Online (16 February 2011)

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