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20 October 2011
10 prehistoric sites discovered in Mongolian desert

Archeologists have discovered 10 prehistoric sites in the Badain Jaran Desert, China's third largest desert located in northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. An archeological team composed of 11 experts from Inner Mongolia, Beijing and Sichuan have unearthed a large number of stone and pottery items dating back 5,000 years from the sites, which, the experts believe, indicate an ancient civilization once flourished in the desert.
     Experts say one of the most important findings was a black-red painted pottery jar, which represents Neolithic art that dates back 4,500 years. It was unearthed from a site where archaeologists had discovered extensive cultural remains covering an area of over 15,000 square meters. Experts said stone wares made of flint and agate were found in all the newly discovered sites.
     The Badian Jaran Desert is 47,000 square km and sparsely populated. It is famous for having the tallest stationary sand dunes in the world - some of them reaching 500 meters of height. It also features spring-fed lakes that lie between the dunes, and Chinese archeologists said all the ancient sites have been found near those lakes.

Edited from Xinhuanet.com (18 October 2011)

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