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22 May 2013
Neolithic site revealed in China

New archaeological discoveries in Yuyao city, in eastern China's Zhejiang province, provide a clearer picture of life in China's Neolithic age.
     Archaeologists are completing a 10-year dig in Tianluo Mountain - one of the cradles of Chinese civilisation. Sun Guoping, captain of the exploration team, said: "It is so far the best preserved site of the Hemudu culture. We can see a clear wooden structure of the living and working areas of a tribe. There were walls, food stores, paddy fields and even piles of rice husks."
     The Hemudu site records activities from 7000 to 5000 BCE - one of China's earliest Neolithic sites - and covers more than 3 hectares, with 6 layers. Some 1800 square metres has been explored during the past 10 years of exploration, and more than 7,000 relics recovered.
     Yao Xiaoqiang, deputy curator of the Hemudu Cultural Site Museum, said that the Tianluo Mountain site had well-preserved paddy fields from the early and late Hemudu period. "You can see the complete layout of primitive paddy fields, which is of great research value," Yao said, adding that many of the discoveries were the first of their kind in 40 years of exploration of Hemudu culture. These include ancient ladders made from a single piece of wood, big houses for ritual activities, wood-carved ritual wares with birds, and wooden swords.
     The Tianluo Mountain site was accidentally discovered in 2001 by locals who were trying to drill a well.

Edited from China Daily (18 May 2013)

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