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11 January 2004
4,500-year old city excavated in China

Archaeologists in Northwest China's Shaanxi province have unearthed the ruins of an ancient well-developed city dating back 4,500 years on a mountain in Jiaxian county. The ancient city consists of a 3,000-square-meter inner city, built on the top of a hill, a 60,000-square-meter outer city, which encircles the middle and lower part of the same hill, and a moat, 10 meters wide and 6.4 meters deep.
     The walls of the inner and outer cities were built with stones and loess, Xinhua news agency quoted Zhang Tian'en, a research fellow with the Shaanxi Provincial Archaeological Research Institute as saying in Xifan, the provincial capital. The city was discovered by archaeologists who have been excavating a site of the late Neolithic period, known as the Shiluoluo mountain ruins in Jiaxian county, which covers 100,000 square meters and was found in 1978.
     Relics such as pottery, jars and pots, ruins of residences and stone walls and hills of stones piled up by human beings have been unearthed from the Shiluoluo mountain ruins. Archaeologists unearthed foundations of 18 houses and more than 80 vaults and pottery kilns in the ruins of the ancient city.
     Discovery of the newly unearthed city, the most intact among the ancient cities of the same late Neolithic period that are unearthed in China, is of important value in the study of city construction and civilisation in ancient times, Zhang said.

Source: The Hindu (11 January 2004)

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