|24 January 2011
Westernmost Xia dynasty site discovered in China
The Archaeological Institute of Shaanxi Province (Central China) reported that archaeologists found ancient tombs, ash pits and a long ditch in the style and scale common to the Xia dynasty when they did excavation work to Lao Niu Po ruins in Xi'an recently. The Xia dinasty is the first dynasty in China to be described in ancient historical chronicles such as Records of the Grand Historian and Bamboo Annals. According to the The Xia Shang Zhou Chronology Project, the Xia ruled between 2205 and 1766 BCE.
The remains found in Xi'an - the capital of the Shaanxi province - are farther west than any other Xia dynasty ruins found so far, which indicates that the Xia dynasty's orbit reached to the middle of Central Shaanxi Plain region in old days. Last December, archaeologists from the Shaanxi Archaeological Institute unearthed 129 ash pits, four pottery kilns, 25 tombs, eight houses and more than 600 pieces of pottery, stones and jade during the archaeological excavation to Lao Niu Po ruins.
Among the ancient remains they had found, there are four Xia-era tombs with two to eight burial objects in each. In a more than 70-meter-long south-to-north ditch, pottery and remains belonging to the late culture of Er Li Tou, a city identified as a capital of the Xia dynasty, were found. In addition, archaeologists did not find any objects later than the Xia dynasty, which indicates that the ditch could not have been constructed in period of time later than the Xia dynasty.
Edited from People's Daily Online (24 January 2010)
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