¡¡¡¡HOHHOT, Oct. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- A 8,200-year-old village of Xinglongwa Culture
was recently discovered in the Aohan Banner, north China's Inner Mongolia
¡¡¡¡The oldest village site so far discovered in China, it is also the largest
and most well-preserved, announced the archeologists whose excavation of the
Xinglonggou Site near the Xiliao River came to a close Oct. 25.
¡¡¡¡According to Liu Guoxiang, assistant researcher with the Chinese Academy of
Sciences, 11 house foundations, 10 graves and 12 ash pits were found there.
¡¡¡¡The foundations unearthed are half-underground rectangular caves dug on
immature loess. Judging from their orderly arrangement and size, Liu said the
village must have been very majestic, which dates the county's cultural history
back more than8,000 years.
¡¡¡¡Before the excavation began, surveys on the surface of the landindicated at
least 150 house foundations.
¡¡¡¡According to Liu, these ancient people appeared to be of different social
ranks because the house bases are different in both size and style.
¡¡¡¡It is hypothesized that the owners of the No. 22 house foundation, which
is the largest and most different in style, mustbe the most respected.
¡¡¡¡Many finds, including vertical shafts, pottery and jade ware and other
ornaments excavated from the foundation are of great archeological value, Liu
¡¡¡¡For instance, the vertical shafts, 20 pieces of pottery and twohuge
millstones and grinding implements will help archeologists toreplicate the past
and study the village's architectural structure.
¡¡¡¡The find of four skeletons in the foundation, the first of its kind from
the Xinglongwa Culture, will help scientists learn aboutthe house's residents if
DNA tests are carried out.
¡¡¡¡Items made of shells only existent in the sea were also found for the first
time at the site, Liu said, indicating the ancient people there were in touch
either directly or indirectly with people living in the coastal areas.
¡¡¡¡Another find, three pieces of delicate jade, the oldest so far dug up in
China, takes the country's history of jade carving and polishing back to the
middle of the Neolithic age.
¡¡¡¡Seven ornaments made of animal bones, skull, stones and shells were
unearthed, which may provide archeologists with important reference and evidence
for the study of ancient people's religiousbeliefs.
¡¡¡¡The Xinglonggou site situated around the Xiliao River Valley ishome to
three separate cultures, the Xinglongwa Culture, the Hongshan Culture and the
Xiajiadian Pottery Culture. Archeologistssaid this will help them study the
relationship between and the development of different cultures. Enditem