BEIJING, Aug. 24 (Xinhuanet) -- Two Chinese sites were placed among the world’s top 10 archaeological discoveries at the first Shanghai Archaeology Forum yesterday.
Liangzhu in neighboring Zhejiang Province and Shimao Stone City in northwest Shaanxi Province joined the likes of the Egypt’s Giza Plateau and sites of the Maya civilization in Guatemala.
“The Liangzhu site, the cradle of the last Neolithic jade culture, is one of the biggest ancient cities discovered in China,” said the selection committee of some 40 archaeologists from 17 countries.
The committee said “the magnificent water system along the walls of the ancient city, and within and outside its palaces, offered important resources on the exploration of the Chinese civilization.”
Shimao Stone City, meanwhile, dating back some 4,000 years, also provides vital data on the beginning of Chinese civilization, said the committee.
China’s double showing in the listing surprised some academics.
“I’m a little surprised that two Chinese archaeological findings are listed among the world’s top 10, as there are so many important discoveries across the world,” Wang Wei, director of the archaeological research institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said at the sidelines of the forum.
Liangzhu culture sites, dating from 3300-2300 BC, are mainly distributed through the lower Yangtze River Delta around Taihu Lake. Initial excavations were around Liangzhu Town in Yuhang District in Hangzhou in 1936.
Since the 1950s, other sites have been found in Zhejiang, Jiangsu Province and Shanghai.
Excavations have provided evidence of intensive agriculture, fishing and craft specialization — including ceramics, stone tools, jade objects and lacquer vessels.
Meanwhile, between 2011 and 2012 at Shimao Stone City, three well-preserved stone enclosures — the Huang Cheng Tai platform, an inner city and an outer city — were discovered.
Inside the interior walls are residential zones, cemeteries, and craft workshops, dating from the late Neolithic and the early Xia Period (early Bronze Age), according to radiocarbon dates and excavated artifacts.
The Shimao walled site encompasses 400 hectares.
The 2013 Shanghai Archaeology Forum is being held in the China Art Museum in Pudong through tomorrow, bringing together 170 archaeologists.
The city forum will be held every two years, Wang said.
(Source: Shanghai Daily)