BEIJING, July 31 (Xinhua) - The following are highlights of China's archaeological news:
BRANCH OF GRAND CANAL IDENTIFIED
Archaeologists in central Henan Province have identified an ancient canal site as part of the Grand Canal, the longest artificial waterway in the world.
The discovery will be added to the joint application of sites along the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal for World Heritage status.
Experts have studied the waterway of the Suoxu River in the city of Zhengzhou, capital of Henan Province, confirming it as part of the Tongji Canal, the western extension of the Grand Canal.
Relics of ancient dikes and paths on the riverbank have also provided proof to the experts' theory that the canal was initially built in the Warring States (475 - 221 BC) and later connected to the network of the Grand Canal.
The main waterway of the Grand Canal starts in Beijing and passes through several provinces in north and east China to reach the resource-rich Hangzhou. The oldest sections of the 1,776-km canal were built 2,500 years ago, and they were linked together in the Sui Dynasty (581 - 618). Part of the canal is still in use today.
DINOSAUR FOSSILS FOUND AT CHANGBAI MOUNTAIN
Researchers from Jilin University said they have identified three fossils from dinosaurs that lived 100 million years ago around Changbai Mountain, which is first such discovery made in the area.
The fossils were found at a factory processing building materials in Dashiren Town in the city of Baishan, northeast Jilin Province.
Experts are yet to identify the species of the dinosaurs.
VAULT OF IRON COINS THROWS NEW LIGHT ON FINANCIAL HISTORY
Archaeologists said the stringed iron coins found in north Hebei Province might have been the reserve money of a local government of the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279).
The coins were found after experts excavated an ancient city site in Cangxian County, Hebei Province. The coins were well cast and clustered by strings, said local researcher Wang Minzhi.
The unearthed site was later found to have sat on the relics of a local government, leading to the belief that the coins were once stored by the government as reserve money.
Wang said that the assumption, if proved true, would also challenge the consensus that the iron-cast money was only used in south China at that time.