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Unearthed Discoveries of the Year 2012
Special> Unearthed Discoveries of the Year 2012
UPDATED: July 1, 2011 NO. 27 JULY 7, 2011
China's Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries in 2010

China's Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries in 2010 were announced in Beijing on June 9 by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH). The 10 significant finds were selected from 25 final candidates and date from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) to the Xia Dynasty (21st century-16th century B.C.). The top 10 discoveries are:

The Wangjinglou City Site in Xinzheng, Henan Province

HISTORICAL ARTIFACTS: An assortment of relics unearthed from the Wangjinglou City Site in Xinzheng, Henan Province (XINHUA)

The Wangjinglou Site is located to the east of the Wangjinglou Reservoir and 6 km northwest of Xinzheng City. The site was discovered in the 1960s. Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology carried out tentative excavations, identifying it as a site from Xia and Shang dynasties (21st century-11th century B.C.). The Zhengzhou City Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology conducted extensive drilling and excavation at the site in September, 2010. The excavation indicates the ancient sit belongs to the Erlitou and Shang cultures.

The most significant discoveries include city walls together with a moat from the Erlitou Culture, the inner city walls, inner moat, outer city walls, and outer moat of the Erligang Culture. Together they constitute another important archaeological discovery from the Xia and Shang eras.

The discoveries of the Erlitou and Erligang cultures at Wangjinglou are significant in study of the society, politics, military, and urban construction in the late Xia and early Shang dynasties. The city site of the Erlitou Culture at Wangjinglou provides new materials for studying city sites of the Shang Dynasty.

The Daxinzhuang Site in Jinan, Shandong Province

From March to July 2010, the Archaeological Department of the History and Culture College of the Shandong University and Shandong Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology jointly conducted an excavation at the Daxinzhuang Site in Jinan. An area of 900 square meters has been uncovered, which yielded a group of remains and cultural relics of the Shang Dynasty (17th century-11th century B.C.), including a house foundation with a tamped wall, more than 200 ash pits, a well, a kiln site, more than 40 tombs and more than 2,000 various objects. Of the discoveries the most important are Shang Dynasty tombs containing bronze ware and the house foundation with the tamped wall, considered an new important achievement following the discoveries of Shang Dynasty nobles' tombs and oracle bones in 2003.

The Laosicheng Site in Yongshun, Hunan Province

ANCIENT CITY: The pedestal of a stele discovered in a tomb at the Laosicheng Site in Yongshun, Hunan Province (XINHUA)

The site was the location of an ancient walled city built in 1135. The archaeological excavation shows this 25-hectare site consists of a palace and administration district in the center, a residential district in surrounding areas, a religion center, a cemetery and a relaxation district. The findings from the cemetery in the southeast suburb of the walled site demonstrate it was the burial ground of the Tusi, a local chieftain of minority people during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911), in Yongshun. The stone epitaphs of the Tusi family found in the burial plots are valuable for research of Tusi society. Archaeologists also found beacons, military checkpoints, farm yards, graves, religion sites and stone tablets in the surrounding areas, which are important for a comprehensive understanding of the culture in this area.

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