Shanxi ancient ruins rated as top annual archaeological digs


The digs at the Beibaie Cemetery site in Yuanqu county in North China's Shanxi province were recently selected as one of the top 10 Chinese archaeological news stories of 2021, according to a report by China Central Radio and Television.

The site to the east of Beibaie village was jointly excavated since April 2020 by Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, Yuncheng Cultural Relics Conservation Center and Yuanqu culture and tourism bureau.

So far, 39 tombs, 42 ash pits, two horse and cart pits, one horse pit and two pottery kilns have been excavated at the site.

Some 550 cultural relics were unearthed from the tombs, including a large number of bronze ceremonial vessels and jade artifacts. 

Archaeologists also found liquid residue and cosmetic residues in the relics from the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC). 

According to the archaeologists, the Beibaie Cemetery site is a large-scale ruin with a long historical range, rich cultural connotations and relatively complete preservation. 

It has provided new and important material references for the study of the burial system, ethnic groups, social life, land ownership, patriarchal system and cultural exchanges in southern Shanxi province in ancient times.