Shanxi archaeological sites rated as national discoveries


Three archaeological sites in North China's Shanxi province were included on a list of China's 100 Archaeological New Discoveries in the New Era, jointly released on April 22 by the Institute of Archaeology at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the China Cultural Relics News Agency.

They are the Xiwubi site in Jiangxian county, the Jiuwutou site in Wenxi county and a porcelain kiln site in Guzhen village, administered by the county level city of Hejin.

The Xiwubi site was jointly excavated by the National Museum of China, the Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology and the Yuncheng Cultural Relics Protection Institute.

It contains the remains of various dynasties and features copper smelting relics from the Erlitou culture (c. 19th century-17th/16th centuries BC) and the Erligang period (c. 17th/16th centuries-14th century BC). These have helped fill the gap in the knowledge of Chinese academic circles about early bronze production and the smelting process.

The Jiuwutou site was excavated by the Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology.

It provides important objects and materials for research on the shape and structure, burial customs, functions of tomb passages and the hierarchical relationship of tombs in the Shang Dynasty (c.16th century-11th century BC).

Deemed of great significance for knowledge about regional types of late Shang Dynasty culture, it is also thought to be important for research into the changes in the sphere of influence in the western part of the dynasty, the central government's control over the localities and the national political and geographical structure.

The porcelain kiln site, jointly excavated by Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology and the Hejin cultural relics bureau, marks an important breakthrough in ceramics archaeology in Shanxi and indeed the whole country.

The selection list aims to systematically review and summarize the major progress and achievements of Chinese archaeology over the past 10 years, and enable people to better understand Chinese history and civilization.