Shanxi discovers earliest charcoal kiln relics in China

The Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology announced on Aug 19 that Xiwubi village in Jiangxian county in Shanxi province is home to the oldest relics of charcoal kilns discovered so far in China.

Located in the southern area of Xiwubi village, the Xiwubi relics site was named one of China's top 10 archaeological discoveries of 2019 as it pushed forward metallurgical archaeology in China.

From 2018 to 2019, an archaeological team discovered a special relic site during excavations of the eastern area of the concentrated copper smelting remains of the Xiwubi site.

Through refined excavation and experimental archaeological verification, it has been proved that the relics belong to the charcoal kiln of the Erlitou cultural period (c.19th century-17th/16th centuries BC). 

According to Tian Wei, executive leader of the archaeological team, the group's discovery of charcoal kilns is of great academic significance, as it has provided important physical materials for the study of the early production and utilization of charcoal, reproduction of the ancient copper smelting production chain, and the layout of ancient copper smelting workshops.