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China’s top 10 Archaeological Discoveries in 2016 Announced
From:Chinese Archaeology  Writer:Li Xinwei  Date:2017-04-13
The annual selection organized by China Cultural Relics News and Society of Chinese Archaeology (SCA) announced the top 10 Archaeological discoveries in China of the year of 2016 on April 12th 2017.

Some 25 archeological projects were narrowed down from several hundreds excavations to become finalists.

The judges were from the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, Institute of Archaeology under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Peking University, the Palace Museum and other archaeological institutions.

The final top 10 are:
Gezishan site in Qingtongxia, Ninxia
Niupodong cave site in Gui’an, Guizhou
Shijiahe Neolithic site in Tianmen, Hubei
Kuzhaikeng kiln site of proto celadon in Yongchun, Fujian
Xuechi ritual site of the Qin and Han Dynasties in Fengxiang, Shannxi
Ancient Lu County of the Han Dynasty in Tongzhou, Beijing
Housi’ao kiln site of the Mise olive green porcelain of the Tang and Five-Dynasties in Cixi, Zhejiang
Qinglongzhen site in Qingpu, Shanghai
Guzhen Kiln site of the Song and Jin Dynasties in Hejin, Shanxi
Tongmuling mining and metallurgy site in Guiyang, Hunan

Gezishan site in Qingtongxia, Ninxia
Excavated by Ningxia Institute of Archaeology and Cultural Relics and Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Chinese Academy of Science


The fire-using remain found in Gezishan Site
 
The discoveries at the site establish, for the first time, a sequence of cultural development from 12000 to 15000 BP in the edge of desert area in Northwest China. Artifacts unearthed include the milling stones, milling rollers, double-faces objects and pointed objects in situ. The tiny ornaments made of ostrich egg shell less than 2mm in thickness and the stone beads refresh our knowledge of the craft making techniques at that time.

Full Story 
http://www.kaogu.cn/en/News/New_discoveries/2017/0414/57810.html

Niupodong cave site in Gui’an, Guizhou
Excavated by the Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Guizhou Provincial Institute of Archaeology and Cultural Relics


Pottery of phase IV 
 
Totally 7 ash pits, 10 burning remains, 7 burials and 2 activity areas had been found at this cave site, together with a large number of artifacts with clear stratigraphical context. Among them, are nearly 100,000 stone objects, about 100 bone artifacts and more than 100 pieces of ceramic shreds. The burials had never been found in cave sites in Guizhou before. The discovery provides, for the first time a complete chronology for the cultural development in the Qianzhong area from the Paleolithic time to the Spring & Autumn and Warring States periods.

Full Story 
http://kaogu.cn/en/News/New_discoveries/2017/0120/56907.html


Shijiahe site in Tianmen, Hubei
Excavated by Hubei Provincial Institute of Archaeology and Cultural Relics


 Digital mapping of  Tanjialing ancient city
 
The coring and excavations at the Yinxintai, Tanjialing and Sanfangwan in the site yielded fruitful discoveries. The Tanjialing has been proved as the largest walled site in its time, in which there is a cemetery with a large number of finely made jade objects of the post-Shijiahe culture. The Yinxintai was a ritual complex of the Late Shijiahe culture, the largest in the middle Yangzi River Valley at that time. The Sanfangwan probably was a kiln site for the manufacture of red ceramic cups from the Late Shijiahe to the post-Shijiahe periods.

Full Story 
http://www.kaogu.cn/en/News/New_discoveries/2017/0120/56903.html


Kuzhaikeng kiln site of proto celadon in Yongchun, Fujian
Excavated by Fujian Museum
Kiln furnace remain Y2
 
Totally 9 well-preserved long dragon-kilns were found one to another. The designs on the proto celadon vessels show clear relationship with earlier stamped-design ceramic which was popular in south China and crucial for the origin of the earliest porcelain in China. These kilns, which can be dated to Middle Xia to Middle Shang Dynasties, were the earliest kilns for celadon manufacture.

Full Story
http://www.kaogu.cn/en/News/New_discoveries/2017/0418/57854.html


Xuechi ritual site of the Qin and Han Dynasties in Fengxiang, Shannxi
Excavated by Shannxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, National Museum, Baoji City Institute of Archaeology and Fengxiang Museum


The section plan of the rammed-earth platform 
 
It is the first archaeological discovery of the Si ritual complex recorded in ancient texts, which consists of the altar, the wei low surrounding wall, the plaza, roads, pits and buildings. Actually, it is the earliest and largest un-doubtable “royal altar” of the Qin and Han Dynasties. This ritual complex is part of the well-designed Yongchen city, an early capital of the Qin State and is important for the research on the formation of the national ritual system of the Qin and Han dynasties. 

Full Story 
http://www.kaogu.cn/en/News/New_discoveries/2017/0111/56760.html

Ancient Lu County of the Han Dynasty in Tongzhou, Beijing
Excavated by Beijing Institute of Archaeology and Cultural Relics and Tongzhou Committee of Cultural Affairs


 Adult urn burials dating back to the Warrior State Period
 
The nearly square walled city is about 35 ha in area. Moat, drainage system, road, houses, hearths, ash-pits and urn burials were found outside the foundation of the southern wall. According to the record in ancient texts, the city was the municipal center of the Lu County during the Western Han and Eastern Han periods. This is the first County level center of that time ever been excavated. Besides, totally 1146 burials from the Warring States to Ming and Qing periods had been unearthed in an area 2 km in radius with the city as the center. The structures and offering of the burials provide valuable data for the research on the development of this area in a long time span.

Full Story 
http://www.kaogu.cn/en/News/New_discoveries/2017/0228/57265.html?1492071469

Housi’ao kiln site of the Mise olive green porcelain of the Tang and Five-Dynasties in Cixi, Zhejiang
Excavated by Zhejiang Provincial Institute of Archaeology and Cultural Relics, Center for Underwater Cultural Heritage of the National Administration Bureau of Cultural Heritage, Ningbo City Institute of Archaeology and Cultural Relics and Cixi City Committee of Cultural Relics


The aerial photo showed Housi’ao kiln site
 
Except for common celadon, the so-called Mise olive green porcelain products such as bowl, plate, bo bowl, handled hu pot, ping vase, eight-edges jingping vase, round-belly jingping vase and pedestal were also unearthed. Similar vessels had also been found in the underground chamber Famensi Buddhist Temple of the Tang Dynasty and the Qian family cemetery of the Wuyue State of the Five Dynasties period. Some of the xiabo saggers with the inscription “guan” (official) unearthed in the kilns indicate that this site might have been the main official porcelain manufacture center for the royal court in the late Tang and the Five Dynasties period.

Full Story
http://www.kaogu.cn/en/News/New_discoveries/2017/0419/57894.html

Qinglongzhen site in Qingpu, Shanghai
Excavated by Shanghai Museum


The aerial photo of the foundation of the Longping Temple
 
A large number of Tang to Song periods ceramic and porcelain products for trade unearthed at the site demonstrate that the current Qinglong Township might be the earliest port in the current Shanghai area for overseas trade and an important start point of the maritime silk road. The excavation found the foundation of the tower of the Longping Buddhist Temple, which had been the landmark of the port. Artifacts discovered in the foundation include a King Asoka tower, a 4-layers box and more than 10,000 coins of different periods.

Full Story
http://www.kaogu.cn/en/News/New_discoveries/2017/0306/57332.html?1492071412

Guzhen Kiln site of the Song and Jin Dynasties in Hejin, Shanxi
Excavated by Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology and Hejin City Bureau of Cultural Heritage Management


The layout and section plan of kiln Y1
 
The most important discovery is the Northern Song Dynasty kiln Y1 with a large smoke chamber which occupies half of the area of the kiln. This is the first example of large smoke chamber kiln ever found and may indicate the appearance of the technique for semi-finished products drying and sagger burning in smoke chamber. The data of the complete chain of porcelain manufacture is fresh new for the pertaining research in Shanxi area.

Full Story
http://www.kaogu.cn/en/News/New_discoveries/2017/0417/57844.html


Tongmuling mining and metallurgy site in Guiyang, Hunan
Excavated by Hunan Provincial Institute of Archaeology and Cultural Relics and School of Archaeology and Museology of Beijing University


The map which illustrated the smelting process 
 
The 11 ha site consists of three parts: one for mold burning and two for smelting. Main features include storage pit, clay making pit and debris area. A large number of tools for different process of metallurgy were found. It seems that this site was mainly for the smelting of zinc, though other metals such as lead, copper and silver are also smelt here. This large facture might have been established in the late Ming and early Qing periods, and been abandoned in the middle and late Qing Dynasty. The groove-shaped furnace is the most complete zinc smelting furnace in China and is important for the research on zinc making in ancient China.

Full Story
http://www.kaogu.cn/en/News/New_discoveries/2017/0418/57869.html?1492563872

Professor Wang Wei, Chair of SCA described the selection this year as an intense competition. The top ten winner sites cover a long time span from the Paleolithic time to Ming and Qing periods. The fruitful discoveries of historic archaeology in 2016 are especially eye-catching. Wang and other archaeologists answered the questions on the standard of their selection and other questions pertaining of the 10 sites in a press conference after the selection.     (Translator: Li Xinwei;Photo Credit:ccrnews)


 
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