Archaeologists have unearthed about 300 pieces of cultural relics from a cluster of ancient tombs in north China’s Hebei Province.
The tombs, located in Beidazhao Qiandong village of Nanhe County, 150 km south of the provincial capital of Shijiazhuang, are believed to be from the middle and late West Han Dynasty (206 BC- 24 AD) and middle Tang Dynasty (618-907), archaeologist Li Lianshen was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency.
Archaeologists have discovered 73 tombs altogether since the excavation started in May and more than 4,000 square meters of land have been combed through, Li said. Read more.
When archaeologists work to understand an ancient civilization, they often use that civilization’s texts to get a clue as to how they saw themselves. But these people didn’t live in isolation. They traded; they invaded. They carried inventions and knowledge back and forth down the Silk Road, the Tea Road and Roman roads. They also, sometimes, wrote down what they thought of each other.
A few years ago, the University of Washington’s John E. Hill drafted an English copy of the Weilüe, a third century C.E. account of the interactions between the Romans and the Chinese, as told from the perspective of ancient China. “Although the Weilue was never classed among the official or ‘canonical’ histories, it has always been held in the highest regard by Chinese scholars as a unique and precious source of historical and geographical information,” says Hill. Read more.
The ancient tomb of a female politician in China, described as the country’s “female prime minister”, has been discovered, Chinese media say.
The tomb of Shangguan Wan’er, who lived from 664-710 AD, was recently found in Shaanxi province. Archaeologists confirmed the tomb was hers this week.
She was a famous politician and poet who served empress Wu Zetian, China’s first female ruler.
However, the tomb was badly damaged, reports said.
The grave was discovered near an airport in Xianyang, Shaanxi province, reports said. Read more.
Blue-white pottery refers to the elegantly painted, blue and white Chinese and İznik tiles and ceramics that were and are highly prized by their owners. Their journey has been a long one, starting with the discovery of cobalt blue in Iran that was mined from the 9th century CE and exported to China mostly as a raw material. There are, however, a very few examples of blue-white pottery that have been found in Iran, with Arabic inscriptions on them from about the same period, suggesting that the blue-white technique went along with the raw material.
The first Chinese blue-white also occur in the 9th century although only fragments have been found. The earthenware continued to be used and admired until it reached an apex in the 14th century. Read more.
XI’AN (Xinhua) — A rare jade statue was unearthed for the first time from a nearly 2,000-year-old burial site in northwest China’s Shaanxi province.
The statue was discovered in a tomb in Maying Town of Baoji City by archaeologists from Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology (SPIA). The team was called in to perform a rescue excavation when relics were discovered on the construction site of a high-speed rail station.
The flat, 12 cm long jade statue is engraved with shallow concave lines in the shape of a male figure.
The piece outlines a man’s head without the body. The figure has closed eyes, a round nose and a wide mouth. He wears his hair in an ancient conical updo, and has a mustache and a beard divided into three sections. Read more.
Archaeologists have excavated a set of stone shields in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region which they believe were used in sacrifices by nomads nearly 3,000 years ago.
The shields were discovered by Huahaizi (sea of flowers) Lake in the Altai mountains, which borders Mongolia. The lake shore meadow is home to huge stone relics, including what archaeologists believe to be the largest temple of sun on the Eurasian steppe. The area is strewn with numerous deer stones.
The shields are pentagonal stones, one with a circle carved in the center, surrounded by a herringbone pattern.
"Initial researches show the shields could date back to the late Bronze Age, roughly 3,000 years ago," said Lyu Enguo, researcher with Xinjiang’s archaeological institute. Read more.
An extinct species of tool-making humans apparently occupied a vast area in China as early as 1.7 million years ago, researchers say.
The human lineage evolved in Africa, with now-extinct species of humans dispersing away from their origin continent more than a million years before modern humans did. Scientists would like to learn more about when and where humans went to better understand what drove human evolution.
Researchers investigated the Nihewan Basin, which lies in a mountainous region about 90 miles (150 kilometers) west of Beijing. It holds more than 60 sites from the Stone Age, with thousands of stone tools found there since 1972 — relatively simple types, such as stone flakes altogether known as the Oldowan. Read more.
TAKASHIMA, Shiga Prefecture—Ancient molds for daggers with a double-ringed pommel and a straight blade, which have no precedent in Japan or even the nearby Korean Peninsula, have been unearthed at an archaeological site in this western city, cultural property officials said.
The Shiga Prefectural Association for Cultural Heritage said Aug. 8 the finds from the Kami-Goten site likely date from between 350 B.C. and A.D. 300.
Japanese archaeologists were astonished by the discovery as the artifacts bear a striking resemblance to finds in far-flung areas of northern China.
The two siltstone molds, each 30 centimeters long, 9 cm wide and 4 cm thick, were found overlapping each other. The designs allowed bladesmiths to cast both the handle and the blade as a single piece. Read more.