Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "china"

NANJING — Archaeologists have discovered more than 100 Eastern Han Dynasty (24-220 AD) tombs in east China’s Jiangsu Province.

The graves in Pizhou City are mostly two meters long and a meter wide, They lie under a large pool and were found when the pool was drained, Ma Yongqiang, a researcher with the Institute of Archaeology of Nanjing Museum told Xinhua on Saturday.

Such a large cluster of Han tombs are a rare discovery and valuable for studies on funeral customs of the time. The tombs were buried only 20 to 30 centimeters beneath the earth and about two dozens have been plundered. Read more.

Two men whose remains were recently excavated from tombs in western China put their pants on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us. But these nomadic herders did so between 3,300 and 3,000 years ago, making their trousers the oldest known examples of this innovative apparel, a new study finds.

With straight-fitting legs and a wide crotch, the ancient wool trousers resemble modern riding pants, says a team led by archaeologists Ulrike Beck and Mayke Wagner of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin. The discoveries, uncovered in the Yanghai graveyard in China’s Tarim Basin, support previous work suggesting that nomadic herders in Central Asia invented pants to provide bodily protection and freedom of movement for horseback journeys and mounted warfare, the scientists report May 22 in Quaternary International. Read more.

Newly analyzed artifacts and a 200-year-old journal reveal the remarkable tale of the first American citizen to enter China’s Forbidden City and meet the emperor.

The mission was based on a diplomatic deception, and lives would be lost on the journey, but in 1795 Andreas Everardus van Braam Houckgeest would get to see the Forbidden City, a palace complex of more than 900 buildings that was off-limits even to most Chinese. He saw it at a time when China was wealthy and at the height of its power.

At one point Houckgeest was shown to the emperor’s favorite apartment, which gave him a view of a mountain covered with temples. Read more.

The catchment of Hanjiang River is regarded as one of the most important Paleolithic sites in central China. During 2009-2012, a scientific team led by Dr. WANG Shejiang, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, conducted surveys and discovered two new Paleolithic open-air sites in the Hanzhong Basin. Researchers unearthed 252 stone artifacts, and reported the finding in the journal of Acta Anthropologica Sinica 2014 (2).

This study indicates hominins already occupied the Hanzhong Basin from approximately 600000 years ago, and provides important data for the study of human adaptive strategies and patterns in this region and as well as the Palaeolithic culture and human behavior in East Asia. Read more.

It’s a rare treat when a treasure can be found within a treasure.  That’s exactly what happened when archaeologists uncovered a hidden gem, buried deep inside a centuries-old, thousand-hand bodhisattva statue in south west China, at the Dazu Rock Carvings.

Engraved tablets, golden foil and pieces of porcelain retrieved from the inside of one of China’s most prized treasures.

They were uncovered from this thousand-hand bodhisattva, the most famous among the The Dazu Rock Carvings.

Archaeologists discovered a chamber in the abdomen of the statue. Within, they found a stone tablet with red engravings on it. The engravings are dated to the reign of Emperor Qianlong, over 300 years ago. Read more.

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DATONG, China — The colossal Buddhist statues in the cliffside caves outside this northern Chinese city, carved from golden sandstone by Turkic-speaking nomad conquerors in the fifth and sixth centuries, were so covered in coal dust that when visitors blew on them, black clouds rose up.

Called the Yungang Grottoes, the relics had survived the rise and fall of dynasties, modern wars and the Cultural Revolution. But the scourge of a more prosperous China — industrial pollution — had been eating away at the sandstone.

Chinese officials and preservationists have embarked on an ambitious effort to protect them that could become a model for saving antiquities at other sites. Read more.

Over 1,000 ancient Buddha statues have been found in north China’s Shanxi Province, a local cultural relics protection department said on Friday.

The Buddha statues were found in three stone caves in a cliff in Yangqu County and could date back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), according to local archaeologists.

The stone statues carved into the cave walls are 12 to 25 centimeters long, said Yang Jifu, director of the county’s cultural heritage tourism bureau.

Yang said two of the caves had been restored in the Ming Dynasty, according to the record on two steles in the caves. Read more.

Researchers may have found answers to some questions surrounding stone tool artifacts previously unearthed at the site of Fengshudao, located in the Bose Basin in the Guanxi province of southern China. The site is well known for yielding a lithic assemblage rich in Paleolithic bifacially worked stone artifacts, technically known as Acheulean handaxes, a stone tool most commonly associated with an early hominin (human ancestor) classified as Homo erectus.

After initial discovery and analysis, these ‘Bose Basin handaxes’ came to the attention of the international scientific community because they were dated to about 803 ka (thousands of years), placing them in the Early to Middle Pleistocene period; and because their presence tested the validity of the Movius Line, a theoretical line drawn across northern India, first proposed by the American archaeologist Hallam L. Movius in 1948 to demonstrate a technological difference between the early prehistoric tool technologies of the east and west of the Old World. Read more.