Excavations in 1986 and 1987 at the early Neolithic site of Jiahu, located in Henan Province, Northern China, yielded six complete bone flutes as well as fragments of approximately 30 others.
Tonal analysis of the Neolithic flutes revealed that the seven holes they contain corresponded to a scale remarkably similar to the eight-note scale of “do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do“. This carefully-selected tone scale suggested to the researchers that the musician of the seventh millennium BCE could play music and not just single notes.
The exquisitely-crafted flutes are all made from the ulnae or wing bones of the red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis Millen). The best-preserved flute has actually been played and this presented a rare opportunity to hear musical sounds from nine millennia ago. Read more.
HEFEI — Archaeologists said a Neolithic Chinese city was excavated on Wednesday in east China’s Anhui Province.
Part of a trapezoidal city wall and moat from the 4,500-year-old Nanchengzi Ruins in Guzhen County have been uncovered, along with a great number of houses, according to archaeologists from Wuhan University.
The archaeology team has also unearthed items from the Neolithic Age to the Han Dynasty, which dates back about 2,000 years. The items include deer heads and antlers, tortoise shell, and wheat and rice seeds. Read more.
Archaeologists in China have unearthed the skulls of more than 80 young women who may have been sacrificed more than 4,000 years ago, state media reported on Monday.
The skulls were found in what appears to have been a mass grave at the Shimao Ruins, the site of a neolithic stone city in the northern province of Shaanxi.
The women’s bodies were not present, the official news agency Xinhua said, adding that archaeologists concluded that the skulls were “likely to be related china to the construction of the city wall” in “ancient religious activities or foundation ceremonies” before construction began. Read more.
China is to start removing treasures from its greatest ever marine archaeological discovery, six years after the wreck was raised from the seabed in a giant metal box, reports said Friday.
The wooden Nanhai 1 sank near Yangjiang in the southern province of Guangdong during the Southern Song Dynasty of 1127-1279, with an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 items on board.
For centuries it was preserved under the sea by a thick covering of silt, and it was discovered accidentally by a British-Chinese expedition looking for a completely different vessel, the Rhynsburg from the Dutch East India Company (VOC).
The Nanhai 1 was salvaged in 2007, and its cargo of porcelain, lacquerware and gold objects is “more than enough to stuff a provincial-level museum”, said the Southern Metropolis Daily. Read more.
A sequence of twelve maps from the mid-nineteenth century reveal that they were accurate enough for planning and executing middle-sized water control projects for the department of Dengchuan in southwest China according to University of Hertfordshire researchers and published in Water History.
The woodblock maps show the Miju River and the irrigation system that lay at the heart of the Dengchuan’s farming economy. They include administrative details related to the compulsory mobilisation of the local labour for the annual clearance of mud – making them very unusual among Chinese maps depicting water control in this period. Read more.
The Forbidden City, the palace once home to the emperors of China, was built by workers sliding giant stones for miles on slippery paths of wet ice, researchers have found.
The emperors of China lived in the Forbidden City, located in the heart of Beijing, for nearly 500 years, during China’s final two imperial dynasties, the Ming Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty. Vast numbers of huge stones were mined and transported there for its construction in the 15th and 16th centuries. The heaviest of these giant boulders, aptly named the Large Stone Carving, now weighs more than 220 tons (200 metric tons) but once weighed more than 330 tons (300 metric tons). Read more.
Archaeologists have unearthed three flutes made from the bones of red-crowned cranes in Henan province that dates back 8,000 years, according to Zhengzhou Evening News.
One flute, which has five finger holes, is complete. The longest flute, at more than 20 centimeters long, has two holes but is broken into three pieces.
The flutes indicate people in the Huaihe River Delta 8,000 years ago had an affinity for music.
The recent discovery was made in a village in Wuyang county, which is 777 square kilometers. The village is located near the site of the Jiahu Ruins that was first discovered in 1961. (source)
BEIJING - For Qu Linxia, an archaeologist who specializes in the excavation of ancient tombs, the time between the discovery of a centuries-old burial site and completion of its excavation is an emotional roller coaster.
"Sometimes my heart begins to sink even before we start digging," she said, referring to the sight of disturbed earth and discarded cigarette butts that almost unquestionably point to visits by tomb raiders.
But what Qu described as her “almost foolish optimism” keeps her hopes alive as she and her colleagues at the Shaanxi Provincial Archaeological Institute carefully approach the core of each tomb. Read more.