Anyone who enjoys biting into a sweet, fleshy peach can now give thanks to the people who first began domesticating this fruit: Chinese farmers who lived 7,500 years ago.
In a study published in PLOS ONE, Gary Crawford, a U of T Mississauga anthropology professor, and two Chinese colleagues propose that the domestic peaches enjoyed worldwide today can trace their ancestry back at least 7,500 years ago to the lower Yangtze River Valley in Southern China, not far from Shanghai. The study, headed by Yunfei Zheng from the Zhejiang Institute of Archeology in China’s Zhejiang Province, was done in collaboration with Crawford and X. Chen, another researcher at the Zhejang Institute.
"Previously, no one knew where peaches were domesticated," said Crawford. Read more.
Most museum exhibitions try to give answers, but an unusual Chinese antiquities show the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana has announced as its big fall attraction will focus on 3,000-year-old artifacts in bronze, gold and jade that mainly have produced bafflement.
"China’s Lost Civilization: the Mystery of Sanxingdui" is to feature more than 120 ceremonial objects that include towering human figures and trees made of bronze, carved heads and masks. They come from Sanxingdui and Jinsha, archaeological sites near Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in southwestern China.
Bowers President Peter Keller said the show, set to run Oct. 19 to March 15, 2015, will mark the first time pieces from the 2001 Jinsha find have come to the United States. Read more.
While President Barack Obama has Bo, and President George W. Bush had Barney, a newly published tale of a dog that lived in China’s “Forbidden City” over a century ago reveals that this pup’s lifestyle easily outdid that of any presidential pooch.
In a book that accompanies a new museum exhibit about Chinese history, researchers describe a specially-tailored silk outfit that covered a royal dog whose name translates to “Big Luck” from snout to tail. Although the dog’s breed is unknown, he appears to have been about 3 feet (1 meter) long, and his outfit was decorated with images of peonies, a flowering plant.
The silk outfit even has Big Luck’s name inscribed on the lining. It was created at some point during the reign of the Guangxu emperor, who ruled from 1875 to 1908. Read more.
Vintage Gouda may be aged for five years, some cheddar for a decade. They’re both under-ripe youngsters compared with yellowish clumps – found on the necks and chests of Chinese mummies – now revealed to be the world’s oldest cheese.
The Chinese cheese dates back as early as 1615 BC, making it by far the most ancient ever discovered. Thanks to the quick decay of most dairy products, there isn’t even a runner-up. The world’s best-aged cheese seems to be a lactose-free variety that was quick and convenient to make and may have played a role in the spread of herding and dairying across Asia.
"We not only identified the product as the earliest known cheese, but we also have direct … evidence of ancient technology," Read more.
Archeologists from China and Kenya say they have discovered a sunken Chinese ship dating to the middle ages, off the Kenyan coast in Malindi.
The experts announced in Malindi on December 26 that following three years of underwater research, they came across the vessel 14 nautical miles off Ngomeni village in Magarini district, Kilifi County.
And yesterday, a Kenyan archaeologist Ceasar Bita predicted that it could take between one and three years to study and bring the vessel to the surface from the seabed.
“It is a very expensive venture to bring it to the surface,” said Bita who disclosed that due to the huge financial implications and lack of local expertise in underwater archeology were the main challenges. Read more.
CHENGDU, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) — Chillies for a headache and a bull’s urine for jaundice: These are the latest deciphered messages of how Chinese people two millennia ago cured themselves, and their horses.
The 920 medical bamboo slips, together with other historical relics of the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC- 9 AD), were found in a subway construction site in Chengdu, capital city of southwest China’s Sichuan Province.
A total of 184 bamboo slips are said to be the “guidebook” for horse vets. The remaining 736 can be categorized into nine separate medical texts covering various domains.
According to Xie Tao, a research fellow with Chengdu’s archaeology institute, the books could be lost medical classics written by the successors of Bian Que, a medical pioneer from the 5th century B.C. Read more.
XI’AN — Archaeologists said fortifications of the largest neolithic Chinese city ever discovered were excavated on Wednesday and Thursday in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.
The ruins of two square beacon towers, once part of the city wall of the 4,000-year-old Shimao Ruins in Shenmu County, have been uncovered, according to Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology.
One of the towers is 18 meters long, 16 meters wide and four meters tall, while the other is 11.7 meters long, about 10 meters wide and three meters tall, said Su Zhouyong, deputy head of the institute.
Sun said the discovery is a breakthrough and contributes greatly to archaeological research on ancient Chinese fortifications. Read more.
Beijing: Chinese archaeologists have carefully stripped the 2,200-year-old clothing from four mummies in order to prevent the delicate outfits from decaying with the dried corpses.
Three skulls and four mandible bones of different sizes have been uncovered so far, leading archaeologists to believe they belonged to one man, two women, and a little boy.
"It may be a family buried together, including a husband and two wives with one child," Xu Dongliang with the Academia Turfanica, who joined the undressing work that began on November 20, said.
Among the clothes were woollen pants, knitted mantles, fabric coats, silk scarves, and brightly-coloured sheepskin boots, which offer a glimpse into the delicate handicrafts of that time. Read more.