Millennia-old trench and cemeteries found in NW China

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Archeologists have unearthed a large ring trench and adult cemeteries dating back to the late Yangshao Culture period in the city of Xianyang, northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

These remains were discovered at the Jiangliu Site this year when the Shaanxi Academy of Archaeology conducted archaeological studies in Jiangliu Village, Jingyang County of Xianyang.

The excavation work showed that the northern part of the ring trench had been devastated due to the collapse of river valleys, while the semicircular remains of the southern part measures about 1,200 meters in length. The remaining ruins in the trench, where some pottery shards were discovered, covers an area of about 200,000 square meters.

Archeologists also found 58 adult cemeteries on the outside of the southwest section of the trench, while a large number of funeral objects, including bone tools, jade articles, stone tools and accessories and potteries were unearthed. Hairpin-shaped bone tools make up the majority of these objects — the first time such hairpin-shaped bone tools have been found in excavation of the Yangshao Culture remains.

The discovery of the large trench and adult cemeteries at the site is of great significance in archaeological research of the late Yangshao Culture, as it provides important materials for the study of the community pattern and social structure in central Shaanxi at that time, said Shao Jing, a researcher with the Shaanxi Academy of Archaeology.

The Yangshao Culture, dating back 5,000 to 7,000 years, was a Neolithic culture which originated along the middle reaches of the Yellow River. It is widely known for its advanced pottery-making technology. 

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