3,000-year-old human activity sites discovered in Jiangxi

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The Jiangxi Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology (JPICRA) and the cultural heritage administrative departments of Jinxian County conducted archaeological excavations at the Nantudun site in Jinxian County and explored scores of human activity sites dating back 3,000 years ago and unearthed a group of precious early celadon pottery and stone tools as well as a small amount of bronze ware. 

Celadon porcelains unearthed in Jiangxi

To meet the need for the construction of the special Hangzhou-Changsha passenger train line, Jiangxi provincial cultural heritage administrative departments conducted site explorations at the areas near the passenger train line and discovered the Nantudun site in Xiabujie Village of Xiabu Town, Jinxian County. With the approval from the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, the JPICRA conducted archaeological excavations at the site from December 2010 to the end of March 2011. 

Li Yuyuan, head of the Nantudun site exploration team and an assistant researcher at the JPICRA, said they conducted 30 archaeological excavation units and excavated a total area of around 750 square meters. 

They discovered a total of 32 cultural relics of residential sites, ash pits, ash trenches, dating back between the early and late periods of the Western Zhou Dynasty. The unearthed artifacts include fine and glossy stone tools, such as arrowheads, sickles, knives and adzes as well as typical celadon wares, pottery and some bronze ware from the Western Zhou Dynasty. The settlement house sites and early celadon were the highlights of the excavation. 

Li said that the excavations have made clear the age and cultural meaning of the sites, enriched the ancient culture of northern Jiangxi and are significant for exploring the relationship between China’s central plain regions and the regions south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. 

The unearthed celadon shows that the celadon production skills were already mature at the time in terms of heat control, glaze and decorations. The celadon was no different from the sophisticated celadon made in the late Eastern Han Dynasty, which has provided new physical evidence for the research in early mature celadon. 

Source: People’s Daily Online [March 22, 2011]

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