China reports top 10 archaeological finds in 2012

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Paleolithic ruins in central China's Henan Province

The Neolithic Shunjiaji site in east China's Jiangsu Province

Chinese authorities on Tuesday announced the top 10 archaeological discoveries made in 2012, with the earliest dating back to the Paleolithic era.

Among the most significant discoveries was the ruins of a small city, the largest of its kind in neolithic China, discovered in northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

Archaeologists said the walls of the 4,000-year-old city are decorated with carved jade, indicating that the city was important in ancient Chinese civilization.

The discovery has provided new material for the study of Chinese civilization and its development, experts said.

Other discoveries include Paleolithic ruins in central China's Henan Province, the Neolithic Shunjiaji site in east China's Jiangsu Province and Bronze Age ruins and tombs in west China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

All the discoveries are protected by local governments, said Tong Mingkang, deputy head of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.

About 100 archaeological sites are listed as key cultural relics under state protection and some of the sites have been opened to the public, Tong said.

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