5,000-year-old settlement with moat found in E. China

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Archaeologists in east China's Jiangxi Province said Saturday they had identified a 5,000-year-old settlement ruin complete with walls and a moat.

The ruin in the Jitai Basin in Jishui County was found in a rice paddy. The square site, about 120 meters on each side, is perched about 5 meters above the surrounding field, researchers said.

The site is encircled by 2-meter-high walls, and a square moat along the outer rim, which is 30-40 meters wide.

From the well-preserved ruin, archaeologists found pottery pieces that carry characteristics of the 5,000-year-old Fanchengdui Culture, said Ma Liqing, associate professor from Renmin University of China.

A large number of prehistoric human sites have been unearthed in Jiangxi in recent years, including over 100 settlements with moats, which bear the hallmark of the regional cultures.

Xu Changqing, a researcher with Jiangxi Provincial Museum, said the discovery is also the oldest found in Jitai Basin, whose cultural system is believed to be different from many others in Jiangxi. 

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