Ancient urban water system found in central China

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Chinese archaeologists have found the ruins of an ancient urban water system from the Shang Dynasty (1,600 BC-1,046 BC) in central China's Henan Province. It is believed to be the earliest urban water system in the dynasty.

The water system is part of the Yanshi ruins, an ancient city discovered by archaeologists in 1983. The city, spreading over about 2 square km, was built in three layers -- the big city, the small city and the city palace.

"The internal water system was mainly used for drainage, and the external water system included a moat and two river courses," said Chen Guoliang, an archaeologist with Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and leader of the archaeological team of Yanshi ruins.

According to Chen, the internal and external water systems were connected, which not only facilitated drainage and prevented waterlogging, but also landscaped the palace with a water surface area of nearly 3,000 square meters.

Archaeologists also confirmed that there were at least two east-west ditches in the small city, which they speculate were dug during different periods.

Excavation of Yanshi ruins is still in progress.

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