Under the guidance of the State Administration of Culture
Heritage (SACH), China's Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries of 2006
were crowned on Sunday.
These 10 significant finds were selected from 24 nominations in
an annual competition held by the Chinese Society of Archaeology
and the administration's newspaper, China Culture Relics
All archeological excavation and investigation projects in China
over the previous year, which were published in China Culture
Relics News before the end of February, were eligible to be
The selected top 10 archaeological discoveries, dated back from
the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) to the Paleolithic Age, included the
Dahe Paleolithic cave relics at Fuyuan in Yunnan Province, the Xiantouling Neolithic
remains at Shenzhen in Guangdong Province, and the Xipo Neolithic
graves at Lingbao in Henan Province.
Careful not to be driven by a "treasure" principle, the selections
were made based on whether an excavation had been properly
conducted and the advancement of scientific knowledge about the
past, experts on the panel said.
The Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries of 2006, in chronological
1. The cave relics found at Dahe, Fuyuan County, Yunnan
This Paleolithic cave, under excavation since 2002, offers
evidence of the cultural exchanges between the East and West, which
happened earlier in southern China than in northern China. Experts
believe that the finding also indicates the existence of different
2. The Xiantouling Neolithic remains found at Shenzhen,
The remains, which date back 6,000 to 7,000 years, provide an
important criterion for archaeologists to divide historical periods
during the 1,000 years at Pearl River Delta. They may also help
solve the archaeological problems in Lingnan pre-history
3. The Neolithic graves found at Xipo Village of Lingbao
City, Henan Province.
The excavation of the graves has advanced archaeologists'
understanding of the society and economy during the Middle Yangshao
Culture (5000-3000 BC). During the fifth and sixth excavation
conducted in 2005 and 2006, 34 tombs were found with a vast array
of funerary objects.
It was the first time that graves from the Middle Yangshao
Culture were discovered in Lingbao, Henan Province.
4. The remains of a coconut shell mound at Gaoming,
Foshan city, Guangdong Province.
The late Neolithic site, dated back 4,500 years, is now known as
China's best preserved, most informative and representative coconut
5. The relics of Shang Dynasty found at Gaohong, Liulin
County, Shanxi Province.
It is the first discovery of the late Shang Dynasty (c.16th
century-11th century BC) bronze culture site in the Luliang
Mountain region, Shanxi Province, where 20 ramming sites were
found. The discovery is of great value to the study of the unique
Luliangshan bronze culture.
6. Mound tombs found in Guanjiu Village, Pucheng County,
Mound tombs are considered one of the significant characters of
Wuyue Culture during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and
Warring States Period (475-221 BC).
The mound tombs found at Guanjiu, Pucheng in 2006, were the
first discovered in Fujian Province. Seventy-two bronze funerary
articles were excavated from the tombs, making the excavation the
biggest harvest of bronze items in Fujian archaeological
7. The graves of Warring States Period found at
Majiayuan, Zhangjiachuan County, Gansu Province.
The value of excavating the tombs, which had been stripped by
robbers, lies in their special structure and the five chariots
found inside (four in burial chambers and one in the tunnel). The
heavily decorated chariots are a rare find for Chinese
8. The musical instruments pit of the Qin Dynasty found
at Dabaozishan relics, Li County, Gansu Province.
The discovery of the musical instruments pit may help unveil the
identity of the main tomb's owner, believed to be one of the kings
of the Qin State. It also provides rare source materials for
research into the rites and music system, the sacrifices system and
the techniques of bronze casting and foundry of early Qin Dynasty
9. The Shuangdun cemetery at Liu'an City, Anhui
The discovery of this tomb of the Han Dynasty (260 BC- AD 220)
and the royal cemetery of the Liu'an Kingdom may help reveal
secrets surrounding the period and is of great scientific,
historical, and artistic value.
10. The remains of a water gate of Yuan Dynasty at
The Zhidanyuan water gate, located at the cross of Zhidan Road
and Yanchang Road in Putuo District, Shanghai, has a history of 700
years. It has been confirmed to be a water facility of the Yuan
Dynasty (1271-1368). Compared to similar relics, the Zhidanyuan
water gate is the largest, most exquisite and well preserved.
(China Daily April 11, 2007)