Archaeological Discoveries
in 2001
Archaeological Discoveries
in 2000
Top Ten Archaeological Finds
for 1999
Archaeological Discoveries
in 1999

Archaeological Find May Change Chinese History

  Archaeologists have uncovered an ancient city site that thrived over 4,000 years ago. It is located in Taosi Village, Xiangyuan County in Shanxi Province. This was the legendary center of the Emperor Yao, the first emperor in China, and his political activities. The key finding pushes the origin of Chinese civilization back to the Five-Emperor age.

  According to a report of China Central Television, the wall of the city, known to have existed 4,200 to 4,500 years ago, is about 130 meters long and stretches from east to west. Experts point out that that time was during the legendary period of the Yao, Shun, and Yu emperors, and that the city is most probably the place where the main constructions of that time were erected.

  Further excavation of the ancient city has yet to be started. Experts point out that the history before the Xia Dynasty, the first dynasty in China, had been legendary up until now, without any archeological evidence for its existence.

   Some scholars abroad have been suspicious of the oral record for this period. They believed that the history of Chinese civilization couldn't go back as far as 5,000 years. It is now recognized that the Taosi site is the only relic existing to confirm the history much longer than found before. The location of this ancient city coexists with a graveyard. The site of the graveyard was discovered in 1958, but the ancient city was not found until recently. Currently, over 10,000 ancient graves of the Yao-Shun period have been found here, and a large number of precious relics have been discovered, including stoneware. jade-ware, wood-ware, crockery, and even early bonze ware. If the excavation can be carried out smoothly, the record of Chinese history could be pushed back another thousand years.
(from Beijing Evening News)