Archaeologists have unearthed another ancient tomb of the famous Liang Zhu Culture in a city at the northern part of East China's Zhejiang Province.
The discovery after nine hours of excavations on Sunday sheds new light on the pre-historic Liang Zhu civilization which evolved on the vast land around Taihu Lake about 4,500 to 5,500 years ago.
And experts regard the excavation work on the culture as one of the most important sources for the study of the earliest origins of Chinese civilization.
In the newly found tomb in Xin Dili, Tongxiang, more than 30 pieces of exquisite relics were revealed, including pottery, stoneware and many other scattered tube-shaped and pearl-shaped jade wares.
Most of the jade wares were body decorations, while several stone knives were used as arms or tools of production.
"As the special white color of those little items of jade ware tells us, the tomb is at least 4,000 years old, known as the late period of the Liang Zhu Culture," said Jiang Weidong, chief director of the excavation site and a researcher at the Zhejiang Provincial Relics and Archaeological Institute.
"This newly unearthed tomb has added many more real objects to our study of the later period of Liang Zhu Culture, and has helped us gain an even greater insight into the highly civilized society which used to exist here several thousands years ago," said Wang Mingda, director of the State Archaeological Institute.
The tomb was found to be 3.77 meters long and 1.8 meters wide.
He said the tomb is part of a large group grave, which are all located in Xin Dili, Tongxiang, one of the most important locations of the Liang Zhu Culture on the southern side of the Taihu Lake.
Experts say the group of graves, which were discovered in Xin Dili on March 21 and have been unearthed one by one ever since then, is probably the biggest of the Liang Zhu era ever to have been found in China.
In the past four months, 85 ancient Liang Zhu graves, covering an area of about 2,000 square meters, have been unearthed in the area.
Experts say the 900 kinds of relics buried in the grave group represent the highest level of social status and craftsmanship for the Liang Zhu Culture.
(China Daily 07/17/2001)