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Pipeline Project Uncovers 18 Archeological Sites
In a spin-off from the West-to-East Gas Transmission Project, the world of archeology has already gained no fewer than 18 previously unknown ancient cultural relic sites. The recent discoveries came to light in the Gansu section of the pipeline.

Sites already authenticated include by far the earliest remains of the Neolithic Culture ever to be found in the Hexi Corridor (an area to the west of the Yellow River). In addition there are two sites of the ancient Horse Culture.

In a bid to make this major project a “green pipeline,” experts established the principle right at the very beginning that construction work should give way to the needs of environmental and cultural protection.

The departments responsible for pipeline construction are required to cooperate with the archeologists in both excavating and protecting cultural relics found along the line of the project. In the Gansu section, a total area of 378,000 square meters has been excavated and archeologists are telling of exciting results.

Yawan Relics in Wuwei and Wulian Relics in Huangyang have been verified as belonging to the Majiayao Culture making them the earliest Neolithic relics ever excavated in the Hexi Corridor.

Liangzigou Relics and Mahuanghe Tombs excavated in Yumen have been confirmed as belonging to the Horse Culture. This is quite unique to Gansu Province and dates back to the Bronze Age. The only previous discovery of this particularly rare type of cultural relic was in Yumen in 1958 during the construction of the Lanzhou-Urumqi Railway.

Archeologists from the Gansu Provincial Cultural Relics Institute describe the 18 newly-found ancient cultural relic sites as embracing not only the Majiayao and Machang Cultures of the Neolithic Age, but also the Siba and Horse Cultures of the Bronze Age. They consider the excavations to be of great significance to research into Prehistoric and Bronze Age cultures not only in the context of the Hexi area to the west of the Yellow River, but also in a much wider cross-China context.

(China.org.cn by Zhang Tingting, February 4, 2003)

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