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New Bronze Site Reveals Changes in Regional History

A newly found Bronze Age site some five kilometers from Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province is likely to force a revision of the accepted ancient history of this region, Wang Yi, director of the city's Cultural Heritage Archaeological Institute, announced Tuesday.

The site proves that there was a very advanced bronze civilization on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River about 3,000 years ago, some 500 years earlier than the archaeologists previously thought.

The site also indicates connections with the centers of civilization in the Yellow River valley and on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, Wang said.

So far, the archaeologists, who are still working at the site, have found about 1,200 pieces of vessels, ornaments, figurines and receptacles, most of which date back to the late Shang Dynasty (BC 16th-11th centuries) and the early Western Zhou Dynasty (BC 11th century-BC771), Wang said.

This is another major relics site found on the Chengdu Plain, following the discovery of the Sanxingdui site at Guanghan, Sichuan last year. This latter site has been dated back some 3,000 to 5,000 years.

The Sanxingdui site, considered powerful evidence of the diverse origins of Chinese civilization, contains the oldest and largest ruins of the ancient Shu Kingdom. The ancient city wall there is about 2,600 meters long and three to five meters high.

(People's Daily 04/05/2001)

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