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Top 10 Sites Shed Light on Multi-culture

The Top 10 New Archaeological Discoveries of 2005 were unveiled Tuesday night in Beijing and more than half of them from outside the Yellow River Valley, considered the cradle of Chinese civilization.

They may shed light on China's multiple cultural origins, experts said.

The Xiaohuangshan relics in East China's Zhejiang Province, which were excavated early last year, are an example.

The relics, which date back 8,000-10,000 years, could rewrite the country's archaeological history as they are much older than the Hemudu site in the province, which was previously believed to have nurtured the earliest Neolithic culture in China's south about 7,000 years ago.

At the site, researchers found several deep ditches which they believed were storerooms and some signs of barbecuing.

In Southwest China, a large number of pits for sacrifice were found among the relics in Zhongshui, Guizhou Province.

Inside the pits, crockery ranging from the late New Stone Age to the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - AD 24) was uncovered, providing strong evidence for future research into the rice-growing culture of Zhongshui area 3,100 years ago.

In East China's Fujian Province, archaeologists discovered six kilns of the Shang Dynasty (16th-11th century BC) in Pucheng, a city in the north of the province.

More than 300 pieces, including pottery, stoneware and bronze implements have been excavated. Researchers are continuing work in the area.

"It was the first time we found such a large kiln group in the country," said archaeologist Xu Pingfang.

The competition has been held for 16 years. This year's top spots were selected from about 400 archaeological discoveries last year.

Top 10 ancient sites

Xiaohuangshan Relics, Zhejiang Province Neolithic culture
Gaomiao Relics, Hunan Province Earliest white pottery

Zhongshui Relics, Guizhou Province Sacrifice pits

Liuzhuang Relics, Henan Province Neolithic culture

Maoershan Relics, Fujian Province Kiln group

Hengshui Relics, Shanxi Province Cemetery decoration

Liangdaicun Relics, Shaanxi Province Graveyard for nobles

Jurong and Jintan Relics, Jiangsu Province Mound graveyards

Huangyangzhuang Relics, Henan Province Courtyards in Han Dynasty (206 BC - AD 220)

Datong Relics, Shanxi Province Tomb mural

(China Daily May 10, 2006)

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