Workers have uncovered ancient building ruins dating back to the Jin (960-1276) and Yuan (1271-1368) dynasties in North China's Hebei province.
After four months of excavation at the Haifeng town ruins in Huanghua city, the ruins of an ancient hearth, fire pits and wall footings have been uncovered among bricks, tiles and broken porcelain.
Staff working at the site have also unearthed a 6-meter-wide main road, flanked on both sides by the ruins of buildings.
Judging from preliminary assessment of the unearthed ruins and items, they are presumed to have been used during the Jin and Yuan dynasties, said Lei Jianhong, director of the research office for underwater archaeology at the Hebei Cultural Relics Institute.
The excavation area, which is 30 meters long and 10 meters wide, is only a small part of the building cluster of the Haifeng town ruins. The rich findings indicate that there was intense human activity at the site and the ancient town is likely to have had a flourishing economy and trade, said Lei, who led the dig starting in July.
It is the fourth excavation of the Haifeng town ruins. Standing at the mouth of a river, the town is thought to have been a port for the trade of porcelain and salt.
Scholars said ancient Haifeng town is likely to be the northern tip of the Maritime Silk Road, from which Chinese porcelain was shipped across East Asia and beyond. But this cannot be verified until further archaeological findings are made.