City Wall Remains from the Northern Dynasties to the Tang Dynasty Found in Puzhou ancient city Site, Shanxi Province
Puzhou ancient city site was located in Puzhou town, Yongji city, south of the Shanxi province. The site was divided into the east and west city, with an area of about 4.26 square kilometers. From 2012 to 2016, Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology has been working continuously, completed the shape and structure of the eastern city, confirmed the date of the city wall remained on ground, conducted an excavation and clear up the foundation of relevant ancient buildings. Most importantly, the cultural layer of the Tang dynasty was found in the eastern city, and the city wall remains from the Northern dynasties to the Tang dynasties was also found in the northwest of the Puzhou ancient western city, achieving phased results.
The aerial photo of the excavation area
The distribution of various rammed earth in the site in 2016
From 2015 to 2016, Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology conducted a large scale of excavation to the northwest of the western city, with an area of 3000 square meters, found a large-scaled rammed earth foundation remains, completely reveled and partial dissected those. According to the soil texture and color, rammed-layer thickness, rammed-hole size, the structure and forms, the rammed earth could be divided into 6 parts from the north to the south, thus they were numbered from No.1 to No.6. According to the distribution, direction, texture and color, unearthed relics and overlapping relationship, the rammed foundation remain was defined to be a part of the wall remains. The wall was 1.5 meters below the ground, in the east and west direction, it was about 130 meters long, 8 to 10 meters wide, and 4 to 6 meters thick, rammed-building in high quality.
The house foundation, ash pit and water tunnel remains of Tang dynasty
The artifacts unearthed in rammed-earth No.1 are no later than the Tang dynasty, including pieces of white glazed bowl with jade ring shaped foot, eaves tile with lotus pattern, Kai Yuan Tong Bao coins and etc. The artifacts unearthed in No.3, No.4 and No.5 are no later than the Northern dynasties, including pottery jar with twin ears, small mouth and plump belly, eaves tile and imbrex with plain or cord pattern, and etc. According to the artifacts, the city wall was built from the Northern dynasties, and it was used and extended in the Tang dynasty.
The rammed wall
6 plinth made of dark blue stone were found at the south of the wall, all belonged to the same building. They were square and made of dark blue stone. According to the distribution of the posthole, the house remain was in the east to west direction, 3 rooms in length and 2 rooms in width. According to the stratigraphic relation, the period of the building was no later than the Tang dynasty. Apart from that, water course, wells, ash pits and other relevant remains of the Tang dynasty were found. Among the unearthed cultural relics, the pottery pieces was the majority, with obvious characteristics, was the representative of the features and relics of the Tang dynasty unearthed so far, providing important evidence for defining the date.
The overlapping relation in Ditch No.5
However, in the Song and Jin dynasties, the function of the city wall was abandoned, it was extended in plane and height, with house remains, water course, wells and etc. unearthed. At that time, the rammed earth was used as the foundation of the building, its character changing from the wall to the platform. The new discovery in Puzhou ancient city site proved the existence of Puzhou town in the Tang dynasty, and its period could be dated back to the Northern dynasties, verifying the document that Puzhou was built in the Northern dynasties. The discovery provided important evidence to confirm the location and distribution of Puzhou town from the Northern dynasties to the Tang dynasty; brought significance to study the layout and history of Puzhou town as well. (Translator: Wang Jue)