More than 150 sites of historical interest and 1,000 cultural relics were discovered during the annual archaeological exploration of the metallurgy sites within the Neolithic Black Water State in northwest China's Gansu Province, the Provincial Cultural Relic Bureau announced on Monday.
The exploration, led by the Institute of Archaeology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, retrieved complete samples of the stratum needed to identify the geological and cultural development thread in the midstream watershed of Black Water, especially from the late-mid period of the Yangshao culture (5000B.C.-3000B.C.) to the early phase of the Siba culture (1900B.C.-1400 B.C.) during the Neolithic age.
The Black Water State site, 12.5km northwest of Zhangye City, runs 15km from north to south and 10km from east to west. A Han Dynasty (206B.C.–220A.D.) tombs complex was discovered here, covering about four square kilometers.
The current phase of exploration has unearthed evidence vital to accurately dating two other earlier metallurgy sites, as well as materials critical for the study of early Chinese metallurgy technology.
Discoveries of crops and animal bones add to the proof that an agricultural and animal production structure was common to the region during the Bronze Age.
Findings of jewelry, including items made with turquoise, agate, crystal, pearls, clamshells and jade, were abundant, a bounty for researchers focused on the culture of adornment at that time.
Previous explorations of the metallurgy sites in the Black Water State had been conducted since 2010, by research teams composed of experts from the provincial archaeology office and the University of Science and Technology Beijing.