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Rediscovering China's early civilization

Updated: 2018-06-11 07:16:18

( China Daily )

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The Yinxu Museum in Anyang, Henan province, exhibits not only a huge oracle-bone collection but also such items as an impressive array of bronze ware and jade artifacts. [Photo by Will Wain-Williams/China Daily]

Driving through Anyang's wide, dusty boulevards, you'd wonder why anybody would visit.

Indeed, it seems like a backwater, a place of zero interest at first glance.

After passing some large, official-looking buildings, the town in Henan province becomes crumbly and dilapidated.

But this unassuming settlement is, in fact, home for the earliest-known Chinese civilization with systematic written characters-that is, the last capital of the Shang Dynasty (c. 16th century-11th century BC), the ancient city of Yin.

Henan is slap-bang in the center of China, in the country's Central Plains.

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