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Site in Zhangjiakou marks exchanges of ancient cultures

Updated: 2021-12-09 09:48 ( China Daily )
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Pottery fragments from 6,500 years ago discovered at the site.[Photo provided to China Daily]

About 50 kilometers from the venues of the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, a Neolithic archaeological site is telling a much older story about different cultures coming together.

On the Dengcaogouliang site in Chongli district of Zhangjiakou, where excavations have been taking place since 2015, various discoveries, spanning in age from 8,000 to 4,000 years ago, are helping to piece together an intricate picture of prehistoric communication.

According to Wang Gang, a researcher with the Hebei Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, the findings, including house ruins, pottery, stone tools and ancient city walls, belong to four separate periods: around 8,000 years ago; 6,500 years ago; 5,100 years ago and 4,200 to 4,000 years ago.

"Zhangjiakou is located on a transition zone from the Inner Mongolia plateau to the North China plain, and thus became a crossroads for nomadic and agrarian cultures which mixed with each other in ancient times," Wang says. "This valley site became a trove of relics from different types of cultures."

The findings were summarized during last week's online conference of the National Cultural Heritage Administration. A selection of 8,000-year-old pottery items was among highlights from the site. The plain pottery jars, without glaze or paint, are cylindrical. Wang says it may represent a previously unknown archaeological cultural system when combined with studies of findings from other sites in Hebei province.

Pottery is a key indicator marking different cultural types in Chinese archaeology.

The 26 unearthed architectural foundations are a great help to archaeologists determining how dwellings evolved in the area throughout the millennia. New findings at the Dengcaogouliang site also connect many other monumental archaeological cultures in China, Wang says. For example, a house built partly underground, along with painted pottery, believed to date back 5,100 years, bear a striking resemblance to their counterparts from the late period of Yangshao Culture. First discovered in Henan province in 1921, the Yangshao site is widely regarded as the birthplace of modern Chinese archaeology.

The ruins of a city, built with stone and rammed earth, from about 4,000 years ago, were also excavated. Architectural foundations, pottery and jade were unearthed. The city walls were as thick as 13 meters. A defensive system and road networks, newly cleaned out this year, also provide an example for researchers to decode urban construction technology back then.

Wang explains that the city reminds people of the contemporaneous Shimao site in the northern part of Shaanxi province. Nearly 700 kilometers away from the Dengcaogouliang site, the prehistoric city ruins unearthed at Shimao are the largest ever found in China.

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The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]

The 2022 China International Travel Mart was launched in Kunming, Yunnan province today. The three-day event opened at the Kunming Dianchi Lake International Convention and Exhibition Centre, with a theme focusing on smart innovation and high-quality tourism industry aspects.

The news conference was held in the city on Thursday. Zhang Xilong, first class inspector of the Bureau of the International Communication and Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China and Lou Kewei, deputy-director of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Yunnan province presented the meeting along with academy and entrepreneur representatives.

The conference introduced the preparations and relevant activities of the mart, such as a forum on smart tourism and innovation, a symposium on international travel communication and cooperation in the framework of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and a workshop on the China-Laos railway’s contribution to building an Asian community with a shared future.

According to the news meeting, the 2022 travel mart covers about 80,000 square meters, with about 4,200 standard booths. 71 countries and regions attended the event both online and offline, and 31 domestic provinces, cities and autonomous regions and 261 independent exhibition teams.

Online services will be provided to the overseas buyers and sellers in the light of time zones. They could also have a face-to-face negotiation at the mart as well.

The mart also has diverse displays to show culture and tourism, physical education and tourism, as well as overseas tourism and museums.

The National Cultural Heritage Administration, the Palace Museum and museums from other provinces will attend the travel mart.

At the event, Yunnan province will have 2,000 standard booths in four separate sections; each will show culture tourism, healthy lifestyles, physical education tourism and culture tourism consumption.

The travel mart will also stick to the rules of pandemic prevention and control while having the activities go on smoothly.

The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]
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