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New finds illuminate Hongshan Culture

Updated: 2023-10-14 16:13 ( China Daily )
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A painted pottery jar unearthed from the sacrificial area of the Ma'anqiaoshan site in Jianping county, Liaoning province.[Photo provided to China Daily]

A medium-sized settlement from the early Hongshan Culture period was unearthed during recent archaeological excavations in Jianping county, Liaoning province. The discovery has deepened understanding of this dominant Neolithic culture, which occupied a vast area between the modern-day Inner Mongolia autonomous region and Liaoning province between 5,000 and 6,700 years ago.

The discovery was announced at a news conference by the National Cultural Heritage Administration in Beijing on Sept 28.

The remains of houses, sacrificial pits and articles of daily use, like tools made of stone and bone, alongside pottery vessels, have been discovered at the site, which has been named Ma'anqiaoshan. The site was found in 2018, and excavations by the Liaoning Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology began in 2019 to deepen understanding of Hongshan Culture.

According to Fan Shengying, a researcher at the institute, Ma'anqiaoshan covers an area of about 200,000 square meters. It dates back to between 5,500 and 7,700 years ago and contains traces of two distinct cultures, Hongshan Culture and the earlier Xinglongwa Culture, which dates back to between 7,400 and 8,200 years ago.

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