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Top archaeological discoveries of 2016 named

By Ma Lie in Xi'an | Xinhua | Updated: 2017-01-12 16:01

An expansive Neolithic site that was uncovered in Shaanxi province has been named as one of the six archaeological discoveries of last year by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Shimao is a ruined town in Shenmu county that has been dated to around 2000 BC, near the end of the Longshan period.

It includes the remains of a platform surrounded by a stone wall, which has been interpreted as a palatial complex, as well as a city square, and what is believed to be a small town outside the city gate, according to Shaanxi provincial archaeology institute.

Experts said the discovery of bronze knives and arrows, as well as a stone mold for making bronze items, provide clues as to the way such metallurgical techniques and technology were disseminated throughout China at that time.

A number of earthenware tiles were also discovered, indicating the presence of large buildings with tiled roofs and providing evidence of to the country's early architectural techniques and construction materials, according to archaeologists.

Other archaeological discoveries to make the CASS list include the Niupotong ruins in Guizhou province, the Banlashan Hongshan culture cemetery in Liaoning province, neolithic sites in Hubei province, Bronze Age settlement sites in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and the Cao Wei grand tomb in Henan province.

Elsewhere in Shaanxi, sacrificial sites dating to the Qin (221-207 BC) and Han (206 BC-AD 220) dynasties were shortlisted as among the most important archaeological discoveries of last year, but did not make the final cut.

Shaanxi provincial administration of cultural heritage welcomed the announcement and said it reflected the province's rich cultural relic resources, as well as the level of academic research and archaeological excavation ability in China.

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