New batch of archaeological projects starts excavations in Liaoning Province
Published: Aug 23, 2023 11:24 PM
Aerial view of the Ma'anqiao mountain ruins excavation site Photo:

Aerial view of the Ma'anqiao mountain ruins excavation site Photo:

Including a total of seven sites scattering across the province, a new batch of archaeological excavation projects has recently started in Northeast China's Liaoning Province as part of a dedicated inquiry into China's Hongshan Culture.

The Ma'anqiao site, a significant ancient sacrificial ruin in Chaoyang city, is one of the seven sites. This site is located approximately 60 kilometers from the Niulianghe site, a prominent late Neolithic archaeological location that was initially discovered in 1981 and is also part of the newly launched 2023 exploration project.

Xue Feng, an archaeologist, told the Global Times that Niulianghe, with its unearthed treasures such as abundant jade objects and architectural remnants like an altar used for ancient ritual practices, "embodies the emergence of primitive civilization." The discovered artifacts hold significant value in research fields such as the ancient Chinese ritual system, history of religion, and Chinese design culture.

Supervised by the Liaoning Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, the Cihuai Mountain Ruins and the Sanjia Dongbei Ruins, will be investigated for the first time later this year.

The Cihuai Mountain Ruins and the Sanjia Dongbei Ruins are both representative sites belonging to China's Hongshan Culture. The Cihuai Mountain Ruins cover around 120,000 square meters and archaeologists aim to map out its configuration through the new program.

The Sanjia Dongbei Ruins have a unique layout. The site is situated upon a platform where relics such as pottery and jade pieces were found scattered in a pit. Researchers will take a comparative approach in their investigations to develop a more complete map of the region's Hongshan Culture by comparing it to the Cihuai Mountain Ruins and the Niulianghe Ruins.

The Hongshan Culture is historically significant as it is an "emblem" of one of the major origins of Chinese civilization that developed outside the ancient Central Plains. The culture mainly thrived along the West Liaohe River in North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Besides Hongshan Culture sites, the Qingshiling Mountain Ruins, an archaeological spot that has been continually excavated for nine years, has also been included in the current program. The site is rich with artifacts from the Gaogouli Culture, an ancient ethnic minority culture that bloomed in ancient China's northeastern areas.

Global Times