The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences announced Tuesday the six greatest archeological discoveries of the country in 2017.
"The most valuable part of archeology lies in the information of human activity unravelled from the ruins," said Chen Xingcan, director of the Institute of Archaeology.
The six findings contain information on human activity over a time span of more than 40,000 years.
ANCESTORS CAME AFAR
From a cave at the crossroads of China, central Asia and Europe, archeologists found remains dating back 3,500 to 45,000 years. It is the first Paleolithic cave site found in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The processing method for an oval stone scraper with a sharp edge found in the cave was similar to that for artifacts from cultures in the western part of the Eurasia Continent.
This finding could help decode cultural exchange between both ends of Eurasia, and understand the migration of human ancestors, according to experts.
Surface structures and half crypt buildings, defensive walls and trenches, and jade artifacts were found in a prehistoric settlement from about 5,000 to 4,600 years ago in today's Shandong Province, eastern China.
Archeologists found pottery and jade vessels in the tombs ruins, which were used in sacrifice ceremonies and banquets by the ruling class to distinguish themselves from the common people, according to the archeologists.
The Neolithic relics showed the accelerating polarization of the rich and the poor, and the yawning gap among people of different social status.
Archeologists found carbonized rice and millet in a middle and late Neolithic relics dating back 5,800 to 4,300 years in today's east China's Fujian Province.
Abundant grain remains overturned the current idea that prehistoric humans relied on hunting instead of farming, and five graves found in the ruins could help discover what the people at the time did for employment.
The relics also filled in archeological gaps in the northwestern part of Fujian between the middle and late Neolithic era and early dynasties including the Shang (1300 B.C.-1046 B.C.) and Zhou (1046 B.C.-771 B.C.).
Over half a century ago, nearly 100 pieces of bronze vessels were unearthed in Jingshan County in central China's Hubei Province, leading to the discovery of an unrecorded ancient state -- Zeng State, dating back about 2,700 years.
As more relics were uncovered, the mystery of the state gradually came to light. Last year, a bronze pot was discovered, proving that metal used to be transported from the south to the capital of the Zhou dynasty in the north.
Archeologists believe that the large scale of bronze relics found in the remains indicates the Zeng State was most probably in charge of the smelting, production and transportation of bronze utensils of the Zhou Dynasty.
ETHNIC CULTURE REVEALED
A wagon team consisting of five chariots and 16 horses was excavated last year from a horse and chariot pit in Xingtang County, Hebei Province, revealing the story of the Rong and Di, two major ethnic groups that emerged on what is now Chinese territory.
Beside the pit, the relics that dated back from the late Spring and Autumn period (770 B.C.-476 B.C.) to the mid-Warring States period (475 B.C.-221 B.C.) included caves where the heads and hooves of a large number of cattle, sheep and horses were buried in different layers.
Bronze utensils and pottery that originated from the central plains where the Huaxia ethnic group stemmed from were also found in the ruins, indicating the integration of the Huaxia culture with the culture of the Rong and Di.
TEMPLE FOR WORSHIP CONFIRMED
The ruins of the town of Baoma, on a hill in Antu County in northeast China's Jilin Province, were shown by a jade book discovered therein to be the site of a temple used by the royal family of the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) for worship at Mount Changbai, according to archeologists.
The ruins of Baoma Town are among the best-preserved and the most important architectural remains of the Jin Dynasty.