Ruins of ancient capital identified in Chengdu

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Ruins of two large palaces dating back to the Shang and Zhou dynasties have been found at the Jinsha relic site in Huangzhong Village at the western suburbs of Chengdu. They both date back 3,000 years and are considered to be one of Sichuan's most important archaeological finds, according to archaeologists from the Chengdu Institute of Archaeology. The new discovery has contributed toward the identification of a large palace site inside the Jinsha relic area.

Archaeologists have hailed the excavation as the most important archaeological find from the Jinsha Ruins since 2001, based on discussions and preliminary assessments by well-known archaeologists affiliated with the Chinese Society of Archaeology, Peking University and Sichuan University.

The newly excavated site dates to the same era as other ruins of ancient palaces discovered in 1999 and 2006-2007. They have similar structures and they are adjacent to each other, so researchers speculate that they all belong to the same large group of ancient palace buildings. All these buildings were well organized on a large scale, which implies that they were all available for the supreme rulers of the area during ancient times.

"We can identify the site of large ruined palaces in the Jinsha area based on this excavation," said Zhang Qing, an archeologist with the Chengdu Institute of Archaeology. The Huangzhong Village is 700 meters north of the sacrificial site of the Jinsha Ruins. Up to now, ten sites of large ancient buildings have been found in an area of 130 meters long and 90 meters wide of the Jinsha Ruins.

It is learned that the excavation at the Huangzhong began in April 2007, and has so far unearthed seven sites containing ancient buildings of the Shang and Western Zhou dynasties and four sites housing ancient kilns along with pottery pieces and jade wares.

The discovery aids in studying the conditions of the ancient kingdoms in the Jinsha area, according to Zhang Qing.

"The palaces found in Huangzhong Village will be restored," he said, "and archaeologists will also make comparative study of the palaces and others of the Shang and Zhou dynasties."

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