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Hundreds of 4,500-yr-old tombs found in Central China

China Daily | Updated: 2023-01-07 11:49

ZHENGZHOU — Archaeologists have found more than 300 tombs dating back around 4,500 years in Central China's Henan province, which are of great significance to studying the burial system and social structure of prehistoric China.

Located at the Suyang relics site in the city of Luoyang, the tomb complex covers an area of about 15,000 square meters, and all of the tombs are earth pits in a rectangular shape, according to the Luoyang Municipal Institute of Archaeology.

"The tomb cluster is large in size and can be traced back to the transition period from Yangshao Culture to Longshan Culture. It is extremely rare to see this in Zhongyuan, a region known as the central plains area," says Ren Guang, head of the excavation project at the Suyang site.

Archaeologists have unearthed nine tombs so far, and the remains of 10 people have been found. Some of the tombs show evidence of having been seriously damaged by tomb raiders.

Preliminary excavation showed that the tomb complex can be traced back to the early stages of the Longshan Culture, Ren says.

The discovery of the tomb cluster has great academic value, Ren says, adding that it can help researchers better understand the burial system during this period, while also providing important clues for the study of social complexity and the civilization process in Longshan Culture.

The Suyang relics site spans more than 600,000 sq m. The Luoyang Municipal Institute of Archaeology launched excavation work at the site in early 2021, and it is still in progress.




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