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Primitive bone skates found in Xinjiang

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-03-04 13:56

URUMQI — Ice skates made of animal bones over 3,000 years old have been discovered for the first time in China at an archaeological site in the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, according to a recent meeting on the region's archaeological work in 2022.

The skates were unearthed at a large burial site dating back to the 16th and 15th century BC in Nilka county, where excavation started in 2019, according to Ruan Qiurong, a researcher with the regional institute of cultural relics and archaeology in Xinjiang and leader of the archaeological team.

Archaeologists determine that the skates are made of the bones of cattle and horses, and their shape and structure are almost the same as those of their ancient counterparts found in Europe.

The discovery offers new evidence for early regional exchanges in Eurasia and provides precious materials for studying the origins of skating in China, says Ruan.

Dozens of wooden vehicle parts were also unearthed at the burial site, including 11 solid wooden wheels, along with hundreds of pottery pieces, stone tools, animal bones and bronzeware, among other relics. 

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