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Findings show Beijing's new sub-center's importance in ancient times


11-26-2016 00:07 BJT

Just a forty minute drive from downtown Beijing will take you to the remnants of an ancient city. Archaeologists have been busy unearthing 4,000 relics and have also discovered a large number of civilian tombs dating back to the Han Dynasty -- more than 2,000 years ago. The excavation site is located in the Tongzhou District, of Beijing's newly planned administrative sub-center.

Nine archaeological teams explored an area of more than one million square meters, or an area equivalent to 142 football fields, in the Tongzhou District from February to September this year.

Findings show Beijing

Findings show Beijing's new sub-center's importance in ancient times

They discovered 1,092 tombs, one city ruins, 69 kiln sites, the remains of eight lime pits, 10 wells, and three streets. The relics unearthed included pottery, porcelain, bronze ware, and ironware.

"The 60 sites, which are of historical value and importance, such as tombs, kiln sites, and strata profiles, have been completely relocated for better protection," said Yu Ping, deputy director of Beijing Municipal Admin. of Cultural Heritage.

Archaeological findings show the Tongzhou District had been home to a large population at least 2,000 years ago. Notably, it was a prosperous, populous and livable place in the Eastern Han Dynasty from 25-220 AD.

Before that, the District's history was believed to have started with the opening of the Grand Canal in the Sui and Tang dynasties, from 581-907 AD. This new finding extends the history of Tongzhou by nearly 1000 years.

"The region had highly-developed culture 2,000 years ago. And such a city must have been a political, economic and cultural center in the region back then," said Liu Qingzhu from Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Tongzhou, which is about a 40 minute drive from downtown Beijing, will become a subsidiary administrative center for Beijing municipality.

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