Chinese archaeologists discovered a previously unknown ancient settlement about 3,200 years old in Qingjian County, Shaanxi Province in northwest China. The excavation was conducted by the Shanxi Institute of Archaeology, and the site covers an area of about three million square meters on the Loess Plateau.
The fieldwork uncovered traces of a previously unknown ancient settlement, including large-scale tamped earth structures, tombs, ash pits, and pottery molds. Many of the finds here draw parallels with the ancient city of Yinxu, which is 3,300 years old. It was located on the territory of the modern Chinese province Henan, on the site of the capital of the ancient Chinese state Shang.
Archaeologists say that the findings made in the newly discovered settlement and Yinxue are very similar to each other. In particular, a large number of bronze chariots and horses, articles of jade and bone, lacquered articles and tortoise shells were found. Many of the tombs found belonged to the nobility.
The northern area of Shaanxi province, where the city of Zhaigou is located, was under the rule of the regional regime during the Shang state. Probably this can explain the apparent close cultural connection of the newly found city with the city of Yingxiu.
“The new discoveries reflect the close economic and cultural exchange between the Shang Dynasty area and the area of today’s northern Shaanxi, as well as the strong influence of the Shang civilization on the surrounding areas,” says Sun Zhanwei, a researcher at the Shaanxi Academy of Archaeology. He also says that the discovery indicates a highly developed Bronze Age civilization in northern Shaanxi at the end of the Shang Dynasty.
Interestingly, archaeologists have previously found traces of ancient settlements and cities in China that were older than 5,000 years. For example, in 2019 the remains of an ancient civilization about 5,300 years old were discovered in Hunan province.