XI'AN, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- A large-scale cemetery connected to ruins from the Shimao culture dating back 4,000 years was found in Yulin City, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, according to the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology.
The stone settlement where the cemetery was found covers an area of about 1 million square meters, and is located about 60 km northeast of the Shimao site.
The burials with female human sacrifices and jade items in the tombs unearthed at the settlement reflect distinctive characteristics of Shimao ruins, according to Shao Jing, who is in charge of the Zhaishan archaeological project.
Archaeological investigations preliminarily determined that the settlement also belongs to the Longshan culture which is a late Neolithic civilization in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River.
Ruins of white-gray-faced houses, bag-shaped cellars and vertical earthen pit tombs all suggest the functional zoning of the stone settlement, Shao said.
Up to now, archaeologists have excavated 21 tombs, all of which are vertical earthen pit tombs. Many relics of jade, pottery and stone tools have been unearthed from the tombs.
Shao said this was the first large-scale Shimao cemetery ever discovered. The excavation provides important data for the study of the origin and development of the 4,000-year-old culture. Enditem