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Ancient Cities Found in East China

Ruins of three ancient cities dating back to as early as 4,800 years ago were recently found in Wulian County of Shandong Province, east China.

Archaeologists with the Shandong Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology said Monday they have identified the cities as ruins belonging to three ancient cultures, namely, the late period of the Dawenkou Culture, and the early and intermediate periods of the Longshan Culture.

The city of the Dawenkou Culture dates back to about 4,800 years ago. It has an oval-like shape, stretching over 400 meters in length and nearly 300 meters in width.

The city of the early period of Longshan Culture is also of an oval shape, and runs over 450 meters in length and 300 meters in width. It is between 4,400 and 4,600 years old.

The city of the intermediate period of the Longshan Culture spreads like an knife handle, measuring over 500 meters long and 400 meters wide.

The three cities overlapped each other, with the walls of the later cities built on the moats of the earlier ones, said the archaeologists.

Part of the ruins were found as early as the 1950s. But it was not until last year that a detailed excavation was conducted on the site, leading to the new discoveries.

Besides the city walls, moats and gate passages, archaeologists have also found ruins of houses, graves, ash pits and a large cache of pottery, stoneware and jade.

Tong Peihua, deputy head of the institute, said the discovery is of great significance in studying the development of prehistoric cities and the origin of the Chinese civilization.

Further excavation of the ruins will continue, he said.

-- source: Xinhua News Agency

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