China 2022-06-15T04:50:31+03:00
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6 sacrificial pits filled with artifacts reveal rituals of ancient Chinese kingdom

6 sacrificial pits filled with artifacts reveal rituals of ancient Chinese kingdom

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science, China, PRC, Archaeologists, Artifacts
Archaeologists are shown excavating one of the six newly discovered pits at the site of Sanxingdui in China. Photo by Xinhua.
Archaeologists are shown excavating one of the six newly discovered pits at the site of Sanxingdui in China. Photo by Xinhua.

Archaeologists have discovered six sacrificial pits containing about 500 artifacts, including gold and bronze masks, in the ancient Chinese city of Sanxingdui, according to The Xinhua News Agency reports.

The site is located about 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) southwest of Beijing.

The artifacts date back around 3,000 years, to a time when the ancient kingdom of Shu ruled this part of China. In addition to the masks, the archaeologists uncovered bronze artifacts with dragon and cow engravings, miniature ivory sculptures, silk, carbonized rice (rice that has turned into carbon) and tree seeds, Xinhua reported.

"Surprisingly, we have unearthed some never-heard-of-before bronze ware items", Lei Yu, an archaeologist with the Sichuan Provincial Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute, told. "For instance, some large and delicate bronze ware items have bizarre-looking dragon or cow designs on them."

The researchers haven't turned up any human remains in the pits, and they don't know what function the pits may have served.

Even so, the discovery of the six pits may provide clues about the rituals the people of the Shu kingdom practiced at that time.

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