Chinese site excavation one of top science stories of the year

Dec 20, 2010 By Neil Schoenherr
Sanyangzhuang tiles set aside to repair a Han house. Credit: HENAN PROVINCAL INST. CULTURAL RELICS AND ARCHAEOLOGY

A WUSTL professor’s excavation of a "gold mine of archeology" in China has been ranked as one of the top 100 science stories of 2010 by Discover magazine.

T.R. Kidder, PhD, professor and chair of anthropology in Arts & Sciences, has been working with Chinese colleagues to excavate the ancient rural farming village of Sanyangzhuang, which offers a exceptionally well-preserved view of daily life in Western China more than 2,000 years ago.

“It’s an amazing find,” Kidder says of the site, which was discovered in 2003. “We are literally sitting on a gold mine of archeology that is untapped.”

Sanyangzhuang was flooded by silt-heavy water from the Yellow River around 2,000 years ago. The sediment provided a protective layer around the site, leaving it very well preserved.

An abundance of metal tools, including plow shares, has been found, as well as grinding stones and coins. Also found are fossilized impressions of mulberry leaves, which researchers see as a sign of silk cultivation.

“One could make the argument that this is where the Silk Road began,” Kidder says.

Explore further: Scientists reproduce evolutionary changes by manipulating embryonic development of mice

More information: For more information on the study, visit news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/20805.aspx

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Revealing China's ancient past

May 24, 2010

An archeologist at Washington University in St. Louis is helping to reveal for the first time a snapshot of rural life in China during the Han Dynasty.

Modern society made up of all types

Nov 04, 2010

Modern society has an intense interest in classifying people into ‘types’, according to a University of Melbourne Cultural Historian, leading to potentially catastrophic life-changing outcomes for those typed – ...

Fern's hunger-busting properties supported by research

Nov 15, 2010

Professor Roger Lentle, from the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health at the Massey University, led a team that studied how an extract of the mamaku fern influenced stomach activity. Maori traditionally ...

Ancient wind held secret of life and death

Nov 29, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- The mystery of how an abundance of fossils have been marvellously preserved for nearly half a billion years in a remote region of Africa has been solved by a team of geologists from the University ...

Study finds sick kids have fewer friends

Dec 07, 2010

A new study reveals that sick teens are more isolated than other kids, but they do not necessarily realize it and often think their friendships are stronger than they actually are.

Recommended for you

Shrinking dinosaurs evolved into flying birds (w/ Video)

4 hours ago

A new study involving scientists from the University of Southampton has revealed how massive, meat-eating, ground-dwelling dinosaurs evolved into agile flying birds: they just kept shrinking and shrinking, ...

Fragment of Ice Age ivory lion gets its head back

12 hours ago

Archaeologists from the University of Tübingen have found an ancient fragment of ivory belonging to a 40,000 year old animal figurine. Both pieces were found in the Vogelherd Cave in southwestern Germany, ...

Violent aftermath for the warriors at Alken Enge

Jul 29, 2014

Denmark attracted international attention in 2012 when archaeological excavations revealed the bones of an entire army, whose warriors had been thrown into the bogs near the Alken Enge wetlands in East Jutland ...

User comments : 0