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: Digging for Britain's real-life war horses

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

US state reaches deal to keep dinosaur mummy

12 hours ago

North Dakota reached a $3 million deal to keep a rare fossil of a duckbilled dinosaur on display at the state's heritage center, where it will serve as a cornerstone for the facility's $51 million expansion, officials said ...

Jerusalem stone may answer Jewish revolt questions

14 hours ago

Israeli archaeologists said Tuesday they have discovered a large stone with Latin engravings that lends credence to the theory that the reason Jews revolted against Roman rule nearly 2,000 ago was because ...

Kung fu stegosaur

15 hours ago

Stegosaurs might be portrayed as lumbering plant eaters, but they were lethal fighters when necessary, according to paleontologists who have uncovered new evidence of a casualty of stegosaurian combat. The ...

User comments : 0