Local villagers were aware of large ruined walls at Shimao and many assumed it was the remains of the Great Wall, but with excavations, it turned out to be something quite different.
Pieces of precious jade began to turn up, a stone that wasn’t local to the area and had to come from around 1,000 miles away, so why was it at this particular piece of land in northern China.
Seven years ago, in 2013, Chinese archaeologists moved into the site and discovered an ancient, Neolithic lost city – a huge city that was enclosed by 6 miles of stone walls with its very own pyramid as well.
Radiocarbon dating gave the site a 4,300-year-old date, and this was quite a revelation because it was many centuries before chinese civilisation was thought to have begun.
The pyramid dominated the city – it was the central feature and finds showed that its platform was the home of the elite of the day, living apart from the general population – much like today. The location of the city and the pyramid meant the elite were not vulnerable from nomadic attacks.
But the scale of the city meant that the lost civilisation that built it were sophisticated and hierarchical and with this city came a new way to view China’s early civilisation.
Under one city wall, archaeologists were set to make a gruesome discovery – six pits filled with 80 human skulls, not dumped in but carefully placed meaning they could have been ritual decapitations. The skulls showed evidence of being hit and burned and experts thought they were likely from prisoners of war – maybe enemy soldiers.
So, do archaeologists have an explanation? Watch the video to learn more!
All images are taken from Google Images and the below sources for educational purposes only.
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