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Large ancient nomadic campsite unearthed in China

Remains of an ancient nomadic campsite for emperors from the Liao Dynasty (907-1125 A.D.) may be the largest of their kind in China, archaeologists said on Wednesday.

Large ancient nomadic campsite unearthed in China
Khitans using eagles to hunt, painted during the Chinese Song Dynasty 
[Credit: WikiCommons]
The campsite, found in Qian'an County in northeast China's Jilin Province, served as administrative center during the reign of nomadic Khitans over north China, although the regime's capital city was in Inner Mongolia.

Feng Enxue, an archaeologist and professor with Jilin University, told Xinhua that emperors of the Liao Dynasty usually had four campsites where they lived during four seasons. In spring and summer, when it was warmer, they moved to the north while in autumn and winter they settled in the south.

The ruins, once the spring campsite, were first found in 2009 and have undergone excavation since August this year. Situated on a vast grassland, the campsite is next to a small lake. Tradition dictates that Khitan emperors would give the first wild goose he hunted and the first fish caught as offerings for prosperity every year.

Overall it consists of four parts. The biggest, three kilometers wide, is about one third the size of the entire campsite, containing as many as 900 bases for camping.

While archaeologists have yet to disclose the overall size of the campsite, it is believed to be the largest ever found in China.

During the past two months, archaeologists unearthed more than 100 cultural relics, including tiles, pottery, porcelain, copper coins and Buddha statues.

Site workers also discovered pottery shards, coal cinder and pieces of broken ironware, which proved the Khitans dwelled their for short periods.

Jin Xudong, head of the Jilin Provincial Bureau of Cultural Heritage, told Xinhua that they are considering applying for the World Heritage list.

Source: Xinhua [September 25, 2014]

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