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3,000-year-old drainage pipes unearthed at China's Haojing site


After two years of excavation, Chinese archaeologists have unearthed foundations of large buildings, roads, pottery drainage pipes and other important finds of the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046-771 BC), which contribute to the study of the distribution of palace or ceremonial buildings, construction technology and the layout of the ancient city at Haojing.


3,000-year-old drainage pipes unearthed at China's Haojing site
Excavation of Building No. 14 at the Haojing site [Credit: Shaanxi Academy of Archaeology]



The drainage pipe was uncovered in the foundations of Building No. 14 on its central-south edge, which was excavated between 2019 and 2020, according to a statement by the Shaanxi Academy of Archaeology.


3,000-year-old drainage pipes unearthed at China's Haojing site
Western Zhou Dynasty earthenware drainage pipes unearthed at the Haojing site
[Credit: Shaanxi Academy of Archaeology]


Over 3 metres long, the pipe remains are made of four round earthenware pipes with a diameter of about 25 centimetres, and provides valuable insights on the drainage system of Building No. 14.


3,000-year-old drainage pipes unearthed at China's Haojing site
Earthenware pipes unearthed at the Haojing site [Credit: Shaanxi Academy of Archaeology]



Meanwhile, an ancient road with rut was also discovered in the recent excavation. About 1.4 metres above the existing surface, the road extends about 30 metres from west to east with a width of about 6 metres. The rut itself is about 12 metres long and 8 centimetres in depth. 


3,000-year-old drainage pipes unearthed at China's Haojing site
Earthenware pipe unearthed at the Haojing site [Credit: Shaanxi Academy of Archaeology]

Building No. 14, one of the larger rammed earth building foundations at the site, covers more than 1,800 square metres and is believed to have been used in the middle to late Western Zhou Dynasty period and is of great importance for further research on the building functions, construction techniques and the capital layout of the dynasty.


3,000-year-old drainage pipes unearthed at China's Haojing site
Western Zhou Road and Rutting at the Haojing site
[Credit: Shaanxi Academy of Archaeology]



In addition, a slightly rectangular sacrificial pit was found in the southeast corner of the building site, with many skulls of cows, sheep, pigs, and deer and a small number of animal limb bones.


3,000-year-old drainage pipes unearthed at China's Haojing site
Sacrificial pit unearthed at the Haojing site [Credit: Shaanxi Academy of Archaeology]

The Haojing site, where the capital city of the Western Zhou Dynasty was located, was excavated in the current city of Xi'an, the capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province. The ancient ruins have a total area of around 920 hectares. 


Source: Xinhua News Agency [November 18, 2021]



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