It took almost two years of surveying, exploring and searching, but it was worth it for the archaeologists in China. The long days helped them in discovering the largest prehistoric ruin in China which is known as the Shimao Ruins. The Shimao Ruins consist of three parts, including an imperial town, inner and outer cities.
The Neolithic Shimao ruins are situated on the northern edge of Loess Plateau in the Shaanxi Province. It has been dated back to 2000 BC. The site ranges to four square kilometres. These ruins were found in 1976. The Neolithic Shimao Ruins are the biggest ancient city ruins found in China. The site has had an important impact in changing historical teachings about Chinese civilisation. Many remains of houses, tombs, handicraft things have been found around the site. The site is full of archaeological features that attract people towards it. Researchers who have been examining the ruins have detected fortified gates and stone walls that surrounded the city, palaces, houses, tombs, workshops, and sacrificial altars. One of the famous archaeologists, Sun Zhouyong states that “Defences built alongside the city walls were thought to date back to the Spring and Autumn period, in the 5-8 century BC. But this discovery has redefined that history”.
Artefacts such as jade, murals and countless pottery shards support the belief that Shimao was an important prehistoric city. Brush strokes on every ancient mural may recast the history of art in China. According to the historical background, Chinese murals were used to design houses from past and used for tombs as early as the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046 – 771 BC). The Experts state:
“The murals were discovered mainly in North China, which specifies that the region was the birthplace of the Chinese mural”. Academics studying the ruins describe that the place once was home to a bustling metropolis encircling a large step pyramid dating back some 4,300 years. Home to trade, religion and even human sacrifice, the city was likely once part of the “political and economic heartland” of what is now China.
The disclosures at the Shimao ruins have helped resolve and recast part of the story of what life was like in old China. The thing that draws interest of people in it is the remains that were found during the searching of site. Seventy to eighty skulls of women have been found as well. It is believed that these women were killed cruelly and all of them were buried in a massive grave here. Now this could be the culture back then.
“The skulls show signs of being hit and burned. This collective burial might also have something to do with the founding ceremony of the city” – Sun Zhouyong.
The Shimao city ruins will go down in history as one of the definitive archaeological finds of the century thus far. Its importance cannot be underestimated, as it recreates early studies on the Chinese civilisation. The Shimao ruins have always been a source of tourist attraction. This place contains many prestigious things related to Chinese culture, which is why it has become a tourist destination.