Archaeological finds made in Jiangxian county in North China's Shanxi province were included as one of China's top 10 archaeological discoveries for 2019, according to the National Cultural Heritage Administration on May 5.
An archaeological team made up of members from National Museum of China, the Shanxi Archaeological Research Institute and the Yuncheng Institute of Cultural Heritage Protection unearthed many copper smelting relics -- including copper smelting slag, a residual furnace wall and copper ore at the relics site in Xiwubi village in Jiangxian county between 2018 and 2019.
Dai Xiangming, a researcher from the National Museum of China and director of the archaeological work on the site, said the copper smelting relics site was a place where in ancient times pure copper was mainly smelted and small tools could be made after testing.
Dai said it was the first time that the archaeological field had unearthed a professional copper smelting site near the relics heartland of the Xia (c.21st century-16th century BC) and Shang (c.16th century-11th century BC) dynasties, which was of great academic significance.
The find has provided direct evidence for research on early copper smelting technology and production methods and helped to further complete the picture for copper manufacturing in ancient China, Dai said.
It also may throw light on the relationship between the rise of the Xia and Shang dynasties and the manufacturing and utilization of bronze artifacts, he added.
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