BEIJING, Dec 21 (Xinhua) -- A team of Chinese archaeologists recently discovered a large number of artifacts dating from the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046-771 BC) at a relic site in Beijing, which is thought to unravel the mysteries of the ancient Yan kingdom.
An excavation carried out at the Liulihe site in Fangshan District southwest of Beijing, was launched in 2019, with experts from eight institutions including Peking University and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences taking part in the excavation effort.
The Liulihe relic site is believed to have been the capital of the Yan kingdom during the Western Zhou Dynasty. The site contains a city wall oframmed earth,ruins, and a burial area. A history more than 3,000 years old makes the site the earliest traceable source of urban civilization in Beijing.
From October to December this year, five ancient tombs, three houses' ruin sites, ring-shaped trenches, and more than 100 cultural relics, such as copper items, lacquer items, pottery, sea shells, ivory objects, and silk were recovered from the site.
A copper wine vessel was also found in one of the tombs, and archaeologists believe the writings on the vessel are written statements about Beijing's more than 3,000-year history of construction.
The contents of the vessel are different from those on other artifacts excavated from the site in the early 1980s, but complement each other, the Beijing Municipal Cultural Heritage Bureau said, adding that it is valuable historical material for studying the early history of the Yan kingdom.
Previous excavation efforts at the Liulihe site were suspended four decades ago due to rising underground water levels, said Guo Jingning, an official at the bureau.
"The latest excavation offers important information for conducting studies on rituals, feudal systems, burial customs, and urban planning during the Western Zhou Dynasty," said Chen Mingjie, director of the bureau.