China's top 10 new archaeological discoveries in 2020

China's Top 10 New Archaeological Discoveries of 2020 were unveiled on Tuesday. Dubbed the "Oscars of Chinese archaeology", the annual awards have been bestowed since 1990, and are one of the most anticipated events promoting new archaeological findings among the public. The 10 award winners stood out from 20 candidates after the final round of appraisals, lasting from Monday to Tuesday morning. The 21-person judging panel featuring the country's top-tier archaeological scholars was organized by China Cultural Relics News.

Here come the top 10:

1. Zhaoguo Cave site, Gui'an New Area, Guizhou province

Paleolithic to Neolithic period dating back 45,000 to 12,000 years

The findings provide key clues to studying the living conditions of hunter-gatherers of Southwest China in the Pleistocene Epoch, and offer one of the most abundant discoveries in China that indicate the early-stage usage of fire.

2. Jingtoushan shell mound site, Yuyao, Zhejiang province, dating back 8,000 years

It is one of the largest and oldest prehistoric shell mounds in China ever excavated, and also offers crucial clues to study environmental change in coastal areas.

3. Shuanghuaishu heritage site, Gongyi, Henan province (dating back for 5,300 years)

It was the highest-level residential complex of its time found along the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River, filling a gap in the research of the origins of Chinese civilization. A highlight among the unearthed artifacts is a jade sculpture of a silkworm.

4. Shizhuang heritage site, Zhoukou, Henan province, 2000 to 1700 BC

The site is the earliest-known evidence of a fortified city of barns in China, which is an exceptional reference to study early-stage managing systems for food supply in ancient China.

5. Xuyang graveyard site, Yichuan county, Luoyang, Henan province, Eastern Zhou Dynasty

The graveyard shows mixture of rituals of Central China and other ethnic groups in the west of China today, reflecting how different cultures exchanged with each other at time of an inclusive atmosphere of Chinese civilization.

6. Sangsdar Lungmgo graveyard site, Zanda county, Ngari prefecture, Tibet autonomous region, 4th century BC--7th century AD

As a key finding of early-stage history of Tibet, it shows frequent communication among the region with the area to the south of Himalayas as well as today's Central China and Xinjiang.

7. No 2 pit of Tushan Tomb, Xuzhou, Jiangsu province. Eastern Han Dynasty (25 to 220)

The finding of a vassal king is of great academic significance for mausoleum archaeology in China and studies of the evolution of ancient Chinese tombs.

8. Shaolingyuan tombs site, Xi'an, Shaanxi province, Sixteen Kingdoms period (304-409)

Unearthed high level tombs with a rich cache of pottery figurines and burial objects show a mixture of Han Chinese culture and those of other ethnic groups.

9. Reshui graveyard site, Dulan county, Haixi Mongolian-Tibetan autonomous prefecture, Qinghai province, Tang Dynasty (618-907)

--New discoveries in the Xuewei No 1 Tomb at the site further unveil cultural communication between Tang and other regions inhabited by non-Han ethnic groups and offer clues on studies on the Silk Road.

10. Mopancun city ruins, Tumen, Jilin province, Early 13th century

The ruins up on the mountain were proven to be the capital city of the regional regime of Dongxia, which existed from the Jin (1115-1234) to Yuan (1271-1368) dynasties.