5,000-year-old Neolithic relics unearthed in SW China

A number of cultural relics dating back up to 5,000 years have been unearthed in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

The excavation started in October and led to 122 major discoveries including 15 structural remains, 93 ash pits and eight tombs, with a total coverage of 800 square meters, at the Guijiabao relic sites in Yanyuan County, the cultural relics and archeology research institute of Chengdu said.

Much exquisite stoneware and pottery was also unearthed.

"Some remains of grains such as corns, rice and wheat, as well as animals such as pigs, chickens and deer were also discovered, which means that ancient residents could have created both agricultural and fishing economies at the time," said Zhou Zhiqing, a researcher with the institute. ( The Yanyuan basin is located at the eastern border of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and has been an important part of the cultural corridor connecting northwest and southwest China.

Zhou said the new discovery had traced the history of the basin back to the Neolithic period. The relics has sophisticated cultural connotations, related to both the Neolithic culture of the northwest and the southwest, meaning the two regions had communication with each other as early as 5,000 years ago.