The Chinese government revealed its top archaeology finds from 2021

POPULAR ARCHAEOLOGY: Chinese government reveals its most significant archaeological breakthroughs of 2021

For Chinese archaeology, 2021 was a banner year highlighted by the global breakthrough that was the beautifully preserved ancient gold masks discovered at Sanxingdui.

Last week, the Institute of Archaeology under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences announced what it believed were the most important archaeology finds in China last year. While most of the sites were discovered before 2021, they all featured remarkable excavation finds from last year.

The discoveries help paint a picture of ancient Chinese society across the millennia.

Flat throwing stones with sharpened corners unearthed in Saitama.

POPULAR ARCHAEOLOGY: Artifacts bear hallmarks of prototypes of ninja weapons

RANZAN, Saitama Prefecture--Artifacts labeled as “groundbreaking discoveries” from the ruins of structures associated with warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s Siege of Odawara in 1590 could have been prototypes of ninja weapons.

Akihiro Iwata, an archaeologist and curator at the Saitama Prefectural Ranzan Historical Museum here, said the flat stones and clay balls may well have been the forerunners of “shuriken” throwing stars and “makibishi” caltrops that later made up ninja arsenals.

Archeologists at the 40,000-year-old ochre processing site in northern China.

POPULAR ARCHAEOLOGY: ‘A new culture’: discovery in China reveals ochre processing in east Asia up to 41,000 years ago

When did populations of Homo sapiens first arrive in China and what happened when they encountered the Denisovans or Neanderthals who lived there? A new study in Nature by an international team of researchers opens a window into hunter-gatherer lifestyles 40,000 years ago. Archaeological excavations at the site of Xiamabei in the Nihewan Basin of northern China have revealed the presence of innovative behaviors and unique toolkits.

 Stunning underground murals found in central China are believed to be hundreds of years old

POPULAR ARCHAEOLOGY: China’s golden age of archaeology becomes a national obsession

"A high-profile letter sent in October 2021 told us everything we needed to know about the state of modern Chinese archaeology.
Sent by Chinese President Xi Jinping to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the Yangshao culture – considered the start of modern Chinese archaeology – the letter called for “developing archaeology with Chinese features, style and ethos” so the field could contribute to “national rejuvenation”.

Talk Poster

WEBINAR: In a Nutshell: Examining the Oversimplification of Jomon Period Ground Stone through Starch Grain Analysis in Southern Hokkaido Japan

The Archaeological Centre at the University of Toronto will be hosting a talk titled "In a Nutshell: Examining the Oversimplification of Jomon Period Ground Stone through Starch Grain Analysis in Southern Hokkaido Japan" by Dr Emma Yasui via Zoom on Friday, November 5, 2021, at 3:00 PM EST. Those interested in attending can register via the following link: Meeting Registration - Zoom

Artifacts newly identified as a decuple weight

POPULAR ARCHAEOLOGY: Decimal system in use in Japan well over 2,000 years ago

KASUGA, Fukuoka Prefecture--Prehistoric people in Japan apparently used an advanced system of weights and measurements on a decimal basis, excavations at a Yayoi Pottery Culture Period (1000 B.C.-A.D. 250) site here suggest.

Researchers identified what is known as a decuple weight with 10 times the reference unit mass of 11 grams among artifacts unearthed at a series of archaeological sites collectively known as the Sugu group, where many measurement weights have previously been discovered, the Kasuga municipal board of education said.

Wolseong, Korea's Historic Site No. 16 and a Unesco World Heritage Site

POPULAR ARCHAEOLOGY: Dark secrets of Korea's 'moon castle' are unearthed

The official excavation research of Wolseong began in December 2014. 
 
Literally translated as “moon castle” in English, Wolseong, which is also listed at Unesco World Heritage, measures more than 200,000 square meters and is considered one of the most important historical sites in Korea as it was the seat of the Silla Dynasty. Compared to its historical weight, the Wolseong area had been left largely unexplored.  

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