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Dameisha relics recall Shenzhen's Bronze Age
Latest Updated by 2007-05-14 10:52:35

If not for a government-erected stele stating the history of the Dameisha relics, it would be difficult to believe that the sealed garden on the Dameisha beach was a heritage site dating back thousands of years.

The garden, fenced off by bamboo and off limits for tourists, is the unexcavated part of a nobles' cemetery dating back to the late Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century B.C.-771 B.C.). First discovered in the 1980s, the 2,000-square-meter site is on the municipal heritage list.

Archaeologists excavated 10 ancient tombs in the cemetery and unearthed 11 precious bronze artifacts in the 1990s. It was an important discovery at the time, as both the number of tombs and bronze articles found were a record for Guangdong.

The excavated site --- which extends about 2,405 square meters on the beach --- has been turned into a public parking lot. The bronze articles, together with 21 pieces of pottery and stone artifacts --- are currently housed in Shenzhen Museum.

Archaeologists say the cemetery probably was for nobles of a powerful tribe which existed between the late Shang Dynasty and early Warring Sates Period (475-221 B.C.).

The tombs and the unearthed items provided valuable data for studying the society and folk customs of the ancient Yue ethnic group, which lived in Shenzhen at the time. They showed that there was a wide wealth gap as well as frequent disputes, proof of which lies in the difference in tomb sizes and large number of weapons in them.

The 10 tombs ranged from 2.3 to 4.5 meters long. Two of them had no artifacts at all, while one had four bronze artifacts, three pieces of pottery and two stone items. Of the 11 bronze pieces, six are weapons.

Before the site was excavated, pieces of ancient pottery and stoneware surfaced from time to time. In 1982, two ancient bronze weapons were found on the beach.

Relics from the New Stone Age were also unearthed at the site. The largest of them, a 53-centimeter-high, 56-centimeter-wide clay pot, can contain about 50 kilograms of water or grain.

Looking at the crowd of tourists on the beach, it is difficult to imagine the place was a cemetery thousands of years ago. But the artifacts at Shenzhen Museum tell you that Shenzhen's history dates back thousands of years.

Location: On the Dameisha beach, very close to the Dameisha bus stop

Editor: Donald

By: Source:Szdaily web edition
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