Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Neolithic Beacon Towers Uncovered at China’s Shimao Ruins

Friday, January 10, 2014

XI’AN, CHINA—Reports indicate that two beacon towers that were part of a city wall have been uncovered at the 4,000-year-old Shimao Ruins in China’s Shaanxi Province. Discovered in 1976, the Neolithic city was first thought to be a small town. It is now known to have had a central area with inner and outer structures, and a wall surrounding the outer city. Last month, it was announced that the skulls of more than 80 young women who may have been sacrificed at the time the city was founded were discovered in a mass grave. The city is thought to have been occupied for some 300 years.