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Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Turquoise Mines Excavated in Northern China

Friday, February 8, 2019

URUMQI, CHINA—Xinhua reports that a cluster of turquoise mining sites covering an area of about three square miles has been studied in northwest China, close to the route of the ancient Silk Road. Archaeologists from the Xinjiang Cultural Relics and Archaeology Institute, Northwest University in Xi’an City, Shaanxi Provincial Archaeology Institute, and Beijing Science and Technology University have uncovered industrial areas that were used for processing tools and separating minerals, and separate living areas. Pottery, bronze, stone, and bone artifacts have been found, in addition to textiles and animal products. Analysis of the artifacts indicates the mine was in use during the Spring and Autumn Period, from around 770 to 475 B.C., and the Warring States Period, from around 475 to 221 B.C. To read about another discovery in China, go to “Tomb Couture.”

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