Zone of Peace
Relics Reveal Pre-historic Civilization on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (Xinhua)
(note: The same article appears in the Hindu with credits to Press Trust of India)
(Xinhua is the official press agency of the Communist Party of China)
Chinese archaeologists claim that relics unearthed in the areas along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway proved that human beings lived there at least 30,000 years ago.
Archaeologists with the Qinghai Provincial Archaeological Institute said they collected large number of chipped stone tools including knives and pointed implements dating back 30,000 years in the Tuotuo River valley, Hoh Xil, a habitat for Tibetan antelopes, and Qaidam Basin, where the railway runs through, during recent excavations.
More than 30 stone implements were also discovered at the site of Sancha River bridge on the Qinghai-Tibet railway, located in Golmud, a city over 70 kilometers to the north of Kunlun Mountains, said Xu Xinguo, head of the Qinghai Provincial Archaeological Institute.
Xu said these stone tools might reveal an important link of the cultural exchanges between Hailar, a city of northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and Nyalam County of the Tibet Autonomous Region, southwest China.
"If we can find relics dating back to the same period at the stratum of the region, that will further prove that ancestors of the Chinese nation lived on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau 30,000 years ago and that the Kunlun Mountains is one of the cradles of the Chinese civilization," Xu said.
A Sino-U.S. joint investigation team also found ruins of the same age in the Kunlun Mountains several years ago, said Gao Xing, a research fellow with the ancient vertebrate and palaeoanthropology institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The 1,956-km-long Qinghai-Tibet railway starts from Xining, capital of Qinghai Province, crossing the Kunlun Mountains and ends at Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
The range of the Kunlun Mountains runs for 2,500 km from west to east at an elevation of 5,000 meters. The Kunlun Mountains is the origin of many Chinese legendary stories and it is mentioned in Chinese classics such as "Pilgrimage to the West" and "Canonization of the Gods" as well as in numerous novels.
Additionally, archaeologists have unearthed many sites of historical interest in Xining, the starting point of the Qinghai-Tibet railway, and in the eastern part of Qinghai.
These sites include Xiaochaidan Ruins and Layihai Ruins of the Old Stone Age (500,000-10,000 years ago), the Hulijia Ruins, Zongri Ruins and Lajia Ruins of the New Stone Age (10,000 to over 4,000 years ago), as well as Nuomuhong Ruins of bronze culture.
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