The Mengxihe Site in southwest China has been announced as one of the six most important archaeological discoveries of 2023 in the country, according to the Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archeology.

The site, which is between 50 and 70 thousand years old, has preserved a series of organic materials, including animal fossils, ebony and plant seeds. A flood in the summer of 2019 unearthed elements that had been underground, as well as some stone tools, said Zheng Zhexuan, an archaeologist at the institute.

Under the guidance of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China, the Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archeology and the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences carried out a rescue archaeological excavation at the site for about two years, initially exposing the appearance of the site and found 11 interrelated sites along the Mengxi River, forming the Mengxihe group of sites.

Preliminary analysis shows that the site was formed by humans living near water, and the layer is distributed below the current level of the Mengxi River, which is a special water-saturated burial environment and can retain many organic materials.


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