Wasn’t so long ago that China was disguising their pyramids with trees, denying their existence and barring visitation to them by explorers and archaeologists. How things have changed! Here’s two reports on a newly announced pyramid discovery:
Thursday, August 23, 2018
SHAANXI, CHINA—Live Science reports that a step pyramid in the Neolithic site known as Shimao has been excavated in northern China by a team of researchers led by Li Jaang of Zhengzhou University, Zhouyong Sun and Jing Shao of the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, and Min Li of the University of California, Los Angeles. It had been previously thought the structure was part of the Great Wall of China, which was built between 2,700 and 400 years ago. The 4,300-year-old pyramid’s 11 steps were lined with stone. On the top step, some 230 feet high, palaces for the city’s rulers were built with wood and rammed earth. The top step was even equipped with a water reservoir. The pyramid and its surrounding settlement were fortified with ramparts and gates. Six pits containing decapitated human heads were found in the outer rampart. The victims may have been captives from Zhukaigou, a nearby city.
Massive Pyramid, Lost City and Ancient Human Sacrifices Unearthed in China
By Owen Jarus, Live Science Contributor | August 23, 2018
A 4,300-year-old city, which has a massive step pyramid that is at least 230 feet (70 meters) high and spans 59 acres (24 hectares) at its base, has been excavated in China, archaeologists reported in the August issue of the journal Antiquity.
The pyramid was decorated with eye symbols and “anthropomorphic,” or part-human, part-animal faces. Those figures “may have endowed the stepped pyramid with special religious power and further strengthened the general visual impression on its large audience,” the archaeologists wrote in the article. [The 25 Most Mysterious Archaeological Finds on Earth]
For five centuries, a city flourished around the pyramid. At one time, the city encompassed an area of 988 acres (400 hectares), making it one of the largest in the world, the archaeologists wrote. Today, the ruins of the city are called “Shimao,” but its name in ancient times is unknown.
The pyramid contains 11 steps, each of which was lined with stone. On the topmost step, there “were extensive palaces built of rammed earth, with wooden pillars and roofing tiles, a gigantic water reservoir, and domestic remains related to daily life,” the researchers wrote.
The city’s rulers lived in these palaces, and art and craft production were carried out nearby. “Evidence so far suggests that the stepped pyramid complex functioned not only as a residential space for ruling Shimao elites, but also as a space for artisanal or industrial craft production,” the archaeologists wrote.
A series of stone walls with ramparts and gates was built around the pyramid and the city. “At the entrance to the stepped pyramid were sophisticated bulwarks [defensive walls] whose design suggests that they were intended to provide both defense and highly restricted access,” the archaeologists wrote.
The remains of numerous human sacrifices have been discovered at Shimao. “In the outer gateway of the eastern gate on the outer rampart alone, six pits containing decapitated human heads have been found,” the archaeologists wrote…
For interest, here’s a visual comparison of the Giza complex and a similar complex of pyramids in China:
Remnants of a former Global civilisation? Cultural crossover? Or just coincidence?