4,000-yr-old granaries found in central China

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of 28 granaries dating back about 4,000 years in central China’s Henan Province, believed to be among the country’s earliest facilities of centralized grain storage.

The granaries were unearthed from the 100,000-square-meter Shizhuang Site in the province’s Zhoukou City during an excavation project that started last July.

The remains of the granaries were found sitting on top of a man-made foundation covering an area of about 5,600 square meters. Archaeologists detected remains of corn and millet at the bottom of the granaries and determined that they were grain warehouses.

The carbon-14 dating of the charcoal in the granaries shows they can be traced back to the early Xia Dynasty (2070 BC-1600 BC), according to Cao Yanpeng, a researcher with the Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Heritage and Archaeology who led the excavation.

Experts noted that the granaries provide key research materials for studying early China’s grain management and tax system.

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