6,000-yr-old silkworm sculpture found in north China

TAIYUAN, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) — Archaeologists unearthed a silkworm sculpture dating back 6,000 years ago in north China’s Shanxi Province, local authorities said.

The sculpture, which is light brown with carved stripes, was discovered during archaeological excavations in Xiaxian County. It is the oldest silkworm sculpture that has been found in China, according to the county’s culture and tourism bureau.

Findings indicate that sericulture existed in Xixian County 6,000 years ago, and the exquisite patterns on the granite reflect the importance the ancestors attached to silkworms, said Duan Tianjing, a professor with Jilin University.

As one of the important birthplaces of ancient Chinese culture, Xiaxian County is presumed to be the place where the legendary figure Leizu, wife of the Yellow Emperor, taught the ancestors to breed silkworms. Experts believe that the discovery of the silkworm sculpture added new evidence to the legend and provided clues for the study of the origin and spread of silk.

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