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Aerial photo taken on June 23, 2019 shows a view of Liangzhu relic site in Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang Province. China’s Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City was on Saturday inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List as a cultural site, bringing the total number of the Asian country’s sites on the list to 55. [Photo/Xinhua]

Category of site: Cultural site

Brief introduction

The archaeological ruins of Liangzhu in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, which date back 5,300 years, were inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage list on July 9, 2019, during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The ruins, whose core area covers 14.3 square kilometers in the northwest of Hangzhou, is considered an important representation of early urban civilization, with rice-cultivating agriculture as the economic foundation.

The heritage site includes city ruins with palace and altar remains, 11 early-stage dams, and high-level cemetery sites. The Neolithic civilization was thought to last about 1,000 years until 4,300 years ago, according to archaeologists’ research.

The site is also known for its abundance of ceremonial jade, which shows a complicated ritual system and indicates a realm with a combined authority of deity and kingship.

For example, cong — the jade piece that forms a quadrangle tube with a circular inner section — is the most typical type of artifact being unearthed in Liangzhu. In 1986, the biggest known item of this kind which weighs 6.5 kilograms and is often dubbed the “King of Cong”, was found in Fanshan Cemetery in the city ruins.

Walls of the ruins were found in 2007, and its surrounding water conservancy system was discovered in 2015. They combined to unveil a massive infrastructure base, construction of which archaeologists estimate took 4,000 people working for a decade to accomplish.