Archaeologists recently unearthed an ancient wall that once surrounded a bustling city in the heartlands of China.
Large sections of the wall — made from compacted earth — were excavated from the ancient city of Chu Jinan, located in central China’s Hubei Province.
A large gate was also found within the wall, in addition to a moat, according to a Jan. 16 news release from the Hubei Provincial Cultural Relics Development Center.
The roughly 9-mile-long wall formed the outermost defensive line of the city, which was filled with homes, workshops and a palace. Over 500 wells were previously uncovered in the city, indicating it once had a sizable, prosperous population.
A series of relics were also uncovered, including household items such as bowls and pots, photos show.
The structure has been dated to the early Warring States Period, which spanned from about 475 to 221 B.C., making it at least 2,000 years old.
The period, as suggested by its name, was characterized by “a bewildering list of armed conflicts and shifting alliances,” according to research from Indiana University.
During this time, the Chu State — which encompassed the city of Chu Jinan — was the subject of growing hostility, according to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Chinese History.
“Chu is consistently identified in the text as a ‘barbarian’ state,” researchers said. “It is oddly claimed to have no ranked nobles, and it is frequently treated with undisguised enmity.”
Google Translate was used to translate a news release from the Hubei Provincial Cultural Relics Development Center.