Underneath the playground of a school in China, archaeologists uncovered ruins of a 1,400-year-old settlement that included dozens of storage pits and thousands of artifacts. Photos show the buried treasures.
Archaeologists excavated the playground of an elementary school in the eastern coastal city of Ningbo ahead of planned construction, the Institute of Archaeology at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said in an Oct. 10 news release.
The excavations uncovered 65 pits, eight wells and several other structures all over 1,400 years old, the release said. Archaeologists identified the ruins as part of a settlement.
In one storage pit, archaeologists found 796 copper coins in tied-up stacks. A photo shows the stash of muddy coins with square holes in the center. In one of the wells, they unearthed 1,682 more coins.
Based on the number of coins and their style of burial, archaeologists concluded the treasures were buried as an emergency measure by residents who feared a disaster was coming, the release said. The age and location of the coins match — and might be linked to — a period of rebellion and famine in the sixth century A.D.
Archaeologists also found preserved plants in one of the pits. The plant remains included bamboo, gourds, peach pits and a large number of acorns. A photo shows what remains of these nuts.
The other pits and wells contained pottery fragments, tiles, altars, washbasins and other artifacts, archaeologists said. Two lamps, part of a bronze chandelier, were also uncovered, a photo shows.
Ningbo is in Zhejiang province and about 135 miles south of Shanghai.
Google Translate and Baidu Translate were used to translate the news release from the Institute of Archaeology at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.