Skeletal Remains Discovered – Northeast ChinaUnearthing had been done in the ruin site of a tiny wooden house in northeast China wherein the archaeologist came across the skeletal remains of almost 100 bodies which seemed crammed up. They have been attempting to put them together to know what could have actually taken place at the ruin site.
Anthropologist were of the belief that a prehistoric disaster could have probably killed hundreds of people around 5,000 years ago and had compelled the village to stuff the house full of the dead rather than to bury them.
At some point of time, the house had been set on fire or possibly caught fire as verified by the state of the ruins. It was observed that some of the skulls and limb bones seemed to be charred as well as deformed. It was presumed that the fire had been the cause of the collapse of the wooden roof and damaged the bodies that were there.
At least 97 bodies had been unearthed from the pile that had been left there which ranged in the age group of 19 and 35 years according to reports. Several of the skeletons had been discovered in a disorderly manner in the ruin site of a crypt-type house dubbed F40, which was a small structure of only 210 square feet by way of size.
According to archaeologist in a published study in the journal Chinese Archaeology had reported that the site in northeast China known as `Hamin Mangha’ dates 5,000 year back and is the biggest as well as the best preserved prehistoric settlement located till date in northeast China.
Archaeological DiscoveriesBesides the bodies, the researcher also discovered over 100 pieces of pottery, jade works, stone implements together with artifacts of bone, shell and horn at the ruin site. There were three tombs there as well as ten ash pits together with a ditch or moat that had been surrounding the area.
Other important archaeological discoveries comprised of the Niuheliang Goddess Temple which seemed to be the most mysterious site of the ancient Hongsham 5,000 years ago wherein beautiful relics of unknown deities as well as bigger than life statues were found. Moreover, the ruin site of the ancient tombs from the Qijia Culture in northwest China dating 4,000 years back has also shown evidences of human sacrifice.
The site `Hamin Mangha’ dates back to an era where writing had not been utilised and the locals lived in comparatively small settlements, growing crops and hunting for their food. The village comprised of the remains of grinding instruments, arrows and spearheads, besides pottery which gives some insight on their way of living.
The researchers in one field season between April and November 2011 had discovered the foundations of 29 houses which seemed simple one-room structures comprising of a hearth and doorway.
Insight – Catastrophic Events/Mass DisastersThese discoveries at Hamin Mangha provided the researchers with the understanding of the prehistoric people of northern China and how they managed with catastrophic events and mass disasters.
The images taken by the archaeologist at the ruin site express the prehistoric scene better than words. The archaeologist had stated that the bones in the northwest were relatively complete while those in the east often have only skulls with limb bones scarcely remaining. He added that in the south, limb bones were discovered in a mess, forming two or three layers’.
The remains were never buried and had been left behind for the archaeologist to find out some 5,000 years thereafter. A team of anthropologists at Jilin University in China has been researching on the prehistoric remains in an attempting of determining what had occurred to these people at that point of time.
The team had published a second study in Chinese, in the Jilin University Journal, Social Sciences edition on their discoveries.
The Jilin team had detected that the people in that house had died owing to prehistoric disaster resulting in dead bodies being stuffed in the house. The dead resulted quicker than they could be buried at the ruin site.
Outbreak of Acute Infectious DiseaseTeam leaders Ya Wei Zhou and Hong Zhu had mentioned in the study that the human bone accumulation in F40 had been formed due to ancient human putting remains in the house successively and stacked centrally.
No remains of older adults besides individuals between the age of 19 and 35 were found. The researchers had observed that the age of the victims that were discovered at Hamin Mangha seemed to be the same that had been found in another prehistoric mass burial that had been earlier unearthed in present day Miaozigou in northeast China.
Zhou and Zhu had also mentioned that this similarity of the ruin site could indicate the cause of the Hamin Mangha site had been identical to that of the Miaozigou sites which means that they both could probably relate to an outbreak of an acute infectious disease. Had it been a disease, it killed people of all age group giving no time for survivors to bury the deceased in a proper manner.
The excavation had been conducted by researchers from the Inner Mongolian Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology and the Research Centre for Chinese Frontier Archaeology of Jilin University.