A large building foundation site has been discovered in the ruins of Zhongdu, the capital city of the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234), in Beijing, said the Beijing Archaeological Research Institute on Friday.
The ruins of the erstwhile capital city are in today's Fengtai District and Xicheng District in Beijing. It served as the Jin capital for over six decades in the dynasty's heyday and was later abandoned around the end of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).
The excavation work started in 2020, with a total excavation area of 17,000 square meters. Archaeologists said the site of the architectural groups dates back to two different periods -- the early period of the Jin Dynasty and the late period of the Jin Dynasty.
The building group belongs to the late period of the Jin Dynasty and is believed to be the site of a royal temple, covering about 2,500 square meters.
Cultural relics such as jade books, bronze-like porcelain ritual vessels, tiles decorated with dragon patterns, cloud and phoenix patterns, glazed tiles, bronze seals, and religious statues were unearthed from the site, among which jade books and bronze-like porcelain ritual vessels were royal sacrificial vessels, while dragon-pattern tiles and glazed tiles were symbols of high-grade buildings.
Porcelain and cultural relics such as bronze ware, copper materials, ironware, and bone ware have also been unearthed from the site, reflecting the economic, scientific, and technological development level and social living conditions of the ancient capital.
Guo Jingning, director of the Beijing Archaeological Research Institute, said that the discovery of these two architectural groups provided a basis for understanding the layout and urban construction planning of Zhongdu.
It provided important physical evidence for the study of the royal ritual system in the ancient capital, offered new information for the handicraft production, trade forms, and social life during that period, and explained the formation process of the unified multi-ethnic Chinese nation pattern from an archaeological perspective, according to Guo.