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Chinese Archeologists Discover Ruins Dating Back 4,500 Years

China's official Xinhua news agency says archaeologists have discovered the ruins of 29 villages that date back more than 4,500 years.

The report said the ancient communities were discovered in the northern part of Shaanxi province, a region known for its archaeological treasures.

Xinhua says the ruins show that people had mastered building techniques and had constructed houses and stone walls around their community. It said a total of 96 houses were unearthed, as well as the ruins of a sacrificial altar.

The report quoted an official with the Shaanxi Provincial Archaeological Research Institute as saying the discovery will help scientists better understand the environment during the Neolithic period, also known as the New Stone Age.