China-Sun Altar Ruins

China confirms discovery of 3,000-year-old sun altar in Xinjiang

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Shotlist


Bayanbulak Grassland, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, northwest China - June 21, 2017
++MUTE++
1. Various of aerial shots of sun altar ruins
2. SOUNDBITE (Chinese) Liu Chuanming, archaeologist (ending with shot 3):
"This proves that central plain culture had already long reached the foot of Mount Tianshan, in the Bayanbulak Grassland, the choke point of the Silk Road."
3. Aerial shot of sun altar
4. Various of traditional yurt
5. SOUNDBITE (Chinese) Wu Xinhua. archaeologist (partially overlaid with shot 6, ending with shot 7):
"Since ancient times all civilizations on the continent of Eurasia used circle-shapes to represent the sun. Mongolian yurts have the same structure as the altar. The structure of yurts in Inner Mongolia are two layered circles with a cross. The Torghut yurts are one circle with a cross formed by three tresses. Such crosses show the sky-worshiping, light worshiping, and sun worshiping practices of early civilizations."
++SHOTS OVERLAYING SOUNDBITE++
6. Cross structure on roof of yurt, sunlight peering in
++SHOTS OVERLAYING SOUNDBITE++
7. Cross on roof of yurt
++MUTE++
8. Mountain
9. Various of aerial shots of sun altar ruins


Storyline


Chinese archaeologists on Wednesday confirmed that ancient ruins discovered in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region are of a sun altar dating back 3,000 years.

A team of archaeologists and historians have been studying the site on the Bayanbulak Grassland since the beginning of June. With the main body of the altar remaining intact, experts have suggested it was built by tribes that once lived on the grassland thousands of years ago.

The entire alter was built with three circled layers of stones, with the outer layer's diameter extending more than 100 meters, suggesting the ancient architects must have used men and horses to pull stones from many miles away. Archaeologists also found the altar was constructed in a way very similar to the heaven worshiping altars built by the dynasties that once ruled the central plains of China.

Experts say that the discovery of such an altar on the path of the ancient Silk Road shows the strong cultural link the ruling dynasties had with western regions must have existed long before the time of the Han Dynasty diplomat Zhang Qian, who pioneered the Silk Road in the second century BC.

"This proves that central plain culture had already long reached the foot of Mount Tianshan, in the Bayanbulak Grassland, the choke point of the Silk Road," said Liu Chuanming, one of the archaeologists studying the ruins.

Further study has led experts to believe that sun-worshipping has been practiced by Chinese people throughout history. The sun altar, and the Temple of Heavens and Ritan (Temple of Sun) built in Beijing hundreds of years ago are all proof of how Chinese people have worshiped the sky and the sun across many eras. Archaeologists also found a connection between the sun altar and the traditional yurts still used by the Mongolian ethnic minority in China.
"Since ancient times all civilizations on the continent of Eurasia used circle-shapes to represent the sun. Mongolian yurts have the same structure as the altar. The structure of yurts in Inner Mongolia are two layered circles with a cross. The Torghut yurts are one circle with a cross formed by three tresses. Such crosses show the sky-worshiping, light worshiping, and sun worshiping practices of early civilizations," said Archaeologist Wu Xinhua.


Currently the initial stages of archaeological work on the altar have come to an end. Archaeologists will continue to study the sun altar in the future to uncover more cultural links to the historical secrets of the ancient Silk Road.

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  • ID : 8053802
  • Last Modified : 2017-07-14 00:12:26
  • Location : Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region,China
  • Category : arts, culture and entertainment
  • Duration : 1'32
  • Audio Language : Chinese/Nats/Part Mute
  • Source : China Central Television (CCTV)
  • Restrictions : No access Chinese mainland
  • Version : 1
  • ID : 8053802
  • Last Modified : 2017-07-14 00:12:26
  • Location : Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region,الصين
  • Category : arts, culture and entertainment
  • Duration : 1'32
  • Audio Language : اللغة الصينية/ الصوت الطبيعي/ بعضه بلا صوت
  • Source : تلفزيون الصين المركزي
  • Restrictions : ممنوع البث في بر الصين الرئيسي
  • Version : 1
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