Editor's note: Confirmed by historic documents, archaeological excavations and oracle bone inscriptions as the capital site of the late Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC), Yinxu or the Yin Ruins is usually regarded as the cornerstone of the project on tracing the origins of Chinese civilization launched by China in 2001. As a key component of world civilization, it has provided solid evidence for the continuity and pluralistic and integrated pattern of Chinese civilization, bringing recorded Chinese history nearly 1,000 years earlier than previously believed. Starting on October 25, we are launching a series of videos about Yinxu to help you gain a deeper understanding of it. Here is the fifth episode: Chariot Pit - The Earliest Horse-drawn Chariot Remains and Wheel Tracks in China.
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The horse-drawn chariots discovered at Yinxu are the earliest material evidence of animal-powered vehicles unearthed in China. They prove that China is among the earliest ancient civilizations inventing and using wheeled transport system. The six Shang Dynasty chariots and wheel tracks are well-preserved. They are of high academic and exhibition value. Research suggests that the Shang Dynasty chariots are aesthetically appealing and structurally solid. They are not heavy, but speedy, well-balanced and comfortable.