URUMQI, March 31 (Xinhua) -- The Keyakekuduke Watchtower Site in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region was included on the list of China's top 10 archaeological discoveries of 2021 released Thursday.
The site, located in the desert 90 km southeast of Yuli County, Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture of Bayingolin, dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907), said the site excavation project's team leader Hu Xingjun from the regional institute of cultural relics and archaeology.
The institute carried out an archaeological excavation on an area of 2,300 square meters from 2019 to 2021 and unearthed dwellings, a wooden fence, steps, ash piles, ponds and over 1,400 cultural relics including paper documents.
The excavation helps reveal a whole picture of the watchtower and provides abundant first-hand materials for the study of frontier military garrisons in ancient China, Hu said.
"The documents are rich in content, involving military, political, economic, cultural, legal, transportation, social life and religious beliefs," Hu said, adding that the documents greatly supplemented details of border defense in Tang Dynasty.
The documents also demonstrate effective administration of the western regions by the central government in the Tang Dynasty, Hu added.