Archaeologists have unearthed the foundations of seven houses dating back around 6,000 years in central China's Henan Province.
The house foundations were found at the Beiyangping ruins in the city of Lingbao, and traced back to the middle period of the Yangshao culture, according to the Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Heritage and Archaeology.
The Yangshao culture, dating back 5,000 to 7,000 years, was a Neolithic culture that originated along the middle reaches of the Yellow River.
The house foundations were found in varying sizes.
The foundation of the largest house is a semi-subterranean, rectangular structure with rounded corners. It now spans 172 square meters, while it is estimated that originally, the house covered an area of nearly 250 square meters.
"Large houses in the middle period of the Yangshao culture featured complex structures and processes of construction, which entailed meticulous design, precise calculation, and strict construction management," said Wei Xingtao, deputy head of the institute.
Architectural techniques at the time were already quite advanced, Wei added.
A large quantity of well-preserved carbonized woodwork was found at another large house foundation, which, according to Wei, is very rare in prehistoric archaeology.
"The discovery of large houses in the Yangshao period, like those at the Beiyangping ruins, offers fresh support for studying the types, designs, and techniques of house construction at that time while laying solid groundwork for exploring the social structure and civilization of the Yangshao period," Wei said.