In 2015 and 2016, the Xinjiang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology excavated the Jartai Pass (Jirentai Goukou) Site in Nilka County, Ili Prefecture. The excavation recovered 2500sq m in total, finding 20 house foundations and eight early burials as well as over 1000 artifacts including pottery, stone objects, and bronzes. The Jartai Pass Site was assigned to the Andronovo Culture with a date of about 3600 BP. It thus is the largest and earliest settlement site of the Bronze Age in the Ili River valley found to date. At this site, the earliest evidence for coal use in the world was found as well as evidence for bronze smelting and casting industries and iron ingots of an earlier period. This excavation provided important data for establishing the sequence of the prehistoric archaeological cultures in this area.
Jartai Pass site,
Nilka County, XinjiangJartai Pass site,