Archaeologists have discovered an elevated deck believed to be the foundations of a barn dating back 2,000 years in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
The 170-meter-long and 21-meter-wide structure is located in the ruins of a border town of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-25 AD), spanning 110,000 square meters in Yuquan District, regional capital Hohhot.
The excavation is a joint effort of the regional research institute for cultural relics and archaeology and Sun Yat-sen University.
A total of 16 grooves were found beneath the building floor, a structure built for ventilation and preventing humidity, said Liu Yang, head of the excavation team, adding that bug and moisture-proof pinewood was used to build the walls.
Cellars, which are believed to contain grains, have been unearthed from the spot where millets were found.
Experts have also excavated some earthen pots with the characters "wan dan," which mean abundant grains, imprinted at the bottom.
Jin Zhiwei, a research team member from the Sun Yat-Sen University, said it was the first suspected barn excavated in a border town of the Western Han Dynasty, which provides visual materials for the study of the granary architecture as well as the layout and the connotation of a border town at that time.
The discovery is of great significance for the study of China's ancient architectural technology, the military strategic deployment by the central government to the areas along the Great Wall in the northern region, and the agricultural economy in north China during the Han Dynasty.