Ancient paper documents unearthed in China's Xinjiang

Chinese archaeologists unearthed more than 700 paper documents and wooden tablets dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907) in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, the region's archaeology institute said Wednesday.

The relics were found on the site of a beacon tower in Yuli county. The tower was used to transmit military signals by smoke and fire in ancient China. By the end of June, archaeologists have unearthed over 1,100 pieces of relics, including the documents and tablets.

The documents included private letters, literary works, and the records of military facilities at all levels along the line of defense where the beacon tower was located.

"The relics provide important materials for the study of the defense and the military management systems in the Tang Dynasty, and highlight the dynasty's effective governance of the frontier regions," said Hu Xingjun, a researcher with Xinjiang institute of cultural relics and archaeology.