Pottery figurines have been unearthed in central China's Hunan Province, local archaeologists said Wednesday.
Among the pieces found in the Sunjiagang relic site of Changde City was a human-shaped figure that was about 4,000 years old. The statue is about the size of an adult's palm, and its face is well-preserved.
Some pottery birds were found in the Tanglin relic site about 50 kilometers away.
"These figurines were used in sacrificial rituals," said Wang Liangzhi, who headed the archaeological team.
Guo Weimin, head of the Hunan provincial institute of cultural relics and archaeology, told Xinhua that the discovery is helpful for studying the prehistorical culture of central China.
China is believed to have been ruled by emperors Yao, Shun and Yu about 4,000 years ago. They battled against the ethnic groups of central China.