added by archaeologs An ancient city of China with extensive remains of an Eastern Chou city, possibly the site of Xintian, capital of the Chin state from 584-453 BC. Pollen analyses from western and southern Shansi reveal that several cereal plants were grown there as early as the 5th-3rd millennium BC. During the Hsi (Western) Chou period (1111-771 BC) the fief of Chin (now a colloquial and literary name for Shansi) was established in the area of Hou-ma along the Fen River. Several thousand stone and jade tablets were found at the site, inscribed with the texts of alliances between various Eastern Chou states, and date chiefly from the early 5th century BC. A very large foundry complex has been uncovered with over 30,000 fragments of clay molds and models for casting ritual vessels. Chariot fittings, weapons, belt hooks, coins, and other bronzes were distributed over the site in such a way as to suggest that separate specialized workshops. The mold fragments show that Hou-ma used the section-mold method perfected in Shang foundries a thousand years earlier, as opposed to the cire perdue method.