The thousands of years old clay figure has caused a great sensation among netizens, who soon compared it to the characters in the popular mobile game Angry Birds.
The artwork is the size of a fist and was discovered among the ruins of a 5,000-year-old tribal settlement in southwestern China.
Experts believe the village was located about 8 kilometers outside of Sanxingdui, a mysterious Bronze Age kingdom. The figurine found there was about 3,200 years old, and has been described as “cute, vivid, and delicate” by researchers, who say it represents the advanced aesthetic standards of prehistoric residents of the region.
Chinese netizens expressed surprise after a photo of this particular piece of clay was published by the Provincial Institute of Archeology and Cultural Relics.
In Weibo (the Chinese equivalent of Twitter), a user put: “It’s the pig of Angry Birds!”. Another wondered: Angry Birds Are they time travelers? While other comments were always hinting at this unusual resemblance to the grumpy green pigs in the video game.
The team of researchers states that traces of continuous human activity have been discovered at the archaeological site, going from 3000 BC to the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing dynasties (1644-1912).
Authorities plan to continue digging in the area, which spans 7,000 square meters and is officially known as the “Guanghan Collective Ruins.” According to a recent report, nearly 4,500 square meters have been studied so far.
Aside from the pig figurine, experts found detailed engravings of a dragon and a phoenix under a broken clay plate, a totem symbolizing good fortune.
Other discoveries include everyday utensils, such as glasses and cups made of porcelain or stone.