- The fist-size artwork was discovered outside a mysterious ancient kingdom
- It has sparked a sensation for its likeness to the Green Pig in the Angry Birds
- Chinese experts believe the tiny sculpture was made about 3,200 years ago
- The research team also found daily utensils made with porcelain or stone
An ancient clay pig figurine has caused an internet sensation for its striking resemblance to a main character of the Angry Birds.
The fist-size artwork was discovered under the ruins of a tribe dating back nearly 5,000 years in south-western China.
It has sparked a trending topic in the country after people said it looked exactly like the Green Pig in the popular video game.
Archaeologists found the tiny sculpture while digging the remains of a small ancient community outside modern-day Guanghan in Sichuan province.
The experts believe that the village was situated about eight kilometres (five miles) outside Sanxingdui, a mysterious Bronze Age kingdom.
The tribe likely came into being around 5,000 years ago, and the pig figurine should be 3,200 years old.
The piece of pottery has been described as 'cute, vivid and delicate' by the researchers, who say it represents the advanced aesthetic standards of the region's prehistoric residents.
Chinese internet users are amazed after a picture of the piece of pottery was released by the Sichuan Provincial Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute.
On Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter, one person gushed: 'It is the pig from the Angry Birds!'
Another reader wondered: 'The Angry Birds? It's like time travel.'
A third commenter joked: 'The pig in the Angry birds. You have infringed the copyright.'
The research team claim to have discovered traces of continuous human activity on the archaeological site from 5,000 years ago until the dynasties of Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912).
Officials plan to excavate 7,000 square metres (75,350 square feet) of the site, which is officially named Guanghan Joint Ruins.
By the end of June, they had studied 4,500 square metres (48,440 square feet), according to an official post.
Apart from the pig figurine, experts found detailed carvings of a dragon and a phoenix under a broken clay plate, a totem symbolising good fortune.
Other discoveries include daily utensils, such as vases and cups, made with porcelain or stone.