Hemudu & Majiabang Cultures – Chinese Civilisation 7,000 Years Ago

Hemudu Culture

The Hemudu culture flourished in China’s eastern seaboard around today’s Ningbo in the south of Hangzhou in a period between 5,000 BC and 3,000 BC.

The archaeological site was discovered in 1973.

An ivory carving with an image of sun unearthed from Hemudu Cultural site

A 6,000-year-old Chinese plough made with animal bone unearthed from Hemudu archaeological site.

The excavation of the ancient farming tool suggests China entered an agricultural age as early as during the so-called Neolithic Period.

A black porcelain food container with the image of a pig was unearthed from Hemudu Cultural site

The discovery of a large quantity of black ceramic artefacts at Hemudu signifies that China began to raise pigs and produce porcelains at least since 7,000 years ago.

Majiabang Culture

The Hemudu culture existed in China’s eastern seaboard around Taihu Lake in the north of Hangzhou at the mouth of the Yangtze River, with the area including Changzhou, Suzhou, Wuxi, Shanghai and Jiaxing, during the period between 5,000 BC and 3,300 BC.

7,000-year-old spinning wheel unearthed from Majiabang Cultural (马家浜文化) region in Wu County, Suzhou

Fabrics during that period excavated from Suzhou’s Wu County were found to be weaved with woody climbing vines, and their quality is even better than most plain linen.

7,000-year-old jade pendant unearthed from Majiabang Culture site in Jiaxing 20 km from Shanghai

COMMENTS FROM GOOGLE PLUS

June 7, 2017

Nono Castro
Alguien sabe que significa éste símbolo en la cultura china y si tiene un sentido más allá del decorativo? Gracias. 

All Things Chinese 
A pendant was used to hang from the waistband, both for ornamental purposes and as a status symbol. It is made into such a shape because it’s easy to make and to use

Chi W
This is Bi disk which might be found on the front body of rich for identity at the burial site. It is interesting to know date back to 7000 years ago neolithic period, people have invented a tool to sharpen and polish hardest stone jade.

7,000-year-old jade earing unearthed from Majiabang Culture (马家浜文化) site in Jiaxing (嘉兴), 20 km from Shanghai

COMMENTS FROM GOOGLE PLUS

June 7, 2017

Lawrence Kedz
I’m wondering why they thought it was an animal?
I don’t see it….!??

All Things Chinese
It was me who thought in such a silly way … now I am going to be a bit smarter, I would say it is more like a bird 😉

Lawrence Kedz
You have to forgive me. I still regret not researching, (for a few years at least) on the Chinese. My head still swims with the great mysteries of the East. I was extremely interested in the knowledge and wisdom lost by the Chinese themselves.

They say that before a conquering army entered the strongholds, all essential materials were burned. Including new animals bred. Once, they were a little late and the English allegedly captured and brought the little dogs to the queen. I don’t recall the breed, but they had big (excuse me) ugly eyes! (lol).

All Things Chinese
A large number of highly valuable books – more than 3,000 titles and 150,000 volumes – were burned by Manchus in the 17th and the 18th centuries when they invaded and ruled China (not by Western armies that occupied Beijing at the turn of the 20th century).

Most burned books are about ancient Chinese science and technology, Chinese martial arts, Daoist teachings and some historical records. Anything that Manchu tribesmen who still lived in a stone age slavery system couldn’t understand would be brought to meet its doomed fate.

This led to the creation of a giant gap between classic and modern Chinese technologies.

So far in many fields, Chinese researchers are still unable to revive the ancient Chinese technologies. Some could be lost forever.

Lawrence Kedz
Brings to mind a few other countries alive & well today keeping their own people backwards & deprived. But the ruling classes of these people have always enjoyed every luxury & vice the world has to offer. This may be said of all countries, to a degree. But to deprive people of books, I could not imagine. Only death & enslavement are worse.

When I mentioned China burning all information they had just before being overrun by invading forces, it was a tactical manoeuvre only to deprive the enemy. Because it was my belief that China was the oldest and most advanced of all people on the planet. And I don’t believe there was a close second!

Icarus Tanović
You know how this is valuable?
No measure to measure its price.
Jackie Chan made an action film about this.

All Things Chinese
Really? Involved with this particular artefact?

Lawrence Kedz
Icarus Tanović, do you recall which film? I don’t watch TV.

7,000-year-old ceramic tripod unearthed from Majiabang Culture (马家浜文化) site in Jiaxing (嘉兴), 20 km from Shanghai

7,000-year-old ceramic water jar unearthed from Majiabang Culture (马家浜文化) site in Jiaxing (嘉兴), 20 km from Shanghai

7,000-year-old carbonised rice unearthed from Majiabang Culture (马家浜文化) site in Jiaxing (嘉兴), 20 km from Shanghai

Also unearthed are stone axes with holes, ploughs made of animal bones, wooden shovels and ceramic pestles. The further study confirms people in that area by then had already grown two kinds of rice commonly consumed by Chinese today.

Apart from agriculture, Chinese in the Neolithic Age also worked on fishing, with pottery fishing net holders, bonefishing darts, bone/stone arrowhead were excavated from Majiabang historical site. And they also began to domesticate dogs, pigs and buffaloes.

A number of building remains from that period have been discovered so far, including wooden columns, the walls between the columns made of weaved reeds and painted with soil, roofs formed by reeds, bamboos and dry grasses, and the floor constructed with compact earth, mixed with gravels and shells.

Most interestingly, there were even drainage ditches around some of the building sites found.

It proves the traditional Chinese timber frame structure with tusk tenon joints had already been developed 7,000 years ago in the Majiabang cultural sphere.

The Majiabang culture existed during the Neolithic Age at the mouth of the Yangtze River, primarily around Lake Tai, in the area between Changzhou in southern Jiangsu and Hangzhou in northern Zhejiang, including the cities of Suzhou, Wuxi and Shanghai.

This piece of history was rediscovered in 1959 during a government-organised archaeological study at village Majiabang in Jiaxing.

2 comments

  • Gregory Brundage 石龙

    Just got back from the Hemudu archeological site a few minutes ago. They also had the first domesticated rice and used interlocking logs for constructing houses. Not like Song Dynasty, but rather the narrow end of one log was fitted into a hole cut near the end of another log. They also had a loom, jewelry, portable baking ovens, quite a wide variety of technological advances. Most of the archeological site has been reburied to protect it, however the ancient well is still there to see. They also placed re-creations here and there, houses for example to give the feel of the ancient village. It’s a very well done site and well worth the visit. It’s about 30 minutes by taxi from Yuyao which cost about 75 RMB. There is a small museum at the archeological site as there is in Yuyao. There are buses (101 transfer to 405) to get there from Yuyao, but that takes about two hours. It would be difficult to visit if one does not speak Chinese or have a Chinese friend to help. On the other hand, Ningbo, Yuyao and Hemudu all have friendly, kind heart people. They close at 4:00 pm.

    • Wow, an awesome account of your archeological experience, Gregory! Thanks so much for your quite professional and rather detailed information, deeply appreciated.

      I would try to find a time to go there when visiting China again and wish more people would go there to see a piece of human history in a tangible visual presentation.

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