Chengdu, June 6 (Zhongxin Net) -- The Third Cultural Relics Science and Technology Innovation Forum was held in Chengdu, Sichuan Province on 9 June. At the forum, Chen Xingcan, director of the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, introduced the latest progress of "Comprehensive Research on the Origin and Early Development of Chinese Civilization" (that is, the Chinese Civilization Source Exploration Project). The project team further accurately pinned the burial time of the artifacts in the burial pit (i.e., the "sacrificial pit") at the Sanxingdui site, and determined it to be the beginning of the late Shang Dynasty.

It is understood that since the launch of the fifth phase of the Chinese civilization source exploration project (2020-2024), different teams of the project team have continued to focus on Jianping Niuheliang in Liaoning, Bicun and Xiangfen Tao Temple in Xingxian County, Shanxi Shenmu Shijia, Yan'an Lushan Pass, Henan Xinmi Xinping, Yanshi Erlitou, Shandong Zhangqiu Jiaojia, Sichuan Xinjin Baodun, Dayi Gaoshan, Guanghan Sanxingdui, Hubei Tianmen Shijiahe, Shayangchenghe, Hunan Lixian Jishucheng, Sunjiagang, Anhui Hanshan Lingjiatan, Zhejiang Yuhang Liangzhu, Systematic fieldwork has been carried out at Changzhou Temple Mound and other sites in Jiangsu Province, and significant progress has been made.

Chen Xingcan revealed that the project team broke through conventional detection methods, used Bayesian statistics and kernel density estimation methods to analyze the dating results, comprehensively analyzed the age of archaeological remains, and gained a new understanding of the exploration of key time nodes of key sites, especially in the dating work of Shiji and Sanxingdui sites.

The reporter learned that the project team collected more than 200 carbon-containing samples, and after sample screening, pretreatment, preparation, and measurement, a total of dozens of carbon <>th age data were obtained, and it was believed that the time of burial of artifacts in the Sanxingdui site was roughly the same, which occurred at the beginning of the late Shang Dynasty.

"The project team's phased understanding of the origin of Chinese civilization has also been slightly adjusted." Chen Xingcan introduced that the research results show that since about 5800 years ago, various regions have successively appeared obvious social differentiation, marking that each region has entered the stage of accelerating the origin of civilization, which some scholars call the ancient kingdom era. The ancient kingdom period can be divided into three stages, the first stage is around 5800 to 5200 years ago, the second stage is around 5200 to 4300 years ago, the third stage is around 4300 to 3800 years ago, and the period from 3800 to 2200 years ago is the dynastic era.

The scene of the 3rd Cultural Relics Science and Technology Innovation Forum. Photo by Yue Yitong

The project team also further promoted the research on the economic model of the origin of civilization, and used isotopes to achieve breakthroughs in the study of the migration and hierarchy of ancient populations. Chen Xingcan said that since 7000,<> years ago, the production economy has reflected obvious regional differences and has different evolution patterns in the process of civilization. The Central Plains and northern regions show a mixed agricultural production system dominated by millet, supplemented by millet, soybean and rice. In important Tuyi sites such as Tao Temple and Erlitou, fruit cash crops and secondary consumer goods such as cattle and sheep such as woolen fabrics appeared.

Chen Xingcan said that the specialization of handicraft economy is the main manifestation of the origin process of civilization in various regions, which is reflected differently due to differences in resources and technology, but centralized specialization and large-scale production are the common characteristics of social complexity in various regions; The integration of cross-regional resource technology is an important reason and manifestation of the gradual formation of a broader and complex society from Longshan to Erlitou. (End)