"Archaeological China" carried out more than 200 archaeological excavations

Explore the origin of civilization and strengthen cultural self-confidence

  Our reporter Wang Jue

  General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out: "The major achievements of our country's archaeological discoveries have proved our country's million-year human history, 10,000-year cultural history, and 5,000-year history of civilization." In recent years, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage's "Archaeological China" major project Focus on the origin of human beings in China, the origin of civilization, the formation of Chinese civilization, the establishment and development of a unified multi-ethnic country, the important position of Chinese civilization in world civilization, etc.

Up to now, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage has approved a total of 18 major projects including research on Xia culture, and approved the implementation of more than 200 active archaeological excavation projects in various places. The history of civilization provides a solid support.


  Demonstration of millions of years of human history

  Promoting the resolution of human origin issues

  The origin of humans in China is one of the key areas of focus of the "Archaeological China" major project.

Constant new archaeological discoveries have provided evidence for the millions of years of human history.

  Hubei Xuetang Liangzi Site is located in Yunyang District, Shiyan City. It is a large field site in the early Paleolithic age.

Since 2021, the Hubei Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology has conducted systematic archaeological excavations at the Xuetangliangzi site, and discovered the most complete Homo erectus skull fossil of the same period in inland Eurasia so far.

Recently, important progress has been made in the archaeological work of the Xuetangliangzi site, and a relatively well-preserved ancient human skull fossil was discovered, named "Yunxian Man No. 3 skull".

At present, the frontal bone (including brow ridge), eye socket, parietal bone, left zygomatic bone, temporal bone and left occipital bone have been exposed. The shape is clear and no obvious deformation has occurred. A large number of animal fossils and stone products have also been unearthed.

Gao Xing, a researcher at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that the Yunxian man was at a key point in the evolution of Homo erectus, and the No. 3 skull is the most complete Homo erectus skull fossil of its time found in inland Eurasia so far. Discuss the important evidence for the evolution of Homo erectus and its origin and development in China and even East Asia.

  Gansu Baishiya Karst Cave Site is located in Ganjia Township, Xiahe County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province.

Archeology reveals that the excavated strata of the Baishiya Karst Cave site were mainly formed in the Middle Pleistocene and Late Pleistocene. It is the Paleolithic site with the earliest known age on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, reliable buried strata, and rich archaeological remains unearthed.

Chen Fahu, an academician of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that the physical anthropology, ancient protein and uranium dating analysis of the ancient human mandible fossils unearthed from the Baishiya cave site in the early years showed that it was at least 160,000 years ago. Nisova fossils.

This shows that the Baishiya Karst Cave site is the earliest known archaeological site on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and it is also the site where Denisovan fossils were first discovered outside the Denisovan Cave in the Altai Mountains.

It is reported that the Baishiya Karst Cave site is currently the only Paleolithic site in East Asia where Denisovan fossils and Denisovan DNA have been discovered. major breakthrough.

The excavation and research of the Baishiya karst cave site has provided important materials for exploring the spread of prehistoric humans to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, adaptation to high-altitude environments, and the evolution of Denisovans and East Asian ancient humans.

  The Piluo site is located in Liangliang Village, Jinzhu Town, Daocheng County, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. It is a Paleolithic wilderness site.

The most significant discovery at the site is the abundant, well-formed, and technically mature hand axes and thin-bladed axes, which are the most typical cultural remains of the late Acheulian stage discovered in East Asia, and are also the highest-altitude Acheulian technology found in the world so far. product.

Small double-faced vessels unearthed from its upper strata may also represent rare new Upper Paleolithic cultures in East Asia.

The Piluo site is the Paleolithic site with the largest area, the best-preserved strata, continuous accumulation, and rich and diverse cultural types discovered on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau so far. A gap in Paleolithic archaeology on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

Zheng Zhexuan, a research librarian at the Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, said that the Piluo site has revealed seven consecutive Paleolithic cultural layers, with more than 6,000 stone artifacts of various types unearthed, and more than 3,000 typical stone artifacts recorded by the surface collection system.

The discovery of the Piluo site will strongly promote the development of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau by early humans, the ability of early humans to adapt to high-altitude environments, and the exploration of the distribution and origin of hand axes in East Asia, migration and cultural exchanges between Eastern and Western populations and other major academic issues.

  Relevant experts pointed out that the new discovery of the Liangzi site in Yunyang Xuetang, Hubei provides important evidence for exploring the evolution of Homo erectus and its origin and development in China and even East Asia; The latest evidence of entering the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the main physical evidence of the migration and cultural exchange between the East and the West.

These archaeological discoveries not only refresh China's existing archaeological cognition, but also provide new scientific basis for promoting the solution of global issues such as the origin of human beings.

  Demonstration of 10,000 years of cultural history

  New material to address questions about agricultural origins

  Judging from the current archaeological discoveries, the Shangshan Culture in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River is an important center for the origin of rice farming in the world, the forerunner who first entered the agricultural society, and an important demonstration of the 10,000-year cultural history of China.

  The Qiaotou site is located on the west side of Qiaotou Village, Chengxi Street, Yiwu City, Zhejiang Province, and Tongxi, a tributary of the Qiantang River-Yiwu River, flows from north to south on the east side.

The main body of the Qiaotou site is a ring trench settlement site from the Shangshan culture period.

The east, south and north sides of the excavation area are artificially excavated moats, the west side was washed and damaged by the river, and the central part is surrounded by an incomplete platform with a slightly square shape.

The relics unearthed at the Qiaotou site are mainly pottery and stone tools.

The stone tools are mainly gravel stone tools and polished stone tools, including stone grinding discs, stone grinding rods, stone balls, perforated stone tools, stone axes, stone chisels, stone knives, etc.

Types of pottery include ewers, flat-bottomed dishes, ovo-bellied jars, amphorae, jugs, ring-footed dishes, and cups, among others.

The milky white color pattern on the pottery is more complicated, and patterns such as sun pattern and short line combination pattern appear.

The painted pottery of the Shangshan Culture is an important branch of the Neolithic painted pottery culture in the Yangtze River Basin, and it is also the earliest painted pottery discovered in China and even East Asia so far.

The Qiaotou site is the earliest ring moat site discovered so far in East Asia.

This discovery is an important testimony to the initial complexity of agricultural settlement life in the Neolithic Age in southeastern China, and it is also a major breakthrough in the archaeology of Shangshan cultural settlements.

  The Xinglong Site is located in the southeast of Xinglong Village, Zhaoyanghe Town, Kangbao County, Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province, and belongs to the Bashang Plateau at the junction of Hebei and Mongolia to the north of the Great Wall.

The site was discovered during the regional systematic survey of the Bashang area in 2016, with a total excavation area of ​​about 1,100 square meters.

The field work in 2018 preliminarily confirmed the site area, accumulation type and distribution, absolute age, etc.

The field work in 2019 continued to excavate some house sites to understand the process of house construction, use and abandonment.

A large number of plant remains were unearthed in the second to third phases of the site, including cultivated crop millet and wild plants such as apricot, Artemisia grandis, and quinoa.

Among them, millet is one of the earliest remains of millet with direct dating data in my country, which provides important materials for exploring the domestication and early cultivation of millet.

The Xinglong site has a complex accumulation, and a large number of unearthed relics that can reflect its unique cultural features have been discovered. The remains of the first to third phases and other similar sites around it represent a new archaeological culture.

  Lei Xingshan, vice president of Capital Normal University, said that the Shangshan culture represented by the Yiwu Qiaotou site is an important origin of rice agriculture in the world, and the earliest painted pottery found in China and even East Asia has been discovered so far. One of the earliest remains of millet with dating data, which provides important materials for exploring the domestication and early cultivation of millet.

"More than 10,000 years ago was the transition period from the Paleolithic Age to the Neolithic Age. Relevant archaeological discoveries, marked by pottery, agriculture, and settlement, involved major key points in the history of human evolution, providing new materials for solving the problem of the origin of agriculture , proving that Chinese civilization is a continuous civilization." Lei Xingshan said.

  Demonstrating the history of civilization for more than 5,000 years

  Uncovering the genes of early Chinese civilization

  In recent years, archaeological discoveries have revealed the historical process of China's prehistoric civilization and the formation and development of early states, and have become important evidence of Chinese civilization for more than 5,000 years.

A number of archaeological excavations have filled in a number of gaps and revealed the civilization genes of early China in multiple dimensions, which is of great significance to the study of the process of Chinese civilization.

  The Shimao Site is located in Gaojiabao Town, Shenmu City, Shaanxi Province.

It was built about 4300 years ago, and was abandoned after about 500 years of use. It covers an area of ​​more than 4 million square meters. It is the largest known city site from the late Longshan period to the early Erlitou period in China.

Since 2012, archaeologists have successively excavated the site of the east gate of the outer city, the high-level tomb area of ​​Hanjiagedan in the inner city, and the Fanzhuangzi "outpost" outside the city. In addition to a large number of unearthed relics, a "skull sacrifice pit" was also discovered And the phenomenon of "hiding jade in stone".

The remains of inner and outer urns and horse faces discovered at the east gate site of the outer city are the earliest similar city defense facilities in China.

Shao Jing, assistant to the president of the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, said that all signs of archaeological excavations show that Huangchengtai is the core area of ​​Shimao City, and it has the nature of an early "Miyagi".

  The Taosi site has clear functional divisions, among which the palace area is the focus area of ​​the academic circles, and it is also one of the most important and direct physical and chemical elements of the capital nature of the Taosi site.

The Institute of Archeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology gradually confirmed the existence of the nearly 130,000-square-meter Miyagi at the Taosi site over five years, and more comprehensively revealed the site of the south east gate and the side gate at the southeast corner.

The excavation of the foundation of a large rammed earth building in the palace city of the Taosi site has achieved important results and is of great significance.

The excavation further confirmed the existence of the largest palace building with an area of ​​nearly 8,000 square meters in the palace city, which is the largest rammed earth building foundation in prehistoric times so far.

There are two main halls, ancillary buildings on the east side, a courtyard in the middle, and suspected corridors in the east on the base of the building. Its complex structure and regular layout are rare in prehistoric times, and it should be the source of ancient Chinese palace forms.

The excavation and discovery of the foundation of a large rammed earth building in the palace city of the Taosi site is of great significance to the research on major topics such as the origin of Chinese civilization and early China.

  The ancient rice field at the Shi'ao Site is located in Yuyao City, Zhejiang Province. It is a rice field of the Hemudu Culture and the Liangzhu Culture. The total area of ​​preliminary exploration is about 900,000 square meters.

Archaeological excavations have unearthed large-scale rice field remains from the Hemudu Culture and the Liangzhu Culture, dating from about 6,700 to 4,500 years ago.

Due to the small excavation area of ​​rice fields during the Hemudu culture period, only a small number of rice fields, field ridges and river ditches were found.

The ancient paddy field at the Shi'ao site is the largest, earliest, and most well-documented large-scale paddy field discovered in the world. The paddy fields of the Liangzhu culture have already had a relatively complete road network and irrigation system. The origin of this large-scale paddy field may be As early as 6,500 years ago, it has continued to develop.

This discovery shows that rice farming was an important economic support for the social development from the Hemudu culture to the Liangzhu culture, and further deepens the understanding of the prehistoric social and economic development and civilization process in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

  Under the guidance of the concept of settlement archaeology, archaeological work has gradually revealed the multi-grid layout of the Erlitou site.

Since 2021, many urban roads and rammed earth walls on both sides of the roads have been exposed, including the doorway on the road on the north side of Miyagi and the western wall of Miyagi. Based on this, it is speculated that there is at least one sub-area to the west of the known workshop area, the palace area, and the sacrificial area.

For the first time, rich pottery remains were found in the central part of the northern edge of the site. The unearthed pottery kilns, mud pits, mud slabs, burnt soil, slag, deformed pottery, a large number of broken pottery fragments, pottery pads, and trimming tools, etc., contain many pottery-making techniques. stage.

A nearly 100-square-meter bone horn tool processing workshop was discovered in the southwest corner of Miyagi, and a large number of bone horn relics were unearthed, some of which had traces of smashing, cutting, and grinding, showing the various links of bone horn tool processing.

The site of pottery making and bone horn tool processing is an important breakthrough in the archaeology of the handicraft industry at the Erlitou site.

Zhao Haitao, an associate researcher at the Institute of Archeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that the new archaeological discoveries at the Erlitou site have further revealed the multi-grid structural layout, which is an important clue to discuss issues such as the early national capital system, handicraft industry and social economy, etiquette and funeral system.

  The Gangshang Site is located in Chengang Village, Tengzhou City, Shandong Province. The Dawenkou Cultural City Site covers an area of ​​about 400,000 square meters.

In 2020, the Shandong Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology conducted archaeological excavations on the northern residential area and southern tomb area of ​​the Gangshang site, with a total excavation area of ​​about 1,000 square meters.

The Gangshang site is the largest prehistoric city site in the Dawenkou period discovered in the Haidai area. Because of the discovery of high-level tombs and the unearthed jade artifacts, the Gangshang site is particularly prominent in the regional center.

The new archaeological discoveries at the Gangshang site have enriched the understanding of the central settlement connotation of the Dawenkou cultural stage in the southern Shandong area and even the entire Haidai area, and have important academic value for the study of the civilization process of the Haidai area.

  Guan Qiang, deputy director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, said that the State Administration of Cultural Heritage will continue to promote the major project of "archaeological China", continue to deepen the "Chinese Civilization Exploration Project", promote the in-depth study of the history of Chinese civilization, and gradually restore civilization from a trickle to The development history of the confluence of rivers provides strong support for enhancing historical consciousness and strengthening cultural self-confidence.

(People's Daily)