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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Banpo Neolithic Village reveals life in Stone Age China

(China Daily) Uncovered in the early 1950s when construction started on a new power plant, Banpo Neolithic village in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province, is an archaeological jewel overlooked and overshadowed by the area's more famous regional attraction, the Terracotta Warriors.

Today, what's left of an ancient village that dates to the late Stone Age and its artifacts are preserved at the Xian Banpo Museum. While relics and remains characterize Banpo today, 6,000 years ago it was an active community of about 6 hectares, surrounded by a ditch, or moat, that was 5-6 meters wide.

Archaeologists at the site uncovered evidence of circular houses made of wood and clay. There were no written records, but excavations linked Banpo to the Yangshao, who lived along the Yellow River in that era. The discovery also proved the existence of settled communities in prehistoric China.

More than 200 storage pits, six pottery kilns, 250 tombs and more than 10,000 stone tools and everyday items were unearthed at the site. The sites of 45 houses were found.

The museum is small and modern but one of the best of its size in China. The main excavation area is protected in a huge, well-lit building that resembles an airplane hangar. Visitors can walk around the display to see the village remains from every angle. Artifacts are exhibited in historical context and information is presented in good English for those who don't read Chinese.

A short, well made film in Chinese and English about the village and the people who lived there is regularly shown at the museum. It provides a good introduction and overview of Banpo, how it came to be and why it is important now to understand the past.

Source: China Daily by Anne Ruisi

from China Travel & Tourism News


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