"We should attach more importance to and put more efforts on archaeological research to carry forward the project of tracing the origins of Chinese civilization," stressed Chinese President Xi Jinping during his recent inspection tour to Anyang city, Henan province. Henan, cradle of the Chinese nation and civilization, is not only the birthplace of modern Chinese archaeology, but also the core area for tracing the origins of Chinese civilization. Together with the Development and Reform Commission of Henan Province and the Administration of Cultural Heritage of Henan Province, we are launching the "Towards Civilization" bilingual series featuring 13 key archaeological sites in Henan to help you catch a glimpse of wonderful Henan and brilliant Chinese civilization. Here is the 5th episode of the series: Dahecun: a shining pearl of Yangshao Culture.
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Mainly distributed in the Yellow River basin, the Yangshao Culture (around 5,000-2,700 BC) is considered the root of the Yellow River culture. The area ranging from Zhengzhou city to Heluo region (where the Yellow River and the Luohe River meet) witnessed a new peak of the Yangshao Culture since the mid-to-late Yangshao Culture flourished there. Many large settlement sites are distributed in the regional center in the form of clusters, of which the Dahecun site is representative.
The Dahecun site. [Photo provided to dahe.cn]
Located in the northeast suburbs of Zhengzhou and first discovered in 1964, the Dahecun site is 7 kilometers north of the Yellow River. Nearly 10 thousand square meters have been excavated over the past 29 rounds of excavations, with the first beginning in as early as 1972. With ring moats, the site is roughly round in shape and covers a total area of about 530 thousand square meters. A densely-populated residential area is located in the site's center with a public cemetery in its northeast and southwest respectively. As a great settlement site where a large number of cultural relics of the Yangshao Culture, Longshan Culture (about 3,000-2,000 BC), Xia and Shang dynasties (around 2070-1046 BC) were discovered, the Dahecun site was selected into the 5th batch of key historical and cultural sites under national-level protection in 2001.
Building foundations. [Photo provided to dahe.cn]
So far, 60-plus building foundations, 400-plus tombs and 600-plus ash pits have been discovered with over 3 thousand cultural relics unearthed, including pottery wares, jade articles and tools made of stones, bones or clams. It is worth noting that the F1-F4 building foundations dating back to around 5,040 years ago are well-preserved with the height of the remaining walls exceeding one meter. With a clear layout, they are of great significance to study the social structure at that time.
Pieces of painted pottery wares. [Photo provided to dahe.cn]
More importantly, the Dahecun site, while witnessing the early-to-late Yangshao Culture period, manifests all the different stages of Yangshao Culture development. The cultural remains of its 3rd and 4th stages are known as the Yangshao Culture·Dahecun Type because of their differences from other remains of the same period. The Yangshao Culture·Dahecun Type, representative of the Yangshao Culture and the early Yellow River culture, laid a solid foundation for the birth of Chinese civilization.
更为重要的是大河村仰韶文化发展序列完整，涵盖中原地区仰韶文化自早至晚的全过程，作为仰韶文化的时代标尺，其三、四期遗存在同类遗址中具有很强的代表性，被称之为仰韶文化大河村类型。大河村类型作为仰韶文化、黄河文化早期的重要代表，为华夏文明的诞生奠定了坚实基础。（编译/赵汉青 播音/杨佳欣 视频/何蒙贺 审校/张军平）