Monday, December 18, 2006

Protected Sites: Cishan Site

The Cishan Site spreads across the mesa on the northern banks of the Luo River, southwest of Wu'an County in Hebei Province.

Discovered in 1973, Cishan is the earliest site of the Neolithic Age found in North China. Preceding the Yangshao Culture, the site dates back to 5400 to 5100 BC. It is of key importance to the study of Yangshao Culture, as well as the cultural deposit of the Neolithic period. Owning to its unique features, the Cishan Culture was named after the site. To date, over 10 Cishan Culture sites were discovered in the central southern areas of Henan Province.

Agriculture was the main form of production back then. Two half-pit foundations surrounded by over 460 kilns, 80 of which were stored with carbonized millet, were discovered at the site. The millet deposits in some kilns were piled up over two meters high. Production tools, such as stone axes, knives, sickles, shovels and millstones used for grain processing, were spread around the site. People of that period learned how to raise livestock, such as chicken, pigs and dogs. Moreover, economic activities like fishing and collecting food also held an important position in people's lives.

A crucial feature of the Cishan Culture is its pottery making. Mainly red potteries mingled with sand were found in great varieties, including cups, bowls, plates, earthen bowls, three-legged wares, double-ear pots and jars. These items were decorated using rope or by etching patterns into the surface. Such crude techniques, however, were inferior to those used by the Yangshao Culture.

No comments: