Poster Exhibition of China’s 100 Major Archaeological Discoveries in the 20




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Poster Exhibition of China’s 100 Major Archaeological Discoveries in the 20th Century

Introduction

China is one of the four countries in the world, which has an ancient civilization and has abundant archaeological resources. In the passing 20th Century, archaeology in China has experienced the process of emerging, developing, maturing, and achieved great success at last. The selected ‘China’s 100 Major Archaeological Discoveries in the 20th Century’, which were prompted and organized by the Institute of Archaeology at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, are nothing but the epitome of all significant archaeological achievements accomplished in the 20th Century in China.


From the geographical angle, these 100 archaeological discoveries have covered almost every corner of China. While from the chronological point of view, they have covered from the Yuanmou Man, which is 1700,000 years ago, to the Ding Mausoleum of Emperor Wan Li of Ming Dynasty, which dates from the beginning of 17th Century. All these archaeological discoveries are of great value to scientific researches, therefore, they are the key role in the development of Chinese archaeology, and have been influential inside and outside China.
Based on the 100 archaeological discoveries, the Ministry of Culture of People’s Republic of China now is launching this ‘Poster Exhibition of China’s 100 Major Archaeological Discoveries in the 20th Century’. Each vivid photo intends leading us to pass through the tunnel of time and space, to be back in the remote past, and to taste the magnificence and splendor of ancient Chinese civilization.
China’s 100 Major Archaeological Discoveries in the 20th Century



  1. Zhou Kou Dian Site & the Beijing Man and the Upper Cave Man (The Beijing Man is 700,000-200,000 BP, the Upper Cave Man is 18,000 BP)

Archaeological site of the Early Paleolithic, as well as the location of the Beijing Man (Sinanthropus Pekinensis) and the Upper Cave Man. Fang Shan County, Beijing

Excavated in 1921

The finds have disclosed the origin of human beings in the Orient, and offered solid proofs for the theory of human evolution.


Fossil skull of sabre-toothed tiger: (up)

Fossil canine tooth of sabre-toothed tiger: (mid)

Fossil cranium of the Upper Cave Man: (bottom, cranial capacity is around 1300 ml-1500 ml)


  1. Archaeological Site of the Yuanmou Man (1,700,000 BP)

Human Fossils of the Early Paleolithic. Yuanmou County, Yunnan Province


Excavated in 1965


The find is of great significance to the study of geographical distribution of fossils of Ape-Man (Homo erectus), as well as that of their physical development.
Fossil teeth of the Yuanmou Man: (up-left: 11. 4 mm, up-right: 11.3 mm)

Stone scraper: tool (bottom)




  1. Lantian Man in Shaanxi (Chenjiawo Site is 650,000 BP, while Gongzhuling Site is 1,000,000 BP)

Location of human fossils of the Early Paleolithic. Lantian County, Shaanxi Province

Excavated in 1963

It has offered valuable material objects for the study of human evolution.


Stone implement: tool (up, length 3.7 cm-4.6 cm)

Fossil cranium of the Lantian Man: (bottom, cranial capacity is 780 ml)





  1. Archaeological Site of Jinniushan and the Jinniushan Man (The date of the site is 310,000-160,000 BP, while human fossils is about 280,000 BP)

Site of the Early Paleolithic and location of the Jinniushan Man. Yingkou, Liaoning Province

Excavated in 1974

The finds have provided new evidence for the study of human physical development in the process of evolution.


Fossil cranium of the Jinniushan Man: (cranial capacity is 1335 ml)


  1. Archaeological Site of the Maba Man (129,500 BP-135,000 BP)

Location of human fossils of the Mid Paleolithic. Qujiang County, Guangdong Province

Excavated in 1958

The find is of great significance to the study of the evolution of human physical development in south China.


Fossil cranium of the Maba Man: (up-left)

Fossil teeth of the Stegodon sp.: (up-right)

Fossil mandible of rhinoceros: (bottom-left)

Stone hammer: tool (left of the bottom-right, diameter is 5.8 cm)

Stone chopper: tool (right of the bottom-right, length 15. 8 cm)


  1. Group Sites at Nihewan of the Paleolithic (1,000,000 BP-10,000 BP)

Archaeological sites from the Early to the Late Paleolithic. Located in Nihewan Basin on the border of Hebei and Shanxi Province.

Excavated from 1965 to the present

The finds are of great importance to the study of stone implement culture in China and East Asia. In addition, human fossils unearthed at Xujiayao have supplied rich material objects to the study of the evolution of Homo sapiens in China.


Fossil cranium of the Xujiayao Man: (bottom)

Stone scraper: tool (up, length 2.9 cm)

Stone borer: tool (mid, length 3.2 cm)


  1. Dingcun Site (120,000-100,000 BP)

Archaeological site of the Mid Paleolithic. Xiangfen County, Shanxi Province

Excavated in 1954

It has offered significant material objects for the study of cultural remains of the Mid Paleolithic in China.


Heavy angular pointed implement: tool (up-left, length 17 cm)

Heavy angular pointed implement: tool (up-right, length 17 cm)

Human fossil teeth: (bottom)


  1. Archaeological Sites of Xianrendong and Diaotonghuan (12,000 BC-9,000 BC)

Sites in the period between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic. Wannian County, Jiangxi Province

Excavated in 1962

The finds have provided important material objects for the study of the early Paleolithic cultures, as well as the origins of pottery and cultivated rice.


Pottery jar: cooking vessel (up, remnant height is 18 cm)

Pottery fragment with stripes: (bottom, 0.7 cm-1.2 cm thick)




  1. Yuchanyan Site (before 8000 BC)

Site in the period between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic. Daoxian County, Hunan Province

Excavated in 1993

It has offered invaluable material objects for the study of cultures in the period between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic, as well as the origins of early pottery and cultivated rice.


Pottery cauldron: cooking vessel (29 cm in height after restoration)



  1. Peiligang Site (5500 BC-4900 BC)

Archaeological site of the Neolithic. Xinzheng, Henan Province

Excavated in 1977

Peiligang Culture is named after the site. The site has provided an important clue for the study of the development of the early Neolithic cultures in the central plains, as well as their relationships with the Yangshao Culture of the central plains.


Stone saddle-quern and stone roller: implements for grinding grains (up)

Red pottery pot: water vessel (bottom, height 14.3 cm)





  1. Jiahu Site (7000 BC-5000 BC)

Archaeological site of the Neolithic. Wuyang County, Henan Province

Excavated from 1960 to the present

It has been the earliest Neolithic cultural remains in the Huihe river valley up to now. The site connects the Neolithic cultures of the middle reaches of the Yellow River and those of the middle and lower reaches of the Huihe River.


Tortoise shell with inscribed symbols: (left-up, length 16.2 cm)

Bone bamboo flute with seven holes: musical instrument (right, length 22.7 cm)

Carbonized rice: (left-bottom)


  1. Xinglongwa Site (6200 BC-5400 BC)

Settlement site of the Neolithic. Aohan Banner, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region

Excavated in 1983

The Xinglongwa Culture is named after the site. The find has supplied full and accurate materials to the study of the settlement patterns of the Neolithic in north China.


Cylindrical pottery jar: container (bottom-left, height 36.4 cm)

Jue, a jade ring from which a segment has been cut: ornament (up-right, diameter 2.8 cm)

Jue, a jade ring from which a segment has been cut: ornament (up-left, diameter 2.9 cm)

Joint burial of man and pig: (bottom-right, the mouth of the grave is 2.5 m in length, and 0.97 m in width)





  1. Dadiwan Site (5800 BC-3000 BC)

Site of the Neolithic. Qin’an County, Gansu Province

Excavated in 1978

The Dadiwan Culture is named after the site. The find plays the key role in understanding the sequence of different Neolithic cultures of the upper reaches of the Yellow River, as well as their mutual relationships.


Three-legged painted pottery bo (a kind of bowl): food container (up, height 10cm)

Painted pottery jar with flat base and human mask: water vessel (bottom, height 31.8 cm)





  1. Yangshao Site (5000 BC-4000 BC)

Site of the Neolithic. Mianchi County, Henan Province

Excavated in 1921

The Yangshao Culture is named after the site. It is the earliest Neolithic site excavated in China.


Painted pottery jar: (up, height 11.4 cm)

Pottery urn: container (mid-right)

Pottery bowl: food container (mid-left)

Gourd-shaped pottery bottle: container (bottom-right)

Pottery jar: container (bottom-left)



  1. Banpo Site (4800 BC-4300 BC)

Settlement site of the Neolithic. Xi’an, Shaanxi Province

Excavated from 1954 to 1957

It is a well-preserved Neolithic settlement site, which was excavated on a large scale for the first time in China.


Painted pottery basin with human-mask and fish design: water or food container (left-up, height 16.5 cm)

Painted pottery basin with fish design: water or food container (left-bottom, height 17 cm)

Pottery pot with the pattern of fingernails: container (right, height 15.8 cm)



  1. Jiangzhai Site (4600 BC-4400 BC)

Settlement site of the Neolithic. Lintong County, Shaanxi Province

Excavated from 1972 to 1979

It has been the largest Neolithic site excavated in China up to now.


Gourd-shaped painted pottery jar with fish and bird designs: water vessel (height 25 cm)

Pottery jar with pointed bottom: vessel for drawing water (height 54 cm)





  1. Hougang Site (4000 BC-1100 BC)

Archaeological site from the Neolithic to Shang Dynasty. Anyang, Henan Province

Excavated in 1931

Based on the ‘three overlapping layers’ of the site, it is for the first time that the relative dates of the Yangshao Culture, the Longshan Culture, and the Shang Culture of the central plains were clarified.


Bronze ding (a three-legged or four-legged cauldron), Shang Dynasty: ritual vessel (up-left, height 48 cm)

Pottery bo (a kind of bowl), Yangshao Culture: food container (up-right, height 14 cm)

Pottery bo, Yangshao Culture: food container (mid, height 6 cm)

Pottery ding (a three-legged or four-legged cauldron), Yangshao Culture: cooking vessel (bottom-left, height 27.5 cm)

Pottery jar with deep belly, Longshan Culture: container (bottom-mid, height 31.6 cm)

Pottery amphora, Longshan Culture: container (bottom-right, height 27.5 cm)





  1. Miaodigou Site (3900 BC-2780 BC)

Site of the Neolithic. Shanxian County, Henan Province

Excavated from 1956 to 1957

The find has clarified the time sequence of the Yangshao Culture and the Longshan Culture, as well as their mutal relationships.


Painted pottery bowl, Yangshao Culture: food container (height 7 cm)



  1. Dawenkou Site (3500 BC-2500 BC)

Clan cemetery of the Neolithic. Tai’an, Shandong Province

Excavated in 1959

The Dawenkou Culture is named after the site. It has disclosed the burial systems in the period of the Dawenkou culture.


Carved bone pot inlaid with turquoise: ornament (right, height 7.7 cm)

Hook-shaped object made of river deer teeth: ornament (left, height 10.5 cm)





  1. Hemudu Site (5000 BC-3000 BC)

Archaeological site of the Neolithic. Yuyao, Zhejiang Province

Excavated in 1973

It is the first find of the Mid Neolithic culture in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.


Two-eared black pottery basin with fish design and the pattern of the ear of rice: food container (up, height 16.2 cm)

Bone si, a spade-shaped farm tool: tool (bottom, length 16 cm)





  1. Daxi Site (4400 BC-3300 BC)

Archaeological site of the Neolithic. Wushan County, Chongqing

Excavated from 1925 to the present

The Daxi Culture is named after the site. It is the first find of the Neolithic culture in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River.


Painted pottery bowl: food container (up-mid, height 6.6 cm)

Painted pottery cup with single ear: water vessel (left-bottom, height 6 cm; right-bottom, height 8.5 cm)





  1. Chengtoushan Site (4000 BC-2800 BC)

Site of the primitive town of the Neolithic. Lixian County, Hunan Province

Excavated in 1991

It has supplied abundant materials to the study of the settlement patterns of the Neolithic in the Yangtze River valley.


Black pottery pot: wine vessel or water vessel (up, height 15.5 cm)

Painted pottery cup: wine vessel or water vessel (bottom, mouth diameter 10 cm)





  1. Qujialing Site (3000 BC-2600 BC)

Archaeological site of the Neolithic. Jingshan County, Hubei Province

Excavated from 1954 to 1989

The Qujialing Culture is named after the site. The find plays an important role in understanding the prehistoric cultures of the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and the Jianghan plain.


Pottery zeng (utensil for steaming rice, etc.) with lid: vessel for steaming and boiling food (left-up, total height 35 cm)

Hollowed-out pottery dou (bowl with high stem and spreading foot) with the trumpet-shaped, circular leg: food container (right-bottom, height 17 cm)

Pottery wheel for spinning: spinning tool (in the background, the smallest diameter is 3.5 cm)



  1. Songze Site (4000 BC-3000 BC)

Archaeological site of the Neolithic. Qingpu County, Shanghai

Excavated in 1960

The Songze Culture is named after the site. It has supplied significant materials to the study of the primitive cultures of the area around Taihu Lake, as well as the prehistoric history of Shanghai.


Pottery yi (shallow oval ewer with spout, handle, lid and usually four feet) in the shape of pig head: water vessel (mid-right, height 6.7 cm)

Black pottery pot: water vessel or wine vessel (mid-left, height 19.5 cm)



Huang (a jade tablet in the form of a semi-circle) in the shape of fish and bird: ornament (up and bottom, length 6.6 cm)



  1. Majiayao Site (3100 BC-2700 BC)

Archaeological site of the Neolithic. Lintao County, Gansu Province

Excavated in 1924

The Majiayao Culture is named after the site. It is the first find of the Neolithic culture in the upper reaches of the Yellow River, which covers the present-day Gansu and Tibet.


Painted pottery jar with pointed bottom: water vessel (up, height 26 cm)

Painted pottery dou (bowl with high stem and spreading foot): food container (bottom, height 16.4 cm)



  1. Liuwan Graveyard (2500 BC-1100 BC)

Clan cemetery from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. Ledu County, Qinghai Province

Excavated from 1974 to 1979

It has disclosed the burial systems of the local people and provided valuable material objects for the study of the content, time sequence, and other related questions of the primitive cultures in the areas of Gansu and Tibet.


Painted pottery pot with spout: water vessel (up, height 25 cm)

Painted pottery pot with human portrait: water vessel (bottom, height 34 cm)





  1. Niuheliang Site (3770 BC-2920 BC)

Site for sacrifice of the Hongshan Culture. Located on the border of Lingyuan County and Jianping County, Liaoning Province

Excavated from 1983 to the present

The find has disclosed the sacrifice activities of the Hongshan Culture.


Jade dragon looking like a pig: ritual vessel (up-right, height 14 cm)

Colored sculpture of goddess’ head: (bottom, height 22.5 cm)





  1. Chengziya Site (2500 BC-2100 BC)

Site of the primitive town of the Neolithic. Zhangqiu, Shandong Province

Excavated in 1931

The Longshan Culture is named after the site. It is the first site of prehistoric town ever found in China.


White pottery gui (pitch with three legs): wine vessel or water vessel (up)

Black pottery lei (jar with wide shoulders and narrowing foot): food container or ritual vessel (bottom)





  1. Group Sites of the Liangzhu Culture (3300 BC-2000 BC)

Group sites of the Neolithic. Yuhang County, Zhejiang Province

Excavated from 1936 to the present

The find is of significant academic value to the study of the origin of civilization in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.


Cong, a jade cuboid with a hole in the middle: ritual object (up, height 4.5 cm)

Cong, a jade cuboid with a hole in the middle: ritual object (bottom, height 10 cm)



  1. Group Sites at Shijiahe (3000 BC-2000 BC)

Group sites of the Neolithic. Tianmen, Hubei Province

Excavated from 1954 to the present

The finds serve as a major breakthrough in exploring the origin of civilization in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River.


Painter pottery pot with long stem: food container (up, height 16.1 cm)

Jade human head: ritual object or ornament (bottom, height 3.7 cm)




  1. Taosi Site (2500 BC-1900 BC)

Site of the Neolithic. Xiangfen County, Shanxi Province

Excavated from 1975 to the present

It plays the key role in exploring the origin of ancient Chinese civilization, and the social development and history of the period of Yao and Shun, two legendary figures in ancient documents.


Painted pottery tray with dragon design: water vessel (up, mouth diameter 37 cm, height 8.8 cm)

Pottery object: function unknown (bottom, height 83.6 cm)



Cong, a cuboid jade with a hole in the middle: ritual object (in the background, the side is 7 cm in length)



  1. Wangchenggang Site (2469 BC-1543 BC)

Site of the town of the Neolithic. Dengfeng County, Henan Province

Excavated in 1975

It is of great significance to the study of towns and social development in the period of the Longshan Culture.


Gui-shaped (pitch with three legs) pottery: water vessel or wine vessel (up, height 16 cm)

Pottery cup: water vessel or wine vessel (bottom-left, height 8 cm)

Pottery dou (bowl with high stem and spreading foot): food container (bottom-right, height 12.6 cm)


  1. Qijiaping Site (About 2000 BC)

Archaeological Site of the Neolithic. Linxia Hui Autonomous District, Gansu Province

Excavated in 1924

The Qijia Culture is named after the site. The find has prompted the study of the prehistoric cultures in the upper reaches of the Yellow River.


Pottery urn: container (left-up, height 11.8 cm)

Painted pottery fragment with triangle design: (right-up, height 4.7 cm)

Pottery fragment from the ear of vessel: (up of the right-mid, height 4 cm)

Pottery fragment from the ear of vessel: (bottom of the right-mid, height 4.8 cm)

Painted pottery amphora with the pattern of triangle: food container (height 10.2 cm)



  1. Karuo Site (3000 BC-2000 BC)

Archaeological site of the Neolithic. Changdu County, Tibet Autonomous Region

Excavated from 1978 to 1979

The Karuo Culture is named after the site. It is the first excavation of the settlement site in the Tibetan plateau.


Remains of house no. 12: (in the background, length 540 cm)

Pottery jar in the shape of two animals: food container or water vessel (mid, length 32 cm)

Necklace made of marble and clay rock: ornament (on the right of the background, length 52 cm)



  1. Shixia Site (2900 BC-2700 BC)

Archaeological site of the Neolithic. Qujiang County, Guangdong Province

Excavated in 1973

The find has provided important material objects for the study of the disintegration of the primitive society of Lingnan area, which covers the present-day Guangdong and Guangxi provinces.


Jue, a jade ring from which a segment has been cut: ornament (up, diameter 6.3 cm)

Jue, a jade ring from which a segment has been cut: ornament (mid, diameter 8.8 cm)

Cong, a jade cuboid with a hole in the middle: ritual object (bottom, length 14.1 cm)

  1. Site in the North of Dungwantsai (3700 BC-500 BC)

Site from the Neolithic to the early Bronze Age. Mawan island, Hong Kong

Excavated in 1997

It has provided important materials for the study of the prehistoric cultures of Hong Kong.


Stand of pottery vessels: kitchen utensil (up, height 18.2 cm)

Pottery pot with long neck and circular leg: food container or water vessel (bottom, height 26 cm)





  1. Yuanshan Site (2400 BC-1100 BC)

Shell mound site of the Neolithic. Taibei, Taiwan Province

Excavated in 1953

The site has supplied important material objects to the study of the prehistoric cultures of Taiwan.


Jade object of man and animal: ornament (up)

Shouldered stone axe: tool (mid)

Pottery jar and the remnant mouth of jar: container (bottom, the largest is 14 cm high)



  1. Erlitou Site (1900 BC-1500 BC)

City site of the Late Xia Dynasty. Yanshi, Henan Province

Excavated from 1959 to the present

The Erlitou Culture is named after the site. It has been preliminarily confirmed as the capital of the Late Xia.


Turquoise-inlaid bronze plaque with animal mask: ornament (left-up, height 14.4 cm)

Pottery pot in the shape of duck: water vessel or wine vessel (left-bottom, height 10 cm)

Bronze Jue (three-legged vessel with handle and open spout): wine vessel (right-bottom, height 22.5 cm)



  1. Dongxiafeng Site (1900 BC-1500 BC)

Site of the Xia and Shang Dynasties. Xiaxian County, Shanxi Province

Excavated in 1974

The find has contributed enormously to the study of the contents of the Erlitou culture and the Xia culture in the southern part of Shanxi province.


Stone qing (chime stone): musical instrument (up, length 68 cm)

Bronze jue (three-legged vessel with handle and open spout): wine vessel (height 12 cm)





  1. Xiajiadian Site (The date of the lower layer is 2000 BC-1500 BC, while the date of the upper layer is 1000 BC-300 BC)

Site of the Bronze Age in north China. Chifeng, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region

Excavated in 1960

The lower and upper layer of Xiajiadian culture is named after the site. The site has offered important materials for the study of the bronze civilization in north China.


Pottery li (a kind of cauldron), the upper layer of the Xiajiadian culture: cooking vessel (right-up, height 37 cm)

Bronze dagger, the upper layer of the Xiajiadian culture: weapon (mid, length 33.6 cm)

Pottery ding (a three-legged or four-legged cauldron), the upper layer of the Xiajiadian culture: cooking vessel (height 13.7 cm)



  1. Dadianzi Site & Graveyard (1735 BC-1463 BC)

Site and graveyard of the Bronze Age in north China. Aohan Banner, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region

Excavated from 1974 to 1983

The finds have disclosed the early bronze civilization in north China, as well as the burial systems of the lower layer of the Xiajiadian culture.


Painted pottery jar: food container or ritual vessel (left, height 17 cm; mid, height 40 cm; right, height 23 cm)



  1. Capital City of Shang at Yanshi (1600 BC-1400 BC)

Archaeological site of the capital of early Shang Dynasty. Yanshi, Henan Province

Excavated from 1983 to the present

The site is one of many capitals in the Xia and Shang period with the clearest layout and structure. And the find has provided solid evidence for the demarcation of the Xia and Shang cultures.


Bronze knife: tool (up, length 31.5 cm)

Bronze ge (dagger axe): weapon (mid, length 30.5 cm)

Bronze jia (round, three-legged vessel with handle and capped columns): wine vessel (bottom, height 31 cm)



  1. Capital City of Shang in Zhengzhou (About 1500 BC)

Site of the capital of early Shang Dynasty. Zhengzhou, Henan Province

Excavated from 1950 to the present

It is of great significance to the understanding of the history of the early Shang Dynasty, as well as that of the early Bronze civilization in China.


Rectangular bronze ding (a three-legged or four-legged cauldron) with nipple design: cooking vessel or ritual vessel (left-up, total height 83 cm)

Bronze jia (round, three-legged vessel with handle and capped columns) with animal mask: wine vessel or ritual vessel (right-bottom, total height 21 cm)





  1. Panlongcheng Site (Around 15th century BC)

Site of the city of early Shang Dynasty. Huangpi County, Hubei Province

Excavated in 1974

The find has clarified the circulation and distribution of the Shang culture in the Yangtze River valley.


Round bronze ding (a three-legged or four-legged cauldron) with animal mask: cooking vessel or ritual vessel (right, height 48 cm)

Bronze yue (battle axe): weapon (in the background, length 41 cm)





  1. Yin Ruin at Anyang (1250 BC-1050 BC)

Site of the capital city of late Shang Dynasty. Anyang, Henan Province

Excavated from 1928 to the present

The oracle bone inscriptions were found at the site. The excavations of Yin Ruin have provided rich and crucial materials for the study of the history of the late Shang Dynasty.


Ivory cup inlaid with turquoise: wine vessel (up, height 30.5 cm)

Bronze zun in the shape of owl: wine vessel (bottom, height 46 cm)

Oracle bone inscriptions: (in the background)


  1. Wucheng Site (15th century BC-11th century BC)

Site of the Shang period. Qingjiang County, Jiangxi Province

Excavated in 1973

It has played a significant role in understanding the origin and development of local bronze civilization in the Yangtze River valley.


Bronze ding (a three-legged or four-legged cauldron) with flattened, tiger-shaped feet, tiger’s ears, and animal mask: cooking vessel or ritual vessel (height 29 cm)



  1. Xin’gan Tomb (About 12th century BC)

Enormous tomb in the Shang period. Xin’gan County, Jiangxi Province

Excavated in 1989

It has disclosed the features of the bronze civilization and burial systems of the nobles in the Yangtze River valley during the Shang period.


Double-sided bronze head of man or god: function unknown (up, height 53 cm)

Rectangular ding (a three-legged or four-legged cauldron) with tiger’s ears and nipple design: cooking vessel or ritual vessel (left, height 97 cm)

Jade mask of god or man: function unknown (in the background, height 16.2 cm)



  1. Pits of Sacrifice at Sanxingdui (About 12th Century BC)

Pits of sacrifice of the Shang period. Guanghan County, Sichuan Province

Excavated in 1986

It has played the key role in understanding the features of the bronze civilization in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, and in exploring those of the regional bronze civilization in China.


Bronze sculpture of human head covered with gold mask: probably the sculpture of god (left, height 42.5 cm)

Bronze statue of standing man: probably the statue of god (mid, height 260.8 cm)

Bronze sculpture of human head covered with gold mask: probably the sculpture of god (right, height 48.1 cm)



  1. Zhouyuan Site (About 11th century BC-8th Century BC)

Capital of the Zhou People before Shang Dynasty was conquered, as well as the site of the city of Western Zhou Dynasty. Located at Qishan and Fufeng Counties, Shaanxi Province

Excavated in 1976

The site has played an important role in exploring the origin of the pre-Zhou cultures, as well as the social, political, economical and cultural developments of the Western Zhou Dynasty.


Bronze tray belonging to a man named Shi Qiang: ritual object (up, mouth diameter 47.3 cm, height 16.2 cm)

Jade man: probably as an ornament (left-bottom, height 6.5 cm)

Bronze gu (goblet with open mouth, long and narrow stem and flat base) inscribed with the owner’s name, Fu Yi: ritual vessel or wine vessel (right-bottom, height 25 cm)

Inscriptions on bronze: (in the background)




  1. Fenghao Site (11th Century BC-771 BC)

Site of the capital of Western Zhou Dynasty and the graveyard in that period. Xi’an, Shaanxi Province

Excavated from 1955 to the present

It has offered important material objects for the thorough study of the Western Zhou culture.


Bronze zun in the shape of a sacrificial animal: wine vessel (height 12.07 cm, width 40.5 cm)



  1. Liulihe Site (11th Century BC-8th Century BC)

Capital of State of Yan in Western Zhou Dynasty. Fangshan County, Beijing

Excavated in 1973

The site has provided important material objects for the study of the early history of the State of Yan, as well as its relationship with the Western Zhou Dynasty.


Inscriptions on the cover of a bronze he: (left-up)

Bronze he (vessel with closed spout, handle, cover and three or four legs): wine vessel (right-up, height 26.5 cm)

Bronze li (similar to the shape of ding): cooking vessel (bottom, height 30. 4 cm)



  1. Mausoleums of Marquis of Jin (About 1000 BC-800 BC)

Mausoleums of the Marquis of Jin in the early period of State of Jin, Western Zhou Dynasty. Quwo County, Shanxi Province

Excavated in 1991

The finds have offered important material objects for clarifying the original territory of State of Jin, as well as the study of the history of the state.


Bronze he (vessel with closed spout, handle, cover and three or four legs) with the cover in the shape of bird and feet in the shape of naked man: wine vessel or water vessel (height 34.6 cm)

  1. Graveyard of State of Guo in Sanmenxia and Site of Shangyang City (8th Century BC-655 BC)

Graveyard of State of Guo of late Western Zhou Dynasty. Sanmenxia, Henan Province

Excavated from 1956 to the present

The find has not only proved the records of State of Guo in ancient documents, but also supplied rich material objects to the study of the cultural development of the state.


A set of bronze ding (a three-legged or four-legged cauldron) inscribed with owner’s name, Guo Ji: ritual vessel (bottom, height 29.8 cm-25.4 cm)

Gold ornaments: (up, triangular object with dragon design, height 8.3 cm; belt buckles in the shape of animal head, length 2 cm; circular objects, outer diameter 4.2-3.7 cm)

Jade pedant stringed with beads and seven pieces of huang (a jade tablet in the shape of a semi-circle): ornament (left, about 100 cm in length)



  1. Site of the Capital of State of Jin (585 BC-416 BC)

Capital of the late period of State of Jin, Eastern Zhou Dynasty. Houma, Shanxi Province

Excavated from 1952 to the present

It has supplied important materials to the study of the capital as well as the history of State of Jin during Spring and Autumn Period.


Jade strips with the oath of alliance written in vermilion: (up, length 16.6 cm-17.9 cm)

Pottery mould: (bottom, about 22 cm in height)





  1. Capital Cities of State of Zheng and State of Han (8th Century BC-230 BC)

Capital cities of State of Zheng and State of Han, Eastern Zhou Dynasty. Xinzheng, Henan Province

Excavated from 1964 to the present

It has supplied important materials to the study of the history of States of Zheng and Han, as well as their capital cities.


Rectangular bronze jar decorated with lotus and a standing crane: water vessel or wine vessel (height 120 cm)



  1. Site of the Second Capital of State of Yan (4th Century BC-226 BC)

Capital of State of Yan, Warring States Period. Yixian County, Hebei Province

Excavated in 1929

It has clarified the layout of the capital of State of Yan in Warring States Period.


Gold sculpture of human head: ornament (up, height 5.1 cm)

Rectangular pottery ding (a three-legged or four-legged cauldron) with bird-shaped, column legs and painted in red: funerary object (bottom, height 15.2 cm)





  1. Mausoleum of Marquis Yi of State of Zeng (Around 433 BC)

Mausoleum of the Prince of State of Zeng, early Warring States Period. Suizhou, Hubei Province

Excavated in 1978

It has demonstrated the history of State of Zeng, which had not been recorded in ancient documents.


Gold zhan (small cup): food container (up, height 11 cm)

Chime of bells made of bronze: musical instrument (mid, the stand of bells is 265-273 cm in height)

Bronze zun inside a bronze tray: wine vessel (bottom, height 23.5 cm)


  1. Tombs around Ji’nan City (7th Century BC-3rd Century BC)

Tombs of the capital of State of Chu, Eastern Zhou Dynasty. Jinzhou, Hubei Province

Excavated from 1960s to the present

It is of great importance to the understanding of the Chu culture and the burial systems of State of Chu during the Eastern Zhou period.


Bronze sword of Gou Jian, Prince of State of Yue: weapon (mid, length 55.7 cm)

Inscriptions on the sword of Gou Jian: (up-left)

Small wood-carved, painted screen: furnishings (bottom, length 51.4 cm, height 15 cm)

Hollowed-out bronze cup with the pattern of intertwining dragons, functioning as an incense burner: (in the background, height 12.7 cm)





  1. Mausoleum of the Prince of Zhongshan (4th Century BC)

Mausoleum of the Prince of State of Zhongshan, Warring States Period. Pingshan County, Hebei Province

Excavated from 1974 to 1978

It has enriched the understanding of the history and cultures of State of Zhongshan.


Bronze object in the shape of character “山” (mountain): probably as piece of building (up, height 119 cm)

Polished black pottery zun with incised design: wine vessel (bottom-left, height 41.2 cm)

Polished black pottery ding (a three-legged or four-legged cauldron) with incised design: cooking vessel (bottom-right, height 27.8 cm)

Panorama of the mausoleum carved on the bronze and inlaid with gold and silver: plan of the mausoleum (in the background, length 96 cm, width 48 cm)





  1. Tonglushan Mining and Smelting Sites (About 9th Century BC-AD 1st Century)

Sites of mining and smelting copper, from the Western Zhou to the Han Dynasty. Daye County, Hubei Province

Excavated from 1973 to 1985

It is of great significance to the study of copper mining and smelting in ancient China.
Wood funnel: mining tool (up, length 62 cm)

Bronze axe: mining tool (bottom, height 40 cm)

Wild flowers grown in the area of copper-mine: (in the background)



  1. Sites of Xianyang City and Palaces of Qin Dynasty (3rd Century BC)

Captial of the Qin Dynasty. Xianyang, Shaanxi Province

Excavated in 1959

It has supplied important material objects to the study of the history and culture of the Qin Dynasty, as well as the capital city itself.


Tile-end: piece of building (up, diameter 16 cm)

Mural of four horses: (bottom)





  1. Mausoleum of the First Emperor of Qin and Pits of Terracotta Soldiers (246 BC-209 BC)

Mausoleum of the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty and funerary pits. Xi’an, Shaanxi Province

Excavated from 1974 to the present

The find has demonstrated the structure and layout of the mausoleum of the First Emperor of Qin, as well as the great scientific and cultural achievements of the Qin Dynasty.


Terracotta soldier, kneeling and shooting: funerary object (in the front, height 120 cm)

No.1 bronze chariot and horses: funerary object (in the background, total length 225 cm)





  1. Tombs of Qin at Shuihudi and Longgang (3rd Century BC)

Tombs of the Qin Dynasty. Yunmeng County, Hubei Province

Excavated in 1975

It has provided important materials for the study of politics, economy, culture and laws of the Qin Empire.


Bamboo strips written with document of law: (up, length 23.8 cm-24.5 cm)

Painted lacquer spoon with wooden body and in the shape of phoenix: kitchen utensil (bottom, height 13.3 cm)

Flattened lacquer pot with colored painting of ox and horses: wine vessel or water vessel (in the background, height 22.8 cm)


  1. Site of Capital Chang’an of Han (202 BC-AD 8)

Capital of the Western Han Dynasty. Xi’an, Shaanxi Province

Excavated from 1956 to the present

It has clarified the layout and structure of Chang’an of the Han Dynasty, and provided important material objects for the study of the history of ancient Chinese capitals.


Tile-end with xuan wu motif (Somber Warrior, one of the four supernatural beings in ancient China, symbol of the north and the winter, in the form of a tortoise and a serpent): piece of building (up, diameter 19 cm)

Bone pieces with inscriptions: archives (bottom, 5.8 cm-7.2 cm)





  1. Sites of Han Dynasty at Yuyan & Bamboo and Wooden Strips (119 BC-AD 91)

Sites of beacon towers and walls of frontier fortress, Han Dynasty. Located at Jinta County, Gansu Province, and Erjina Banner, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region

Excavated in 1930

It has supplied important materials to the study of the history and culture of the Han Dynasty, as well as that of the features of military institutions located in the remote areas.


Silk fabrics written with six characters: token of delivering command or passing fortress (bottom, length 21 cm)

Bamboo and wooden strips: (up)





  1. Mausoleums and Royal Graveyards of Western Han (195 BC-AD 3)

Mausoleums of Emporers of the Western Han Dynasty. Around Xi’an, Shaanxi Province

Excavated from 1970 to the present

It has laid a solid foundation for the study of mausoleum systems for emperors of the Han Dynasty.


Bronze incense burner gilded with gold and silver and in the shape of bamboo stick: utensil for burning incense (left, height 58 cm)

Jade sculpture of an immortal on galloping horse: decorative object (right-bottom, length 8.9 cm, height 7 cm)





  1. Tombs of Han at Shaogou (the end of 2nd Century BC-the beginning of AD 3rd Century)

Tombs of Western and Eastern Han Dynasties. Luoyang, Henan Province

Excavated from 1952 to 1953

It has established a generally reliable standard for dating tombs of the Han Dynasty found in the central plains of China.


Painted pottery jar: food container (height 39.6 cm)


  1. Tombs of Han at Yinqueshan (the end of 3rd Century BC-AD 1st Century)

Clan tombs of Western Han Dynasty. Linyi, Shandong Province

Excavated in 1972

The finds have played the key role in studying ancient Chinese art of war, calendar, philology, system of recording, and other issues.


Bamboo strips: (up)

Lacquer cup with two ears: wine vessel or water vessel (bottom, length 17.5 cm, height 6.2 cm)





  1. Tombs of Han at Mancheng (113 BC, 104 BC)

Tombs of Prince Jing (named Liu Sheng) of Zhongshan and his wife Dou Wan. Mancheng County, Hebei Province

Excavated in 1968

It has disclosed the structure of tombs and burial systems for princes in the period of Han Dynasty.


Gilded bronze “Eternal Fidelity Palace” lamp holding by a figurine of palace maid: lighting apparatus (up, height 48 cm)

Jade clothes sewn with gold thread: burial suit (bottom, length 1.88 m)

Boshan bronze incense burner inlaid with gold: incense burner (in the background, height 26 cm)


  1. Mausoleums of Prince of Chu in Han Dynasty (2nd Century BC-AD 71)

Mausoleums of Princes of State of Chu in the Han Dynasty. Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province


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