Ancient Ruins

The vast number of ancient ruins that were found in the Yangtze River area exceeded what had been excavated in the Yellow River region. The ancient ruins and sites as well as remains left behind by the ancient civilizations represent the well-proven fact that the Yangtze River is the cradle land of Chinese Civilization.

Wushan Man & Yuanmou Man
Living in the Wushan Mountains ranges in Three Gorges Region about 2,000,000 years ago, the Wushan Man is the most primitive human being that had been found in China as well as in Asia. However, the site of Wushan Man was not known to archaeologists until the 1980s when fossils were excavated in Longgupo in Wushan County, Chongqing Municipality, including some primordial tools made out of stone which were used at that time. The discovery shocked the whole world, as it meant that the popular notion that Africa was the acknowledged birthplace of the upright human species would be overturned. This would imply that the Three Gorges region is among the cradle of the human beings.

The Yuanmou Man was found earlier than the Wushan Man in the year 1965. Tooth fossils that were found testified that the Yuanmou Man was living in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River about 1,700,000 years ago. The Yuanmou Man was once considered the earliest ancestor of Chinese nation before the appearance of Wushan Man. Remains in the site had proved that fire had been used for cooking and keeping warm, and tools found were made of bones and stone.

Daxi Culture Heritage Sites
Heritage Sites from the Daxi Culture belong to the mid Neolithic Age about 5,000 to 6,000 years ago. Representing the civilization of the upper Yangtze River, the Daxi Culture witnessed a prosperous era of Matrilineal Society and the budding period of Patrilineal society. Archaeological sites of Daxi Culture Heritage Sites are distributed in a very broad area including the southern Hubei Province and eastern Sichuan Province. Potteries, stoneware and groups of tombs excavated provided valuable data for the research of the later primitive society. The Daxi Culture was distinguished by relatively advanced agricultural economy and handcraft industry. Rice was grown in large scale and fishery and hunting were commonly practiced at that time. The handcraft industry then included the making of stoneware and potteries, while knit work was also popular at that time with wild hemp as materials.

Hemudu Culture
The Hemudu Culture is the representative primitive culture of the earlier Neolithic Age (6,000-7,000 years ago) in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. As the site was found in the Hemudu Village in Zhejiang Province, the remains found reflecting this specific culture are known as Hemudu Culture.

In the late 1970s, archaeologists started the excavation and the result was rather astounding. Thousands of tools made of stone, bones and wood had been dug out, and they were surprised to find that decorative patterns and designs were commonly carved on these tools. The groundsill of excavated houses and surrounding structures brought the living scenes of our ancestors into perspective. It is believed that stilt houses using columns, a common architecture during those times, are still adopted nowadays in Yunnan Province.

Liangzhu Culture
The Liangzhu Culture was discovered in Liangzhu Village of Zhejiang Province around the 1930s. It is a settlement of ancient people in the late Neolithic Age (about 4,700-5,300 years ago). Fifty more sites from the Liangzhu Culture are distributed around the Taihu Lake including remains of villages and tombs. The notable findings here are jade articles with a large variety and refined artwork. Designs on those jade articles are suspected as the totem at the time. Potteries are characterized as basalts. The Liangzhu Culture and Hemudu Culture coexisted for about 1,000 years respectively in different parts of the Yangtze River.

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