Qijia culture

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Map of late neolithic China; Qijia culture is #3

The Qijia culture (2400 BC - 1900 BC) was an early Bronze Age culture distributed around the upper Yellow River region of Gansu (centered in Lanzhou) and eastern Qinghai, China. It is regarded as one of the earliest bronze cultures.

The Qijia Culture is named after the Qijiaping Site in Gansu Province.

Prior to Qijia culture, in the same area there existed Majiayao culture that was also familiar with metalwork. At the end of the third millennium B.C., Qijia culture succeeded Majiayao culture at sites in three main geographic zones: Eastern Gansu, Middle Gansu, and Western Gansu/Eastern Qinghai.[1]

Research[edit]

Bronze mirror, Gansu. Qijia culture (2400 - 1900) National Museum of China

Johan Gunnar Andersson discovered the initial site at Qijiaping (齊家坪) in 1923. Qijia culture was a sedentary culture, based on agriculture, and breeding pigs, which were also used in sacrifices. Qijia culture is distinguished by a presence of numerous domesticated horses, and practice of oracle divination, the metal knives and axes recovered apparently point to some interactions with Siberian and Central Asian cultures, in particular with the Seima-Turbino complex. Archeological evidence points to plausible early contact between the Qijia culture and Central Asia.[2]

Qijia culture produced some of the earliest bronze and copper mirrors found in China. Extensive domestication of horses are found at many Qijia sites.

The archaeological sites at Lajia, Huangniangniangtai, Qinweijia, and Dahezhuang [2] are associated with the Qijia culture. Qijia sites were also found in Ningxia province and Inner Mongolia.

A total of over 350 sites of the Qijia culture have been found superimposed on the Majiayao culture. A large quantity of metal ware, mostly copper objects, including some bronzes, have been excavated from various sites in Gansu province and at Gamatai in Qinghai province.

25 pieces of metalwork were analyzed for their composition. Those made from copper were the most numerous, accounting for 64 per cent of the total. The rest represented various copper alloys, including tin.[3]

Pottery[edit]

Techniques of pottery-making are marked by a fine red ware and a coarse reddish-brown ware. There are also a few pieces of grey ware. They are handmade, there being no evidence of wheel-made ware.[4] While the Qijia culture pottery has its own stylistic characteristics, it also shares many traits in common with the Longshan culture in Shaanxi. Some elements of the Majiayao culture are also present.

Late stages[edit]

During the late stages of the culture, the Qijia culture retreated from the west and suffered a reduction in population size.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Neolithic period -- Princeton University Art Museum
  2. ^ a b Nicola Di Cosmo, The Northern Frontier in Pre-Imperial China//The Cambridge History of Ancient China, p. 901
  3. ^ An Zhimin, THE BRONZE AGE IN EASTERN PARTS OF CENTRAL ASIA. (PDF) Unesco.org
  4. ^ An Zhimin, THE BRONZE AGE IN EASTERN PARTS OF CENTRAL ASIA. (PDF) Unesco.org

External links[edit]