Shijiahe culture

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Tubular pottery sacrificial vessel, Shijiahe culture, Hubei Provincial Museum

The Shijiahe culture (Chinese: 石家河文化; pinyin: Shíjiāhé Wénhuà) (2500-2000 BC) was a late Neolithic culture centered on the middle Yangtze River region in Hubei, China. It succeeded the Qujialing culture in the same region and inherited its unique artefact of painted spindle whorls. Pottery figurines and distinct jade worked with advanced techniques were also common to the culture.

Copper artefacts[edit]

The remains of copper ore (malachite) and some artefacts were discovered in one Shijiahe settlement. This was at Dengjiawan, within the Shijiahe site complex. Some pieces of copper were discovered, making these the earliest copper objects discovered so far in southern China.[1]

The type site was discovered at Tianmen County, Hubei, China. The upper layer of the type site belonged to the Qujialing culture. The site at Shijiahe covered an area of around 1,200,000 m². The settlement was surrounded by a moat and rammed earth wall. The type site was likely a regional center.

Shijiahe is one of the largest towns excavated so far—almost a perfect square, one kilometer on each side. This was a period in which villages and towns expanded symmetrically in oval, square, rectangle and trapezoid shapes.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Anne P. Underhill, ed., A Companion to Chinese Archaeology. John Wiley & Sons, 2013 ISBN 1118325729 p524
  2. ^ Xujie, Lui (2002). Chinese Architecture -- The Origins of Chinese Architecture (English Ed. ed.). Yale University Press. pp. 14–15. ISBN 0-300-09559-7. 


  • Allan, Sarah (ed), The Formation of Chinese Civilization: An Archaeological Perspective, ISBN 0-300-09382-9