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County-level city
Country China
Province Henan
Prefecture-level city Luoyang
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)

Yanshi (Chinese: 偃师; pinyin: Yǎnshī) is a county-level city administered by the prefecture-level city of Luoyang in western Henan province in the People's Republic of China. Yanshi lies on the Luo River.

Erlitou (trad. 二里頭, simp.二里头, Èrlǐtóu), the main site of the eponymous culture (1900–1500 BC), was discovered here in 1959.[1] Erlitou is the name of the modern village nearby; the traditional name of the settlement was Zhenxun (斟鄩, Zhēnxún).

In 1983, a walled city dating from c. 1600BC was found 6 km (3.7 mi) north-east of the Erlitou site in Yanshi's Shixianggou Township.[1] This city, now known as Yanshi Shang City (偃师商城, Yǎnshī Shāngchéng), had an area of nearly 200 ha (490 acres) and featured pottery characteristic of the Erligang culture.[2] Some scholars—including the Xia–Shang–Zhou Chronology Project[2]—identify it with the first Shang Dynasty capital, Western Bo (西亳, Xībó) which was traditionally credited to King Tang after his defeat of the Xia dynasty.[3]


  1. ^ a b Liu, Li; Xu, Hong (2007). "Rethinking Erlitou: legend, history and Chinese archaeology". Antiquity 81 (314): 886–901. 
  2. ^ a b Lee, Yun Kuen (2002). "Building the chronology of early Chinese history". Asian Perspectives: the Journal of Archaeology for Asia and the Pacific 41 (1): 15–42. doi:10.1353/asi.2002.0006. 
  3. ^ Schinz, Alfred (1996). The magic square: cities in ancient China. Edition Axel Menges. ISBN 978-3-930698-02-8. 

Coordinates: 34°44′N 112°47′E / 34.733°N 112.783°E / 34.733; 112.783