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Banpo is located in China
location in China
Coordinates34°16′23″N 109°03′04″E / 34.273°N 109.051°E / 34.273; 109.051
Founded6700 BP
Abandoned5600 BP
PeriodsNeolithic China
CulturesYangshao culture
Yangshao cordmarked amphora (Banpo phase, 4800 BC, Shaanxi.
Human faced–fish decorated bowl recovered at Banpo.
A skull recovered at Banpo displayed at the Xi'an Banpo Museum.

Banpo is an archaeological site discovered in 1953 and located in the Yellow River Valley just east of Xi'an, China. It contains the remains of several well organized Neolithic settlements, like Jiangzhai, carbon dated to 6700–5600 years ago.[1][2][3][4] The area of 5 to 6 hectares (12 to 15 acres) is surrounded by a ditch, probably a defensive moat, 5 to 6 meters (16 to 20 ft) wide. The houses were circular, built of mud and wood with overhanging thatched roofs. They sat on low foundations. There appear to be communal burial areas.[5]

Banpo is the type site associated with Yangshao Culture. Archaeological sites with similarities to the first phase at Banpo are considered to be part of the “Banpo phase” (5th millennium BC) of the Yangshao culture. Banpo was excavated from 1954 to 1957.

The settlement was surrounded by a moat, with the graves and pottery kilns located outside the moat perimeter. Many of the houses were semisubterranean with the floor typically 1 meter (3 ft) below the ground surface. The houses were supported by timber poles and had steeply pitched thatched roofs.

According to the Marxist paradigm of archaeology that was prevalent in the China during the time of the excavation of the site, Banpo was considered to be a matriarchal society; however, new research contradicts this claim and the Marxist paradigm is gradually being phased out in modern Chinese archaeological research.[6] Currently, little can be said of the religious or political structure from these ruins from the archaeological evidence.[5][7]

The site is now home to the Xi'an Banpo Museum, built in 1957 to preserve the archaeological collection.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Yang, Xiaoping (2010). "Climate Change and Desertification with Special Reference to the Cases in China". Changing Climates, Earth Systems and Society. pp. 177–187. doi:10.1007/978-90-481-8716-4_8. ISBN 978-90-481-8715-7.
  2. ^ Crawford, Garry W. (2004). "East Asian plant domestication" (PDF). In Miriam T. Stark (ed.). Archaeology of Asia. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. pp. 77–95.
  3. ^ Fuller, Dorian Q; Qin, Ling; Harvey, Emma (2008). "A Critical Assessment of Early Agriculture in East Asia, with emphasis on Lower Yangzte Rice Domestication" (PDF). Pragdhara: 17–52.
  4. ^ Meng, Y; Zhang, HQ; Pan, F; He, ZD; Shao, JL; Ding, Y (2011). "Prevalence of dental caries and tooth wear in a Neolithic population (6700-5600 years BP) from northern China". Archives of Oral Biology. 56 (11): 1424–35. doi:10.1016/j.archoralbio.2011.04.003. PMID 21592462.
  5. ^ a b Jarzombek, Mark M; Prakash, Vikramaditya (2011-02-09). A Global History of Architecture. pp. 8–9. ISBN 9780470902455.
  6. ^ Liu, Li (2004). The Chinese Neolithic. p. 11. ISBN 9781139441704.
  7. ^ Lu, H.; Zhang, J.; Liu, K.-b.; Wu, N.; Li, Y.; Zhou, K.; Ye, M.; Zhang, T.; et al. (2009). "Earliest domestication of common millet (Panicum miliaceum) in East Asia extended to 10,000 years ago". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106 (18): 7367–72. Bibcode:2009PNAS..106.7367L. doi:10.1073/pnas.0900158106. PMC 2678631. PMID 19383791.
  8. ^ "Banpo Museum in Xi'an". Archived from the original on 31 January 2018. Retrieved 29 July 2013.