Baodun culture

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Baodun culture
Baodun map.svg
Geographical range Sichuan Basin
Period Neolithic
Dates c. 2700 – c. 1700 BC[1]
Type site Baodun
Major sites Yufu, Mangcheng
Followed by Sanxingdui
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 寶墩文化
Simplified Chinese 宝墩文化

The Baodun culture (2700 BC – 1700 BC) was a Neolithic culture centered on the Chengdu Plain in Sichuan, China.


Archaeologists have divided the culture into four phases (I-IV).[2] The only radiocarbon dates for the Baodun Culture come from Bianduishan.[3] Two dates were calibrated using CalPal software to 2467 ± 347 BC and 1993 ± 335 BC.[4]


Ten settlements from the culture have been found.[1] The first six sites discovered were: the type site at Baodun in Xinjin County, the site at Mangcheng in Dujiangyan City, the site at Yufu in Wenjiang County, the site at Zizhu in Chongzhou, the site at Shuanghe in Chongzhou and the site at Gucheng in Pi County. Yufucun is the second largest site associated with the Baodun culture.

All of the settlements straddle the Min River. The settlement walls were covered with pebbles, a feature unique to the Baodun culture. The pottery from the culture share some similarities with Sanxingdui. The inhabitants lived in wattle and daub houses.[2] The earliest evidence for rice and foxtail millet agriculture in southwest China was discovered at the type site at Baodun.[1]

The site at Yufu is also surrounded by two walls: The inner wall covers and area of around 25 ha (250,000 m2), while the outer wall covers and area of around 40 ha (400,000 m2).[2] The site at Mangcheng is also surrounded by two, pounded earth walls: the inner wall covers an area of around 7.2 ha (72,000 m2), while the outer wall covers an area of around 10.5 ha (105,000 m2).[2] The majority of buildings were made from wattle and daub technology.[5] The site at Gucheng is surrounded by a wall enclosing an area of around 30.4 ha (304,000 m2).[2] The sites at Zizhu and Shuanghe are also surrounded by double walls.[2]


The Baodun type site was discovered in 1950.[2] The type site is the oldest and largest site associated with the Baodun culture. Baodun is surrounded by two walls: the inner wall covers an area of around 66 ha (660,000 m2), while the outer wall covers and area of around 245 ha (2,450,000 m2). Estimates of the labour required to build both walls suggest that they would have taken 100 people over 5 years to build.[6] It is unclear whether the area between the two walls was residential, agricultural, or used for different purposes.[7]


Rice and foxtail millet were both grown at Baodun, with rice dominating.[1] Many weeds associated with paddy rice cultivation were also discovered at Baodun.[1] The remains of Job's tears, Vicia, two types of Vigna, beefsteak plant, and Crataegus were also discovered at Baodun.[1]

Rice has also been found at Mangcheng.[8]

See also[edit]



  • Allan, Sarah (ed), The Formation of Chinese Civilization: An Archaeological Perspective, ISBN 0-300-09382-9
  • Flad, Rowan (2013). "Chapter 7: The Sichuan Basin Neolithic". In Underhill, Anne P. A Companion to Chinese Archaeology. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 125–146. ISBN 978-1-4443-3529-3. 
  • Flad, Rowan; Chen, Pochan (2013). Ancient Central China: Centers and Peripheries Along the Yangtze River. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-72766-2. 
  • d'Alpoim Guedes, Jade; et al. (2013). "Site of Baodun yields earliest evidence for the spread of rice and foxtail millet agriculture to south-west China". Antiquity. 87 (337). doi:10.1017/S0003598X00049449. 
  • Zhongguo Shehuikexueyuan Kaogu Yanjiusuo Sichuan Gongzuodui (1991). 中国考古学中碳十四年代报告集1965-1991 [Report of C-14 dates from Chinese archaeology 1965-1991]. Beijing: Wenwu Chubanshe. 

Coordinates: 30°27′01″N 103°45′03″E / 30.4502°N 103.7508°E / 30.4502; 103.7508