Dawenkou culture

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dawenkou culture
Dawenkou map.svg
Geographical range North China
Period Neolithic China
Dates c. 4100 – c. 2600 BC
Preceded by Beixin culture
Followed by Longshan culture
Chinese name
Chinese 大汶口文化
Gui (鬹) from Dawenkou Culture

The Dawenkou culture is a name given by archaeologists to a group of Neolithic communities who lived primarily in Shandong, but also appeared in Anhui, Henan and Jiangsu, China. The culture existed from 4100 to 2600 BC, co-existing with the Yangshao culture. Turquoise, jade and ivory artefacts are commonly found at Dawenkou sites. The earliest examples of alligator drums appear at Dawenkou sites. Neolithic signs, perhaps related to subsequent scripts, such as those of the Shang Dynasty, have been found on Dawenkou pottery.[1]

Archaeologists commonly divide the culture into three phases: the early phase (4100-3500 BC), the middle phase (3500-3000 BC) and the late phase (3000-2600 BC). Based on the evidence from grave goods, the early phase was highly egalitarian. The phase is typified by the presence of individually designed, long-stemmed cups (gu). Graves built with earthen ledges became increasingly common during the latter parts of the early phase. During the middle phase, grave goods began to emphasize quantity over diversity. During the late phase, wooden coffins began to appear in Dawenkou burials. The culture became increasingly stratified, as some graves contained no grave goods while others contained a large quantity of grave goods.

The type site at Dawenkou, located in Tai'an, Shandong, was excavated in 1959, 1974 and 1978. Only the middle layer at Dawenkou is associated with the Dawenkou culture, as the earliest layer corresponds to the Beixin culture and the latest layer corresponds to the early Shandong variant of the Longshan culture. The Dawenkou interacted extensively with the Yangshao culture. "For two and a half millennia of its existence the Dawenkou was, however, in a dynamic interchange with the Yangshao Culture, in which process of interaction it sometimes had the lead role, notably in generating Longshan.[2]Scholars have also noted similarities between the Dawenkou and the Liangzhu culture as well as the related cultures of the Yantze River basin. [3] According to some scholars, the Dawenkou culture may have a link with a pre-Austronesian language.[4][5][6] Other researchers also note a similarity between Dawenkou inhabitants and modern Austronesian people in cultural practices such as tooth avulsion and architecture.[7]

Some scholars have asserted that the racial type of the Dawenkou bore resemblance to the Polynesian cranium type, differing from the contemporary Yangshao, which resembled Southern Chinese, Indonesians, and some Indo-Chinese.[8] In contrast, Dawenkou teeth had an overwhelming resemblance to the Sinodont dental pattern. [9] The physical similarity of the Jiahu people to the later Dawenkou (2600 BC±4300 BC) indicates that the Dawenkou might have descended from the Jiahu, following a slow migration along the middle and lower reaches of the Huai river and the Hanshui valley.[10] Other scholars have also speculated that the Dawenkou originate in nearby regions to the south. [11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Maisel, Charles Keith (1999). Early Civilizations of the Old World: The Formative Histories of Egypt, the Levant, Mesopotamia, India and China. Psychology Press. p. 283. ISBN 978-0-4151-0975-8. 
  2. ^ Maisel, Charles Keith (1999). Early Civilizations of the Old World: The Formative Histories of Egypt, the Levant, Mesopotamia, India and China. Psychology Press. p. 283. ISBN 978-0-4151-0975-8. 
  3. ^ Maisel, Charles Keith (1999). Early Civilizations of the Old World: The Formative Histories of Egypt, the Levant, Mesopotamia, India and China. Psychology Press. p. 284. ISBN 978-0-4151-0975-8. 
  4. ^ Quests of the Dragon and Bird Clan By Paul Kekai Manansala. 
  5. ^ Sagart, Laurent. "The expansion of Setaria farmers in East Asia". academia.edu. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  6. ^ Blench, Roger (2005). The Peopling of East Asia: Putting Together Archaeology, Linguistics and Genetics. Routledge. p. 9. 
  7. ^ Blench, Roger. "Past Human Migrations in East Asia: Matching Archaeology, Linguistics and Genetics". Google Books. Routledge; 1st ed edition (October 17, 2008). 
  8. ^ Keightley, David (Jan 1, 1983). The Origins of Chinese Civilization. University of California Press. p. 125. 
  9. ^ Manabe, Y. "Dental morphology of the Dawenkou Neolithic population in North China: implications for the origin and distribution of Sinodonty.". NCBI. NCBI. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Oldest playable musical instruments found at Jiahu early Neolithic site in China" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  11. ^ Blench, Roger (1997). Archaeology and Language: Correlating archaeological and linguistic hypotheses. p. 94. 
  • Allan, Sarah (ed), The Formation of Chinese Civilization: An Archaeological Perspective, ISBN 0-300-09382-9
  • Liu, Li. The Chinese Neolithic: Trajectories to Early States, ISBN 0-521-81184-8
  • Underhill, Anne P. Craft Production and Social Change in Northern China, ISBN 0-306-46771-2