The Yangshan Culture is an early Neolithic culture in northern China, named after the first discovery in Yangshan, Wu’an, Hebei.
It was first discovered in 1933 in Wuangshan, Hebei, and appeared around 5400~5100 B.C. It is an important culture of the early Neolithic period in North China, along with the Pei Ligang culture. The Yangshan culture is mainly distributed in the south of Hebei Province and other places.
It was excavated in 1973. The age is about 5400~5100 BC (the latest identification is about 10,300-8700 years ago). The culture is closely related to Pei Ligang culture, and some people call the two together as “Pei Ligang-Magushan culture”. Its discovery has filled an important missing link in the early Neolithic culture of China. Together with Lao Guantai (Dadiwan), Lijiacun and Pei Ligang cultures, the Yangshao culture is the predecessor of the Yangshao culture, so it is collectively referred to as the “pre-Yangshao” period of the New Period culture.
Magnetic mountain culture site, is located in the south of Hebei province Wu’an city magnetic mountain village east about 1 kilometer on the north bank of the South lluvia river terrace, northeast according to the drum mountain, 17 kilometers from Wu’an city, is China’s initial discovery of a new early Neolithic culture site, about 7300 years ago, break through the Neolithic Yangshao culture archaeological era, because it has typical representative significance, archaeology named “magnetic mountain culture”. In 1988, it was announced by the State Council as a national key cultural relic protection unit.
Discovered in 1972, the total area of the site was nearly 140,000 square meters, and three excavations were carried out from 1976 to 1978, covering an area of 6,000 square meters by the end of 1978, with a cultural layer of 1 to 2 meters thick and many caves 6 to 7 meters deep. About 6,000 kinds of pottery, stone tools, bone tools, mussel tools, animal bones and plant specimens were unearthed, providing valuable clues to the search for the origins of China’s earlier civilization of agriculture, animal husbandry and pottery making.
If many parts of the earth were still Hongmeng unopened more than 7,000 years ago, people here were already growing grains, raising poultry, making production and living utensils, and firing pottery …… into the earliest human civilization. China’s late famous archaeologist Mr. Xia Nai pointed out, “The discovery of the site of the Magnetic Hill Culture is a major breakthrough in China’s Neolithic archaeology.” It provides rich and valuable underground physical data for the study and exploration of the early Neolithic culture in China.
Two house foundation sites were found at the site, both of which were semi-cave houses. Among the artifacts of the house foundation site, there is a burnt clay block stained with clearly identifiable mat patterns, indicating that reed mats were made in this area 7,300 years ago, which can also imagine the great convenience that reed mats brought to people’s lives, and archaeologists call this artifact the most in the country.
A total of 468 ash pits have been excavated at the site of Magnetic Hill, and 88 of these rectangular caves were found to have piles of corn ash at the bottom, with layers ranging from 0.3 to 2 meters thick, and 10 caves had piles of grain more than 2 meters thick, which is uncommon among the Neolithic cultural remains excavated in China.
The discovery of the Yangshao culture is of great significance in Chinese archaeology: Yin Weizhang pointed out that the discovery of the Yangshao culture has pushed the Yangshao culture upward by more than a thousand years and is of great value in the history of academic development. The discovery of the Yangshan culture site is of great significance in the exploration of the origin of civilization.
According to Duan Hongzhen, the significance of the discovery of the Magnetic Hill Culture is, firstly, the finding of a 7,000-year-old culture; and secondly, the discovery of early agricultural remains – corn – in large quantities for the first time. According to Wang Jihuai, the academic significance of the excavation of the Zhongshan culture is that it has established the chronological sequence of the Neolithic archaeology in the south and central Hebei region, and added valuable information for exploring the exchange of ancient cultures between the central and northern regions. The early Neolithic culture of North China, first discovered in 1933 in Zhongshan, Wu’an County, Hebei Province, was named after the culture.
The economic life of the inhabitants was mainly based on primitive agriculture, and crops included corn. The stone mill was equipped with three or four feet and had a unique shape. Dogs, pigs and other domestic animals were raised, and fishing and hunting were also done. The pottery industry is primitive and in the hand-made stage; the oval-mouthed pellet, boot-shaped support, three-legged bowl and deep-bellied jar are typical pottery. The surface of the pottery is decorated with rope patterns, grate patterns and scratch patterns. Housing is round or oval, are semi-cave type construction. More caves for storing things are found. The relationship between the culture of Zhongshan and the culture of Pei Ligang is so close that some people call them “Pei Ligang – Zhongshan culture”. In general, it seems that the Pei Ligang culture and the later stage of the Yangshan culture are relatively close. Its discovery has filled an important missing link in the early Neolithic culture of China.
The discovery of the 7,500 year-old Magatama Culture in 1972 in the town of Magatama, Handan, filled the gap in the archaeology of China’s early Neolithic culture and dated the Yangshao culture back more than a thousand years, causing a huge sensation in the archaeological community at home and abroad.
The total area of the site is 140,000 square meters. In 1976, excavations were carried out in some areas of the site, and more than 5,000 pieces of pottery, stone tools, bone tools and other artifacts were unearthed, including pottery pellets and supports, stone grinding plates and grinding sticks, which are representative relics of the Yangshao culture.
A number of plant charcoal and animal skeletal specimens have been unearthed from the site, including plants such as corn, hazelnut, pecan, and loblolly pine. Experts believe that the discovery of corn has brought forward the record of corn planting in the Yellow River Basin to nearly 8,000 years ago, filling the gap of corn planting in the Yangshao culture and revising the world’s understanding of the age of corn planting, affirming that the Yellow River Basin in China is the earliest area in the world to plant corn. The unearthing of pecans broke the claim that it was introduced from the western region by Zhang Qian in the Han Dynasty, especially the discovery of domestic chicken bones, which is the earliest known record in the world, and corrected the thesis of contemporary international experts that domestic chicken first appeared in India (4,000 years ago). According to the discovery of relics, sites, especially house foundations and a large number of grain cellars and ruins. It is proved that people lived in semi-cavernous houses, mainly in primitive agriculture, supplemented by fishing and hunting, gathering and living a sedentary life.
In the winter of 1972, when digging an aqueduct on the eastern terrace of the village, the people of Zhongshan Village accidentally discovered a “primitive village” that had been sleeping underground for more than 7,000 years, thus opening the curtain on the exploration of early Neolithic culture in the Yellow River Basin.
Archaeologists then unearthed a large number of relics and relics on this site, which covers a total area of only 140,000 square meters. Over time, the originally silent and nameless hill village became a place of greatest interest to the national and world heritage community. During the excavation after excavation for more than twenty years, a large number of precious cultural relics and remains were unearthed one after another. Inside the Magnetic Hill Ruins Museum, there are dense pits, round, oval, and rectangular. Archaeologists say that these seemingly ordinary pits are not dug at random, some pits are “ash pits”, where the ancestors dumped their garbage; some pits with steps and a hard surface at the bottom are the foundations of semi-cavernous thatched houses; and those rectangular pits that are several meters deep are the “cellars” where the ancestors stored grain.
According to the data, since the excavation of the site of Magnetic Hill, more than 4,000 pieces of stone tools, pottery, bone tools and other relics have been unearthed. Among these relics, there are mainly stone grinding plates and stone sticks similar to stone mallets used for peeling grain, and clay pottery pots and holders used for cooking.
Among them, the surface of the stone grinding plate is smooth, beaten or ground, and some of them have a foot at the bottom, so the workmanship can be said to be very fine at that time. Archaeological research shows that the site of Magnetic Hill is a relic of man’s entry into the Neolithic period, which is about 7,000 years ago. At that time, the ancestors had ended the nomadic life of “living by water and grass” and had a relatively stable settlement, forming a way of life that was mainly based on growing corn and supplemented by gathering, fishing and hunting. During this period, the ancestors could already make ground stone tools and handmade pottery, and the bone needles they made were not much bigger than steel needles. In this “primitive village”, not only were there domestic pigs and dogs, but there may have even been domestic chickens and walnuts.
The site of Zhongshan represents the cultural landscape after the middle of the Early Neolithic period, filling a gap in the study of Neolithic culture in China. Because of its typical representative significance, it was named the “Magnetic Hill Culture” by the archaeological community and was designated as a national key cultural relic protection unit in 1988.
Archaeologists were deeply puzzled by a strange phenomenon during the excavation process, which puzzled many archaeologists. On such a small site, there are dozens of “assemblages” of labor tools placed in a regular and concentrated manner. Most of these “assemblages” consisted of stone grinding plates, stone rods, stone shovels, stone axes, pottery pots, brackets, etc. Each group generally consisted of four pieces, and most of them were placed in groups of production tools (stone shovels and stone axes, etc.), threshing tools (stone grinding plates and stone rods, etc.), and cooking utensils (pottery pots, brackets, etc.), and the order of placement was very obvious. This is very rare in other Neolithic sites in China.
At first, some experts speculated that the site might be a burial area for the ancestors and that this “assemblage” was a burial object. However, after several years of extensive general exploration, test excavation, plus the investigation of the periphery of the site, no human bones and traces of burial were found, but instead a large number of bird bones, animal bones, and even very small fish spines were found. Some experts, based on the placement characteristics of the “assemblage”, believe that this may have been a primitive human settlement or food processing site. However, they also failed to find corresponding evidence, because no so-called living area was found here, and only two house foundations were excavated. In addition, if it was a food processing site or a production workplace, then each pit should have a corresponding space for activities, but in fact each group of “assemblages” occupies a small area, some of which are less than two square meters.
Over time, some experts and scholars have boldly raised the possibility that these “assemblages” were deliberately piled together in accordance with a certain ideology and customary format, specifically for the “sacrifice” of souls or the remains of some kind of worship.” Either way, they have not found sufficient and accurate evidence for their view.” Local archaeologist Han Lintai believes that, all things considered, the Magnetic Hill site should have been a primitive village at the time.
In March 2010, the staff of the Magnetic Hill Culture Museum found some white lumps with plant particles attached to the surface from a collapsed cultural layer, which experts believe may be “flour” from ancient times. The Chinese Academy of Sciences is in the process of further identifying this peculiar substance.
These strange white things are corn, corn flour, starch, or white ash? By examining and analyzing the surface of the objects and the cultural layer where they are located, the cultural department believes that the white lumps are the first time they were found and are relatively well preserved, and are likely to be starchy substances from thousands of years ago, which is the earliest human flour. On March 4, 2010, the staff bagged and sealed all of these objects and mailed some of the samples to the Chinese Academy of Sciences for further examination by experts through laboratory tests. Magnetic Hill is the birthplace of cereals. In the previous history of world agriculture, corn has been recognized as having spread from Egypt and India. However, with the discovery of the Magnetic Hill site, this “conclusion” was rewritten.
Archaeologists have unanimously concluded that more than 7,000 years ago, the ancestors of Magyama began to grow corn, a drought-tolerant crop, and achieved a high yield. Archaeologists have discovered a total of 189 “caves” for storing grain at the site. These “granaries” were shaped like bags, with most of the cellar openings 1-2 meters in diameter and varying depths, the shallowest being only 0.85 meters and the deepest reaching 5 meters. A local archaeologist sighed that the local soil was extremely sticky and could be said to be “wet and muddy, dry and hard, not wet and not dry to dig”, but the ancestors used polished stone axes and stone shovels to dig out so many cellars several meters deep, whose tenacity and labor intensity were unimaginable.
Han Lintai, an archaeologist who took part in the excavation, told the reporter that when the “caves” were shown to the world, people could not help but be amazed: there was a large amount of “corn ash” piled up inside, and at first they were grayish green in color, but they turned into white ash after a while. In some pieces of rotten ash, directly with the naked eye you can see a round grain of corn that has been charred. In order to identify the composition of these grains, the excavators went to Beijing twice, but they were unable to find proper storage methods, and the specimens magically turned into ash powder when they reached their destination.
Finally, Beijing archaeologists used the “ash-elephant method” to identify the specimens and concluded that the people of Jieshan were eating “millet”, which is the earliest discovery of the history of artificial grain cultivation today. While the archaeologists were rejoicing, a rather puzzling question was also put before them. Because the thickness of the “corn ash” in these caves was generally 0.2-2 meters, and 10 of them even reached more than 2 meters.
If the specific gravity and volume are estimated, the corn stored in these 189 “granaries” should be at least 50,000 kilograms or more. It was almost unimaginable that such a large amount of grain could be left in the rudimentary production conditions of the time. For a while, experts have speculated on the magnitude of this “granary”: it may be that agricultural production had reached a high level at that time, and in addition to enough to eat, there was still some surplus; perhaps a tribe stored grain seeds, before the time of sowing, there was a major natural disaster, all the people have fled their homes.
Early domestic chicken
It is also believed that this place may be the place where the ancestors worshiped the “grain god”, and they dedicated the best grain to the gods in order to pray for a good harvest. At the same time, some scholars have questioned whether the cellar is a “granary” after the experiment. They believe that some “caves” are unusually small and difficult for people to enter, so how did those ancestors take and put the grain?
In the face of external confusion, local villagers have their own explanation, they believe that this is the legendary “Shennong’s” place of residence, and hundreds of caves is then the “Shennong granary”. In addition to the large number of stone tools, pottery and piles of “corn ash” found at the site, archaeologists have also unearthed a large number of bird bones. Whether these bird bones came from the domesticated early domestic chicken is also considered to be an important mystery of the “Magnetic Hill Culture”. According to tradition, the domestic chicken originated in India around 2000 BC. However, experts have compared the bird bone specimens from the Magnetic Hill site with the modern bird bones in the Beijing Nature Museum and found that they are similar to the modern proto-chicken tarsus. The bones are similar in form and size. They thus concluded that it is most likely that the bird bone specimens excavated at Magnetic Hill belonged to chickens, and that they may also be domesticated early domestic chickens.
The experts who support this claim also put forward the fact that, firstly, the agriculture in Magashan had developed considerably at that time and there was already a surplus of food, thus providing certain material conditions for raising poultry; secondly, according to modern zoologists’ research, the domestic chicken was domesticated by the original chicken, and the distribution area of the original chicken in ancient China already included the northern and central plains.
However, there are some experts and scholars who have different views on this. They think that similarity does not mean the same.
In addition, during the study of the bird bones, a very interesting problem was found: the tarsus of the “domestic fowl” found in Magnetic Mountain is that all but one of the bones are male. The bones were all male, except for one that was female. What does the presence of a large number of male “domestic fowl” mean? Did the ancestors intentionally choose male chickens because of some religious rituals? Did the ancestors keep only the egg-laying chickens and kill the extra males like modern people do? Did the hunters selectively kill the original chickens (pheasants)? No one has been able to find clues and evidence for this today. However, if the bird bones found in Jieshan are indeed domestic chicken bones, then the domestication of domestic chicken in China can be dated back to 5400 B.C., more than 3000 years before India. Together with Lao Guantai (Dadiwan), Lijiacun and Pei Ligang cultures, the Yangshao culture is the predecessor of the Yangshao culture, and is therefore collectively referred to as the “pre-Yangshao” period of the New Period culture.
Why the ancestors suddenly “evaporated”, still has been troubled by many experts and scholars.” The main reason for the many doubts is that the lifestyle, folk customs and the shape and structure of the houses of the ancestors more than 7,000 years ago are so different from the contemporary ones that it is difficult to imagine and impossible to find a solid basis to prove their authenticity,” said archaeologist Qiao Danyun, director of the Handan Cultural Relics Conservation Institute, who believes that with the continuous development of archaeological work, these “mysteries” will find reasonable answers.
According to the latest news, during the Shanxi Gaoping Shennong Yandi Cultural Symposium held in Beijing on January 23-24, 2016, Mr. Guo Xiaoliang of the Hong Kong Shennong (Yandi) International Industry Group pointed out through his research on the era of sea invasion that a part of the ancestors of the Hebei magnetic mountain farming civilization, after being destroyed by sea invasion, went west to the Taihang Mountains and integrated with the local aborigines and began to grow grains and taste all kinds of herbs in the Taihang Mountains, improving farming techniques and becoming a relatively more advanced agricultural industry. They began to improve farming techniques and became the Shennong tribe with relatively developed agriculture.
Pottery is a Chinese invention and a major contribution to world civilization. Most of the pottery excavated from the site of Magnetic Hill is sandy pottery, and a few are clay pottery, all of which are handmade and mainly plain. Among the pottery excavated are round-bottomed bowls, three-legged bowls, bowl-shaped tripods, etc. Among them, the pottery group consisting of pottery pots and pottery stands is unique and most representative. The stone tools excavated from the site include beaten stone tools, ground stone tools and polished stone tools, and the main shapes include grinding plates, grinding rods, axes, shovels, chisels, adzes, sickles, etc. Among them, grinding plates and grinding rods are grain processing tools and have great archaeological value.
The pottery at the site of Magnetic Hill is mainly sandwiched red pottery, with low fire, rough texture and plain surface. Most of the pottery is made of clay strips, and the shape is not regular. The surface decoration of pottery has rope pattern, weave pattern, grate pattern, nipple pattern and so on. Ware shape has oval pot, boot-shaped bracket, pellet, bowl, etc..
From the specimens and a large number of artifacts excavated from the site of Magnetic Hill, as early as 7000 years ago, the area around the eastern foot of the Taihang Mountains in southern Hebei had a relatively developed agriculture, the level of productivity at that time has been removed from the initial stage of agricultural economy, a considerable number of people have been engaged in special manual labor, primitive handicraft industry has become an important part of primitive agriculture, fishing, hunting, gathering production and its life. The rich connotations of the Magyama culture sites provide a new and important chain link for the study and exploration of the early Neolithic culture of China.
Comparison with neighboring archaeological cultures, comparative study between the Magatama culture and neighboring archaeological cultures:Regarding the relationship between the Magatama culture and the Pei Ligang culture, Wang Jihuai and Duan Hongzhen have argued that the two cultures had their own distribution areas and unique cultural connotations, representing two different cultural systems in the Yellow River Basin or North China, respectively. With regard to the relationship between the Yangshan culture and the neighboring cultures in the north, Duan Hongzhen believes that they also belong to two different Neolithic cultures of the same period, and that there is a close cultural exchange between the Yangshan culture and the Yangshan culture in the north.
The question of the origin of the Magyama culture: Duan Hongzhen explored the macroscopic origin of the Magyama culture by tracing the typical artifacts of the Magyama culture, suggesting that the Bon of the North Fudi I culture is closest to the Magyama culture, followed by the cylinder jar of the Xinglongwa culture, and that the Xinglongwa culture, the North Fudi I culture, and the Magyama culture should all belong to the northern cylinder jar culture system in a macroscopic sense, and that the macroscopic origin of the Magyama culture is likely to be in the The northern part of the eastern foothills of the Taihang Mountains. Wang Zhenzhong argues that the change from the Yangshao culture to the postgang type of the Yangshao culture can be explained by adding a new perspective of ancient migration to the framework of the zone-type theory. Zhao Chaohong and Wang Tao have compared and contrasted the culture of Zhongshan with the Early Neolithic sites of Donghulin, Turnian, and Nanzhuangtou, and concluded that the discovery of these three cultures may provide useful help in exploring the origin of the culture of Zhongshan.
Zhou Xiaolu believes that the level of development of “corn” in the culture of Zhongshan represents the level of development of advanced agriculture, reflecting the development of high-tech farming, and therefore should not be the earliest farming; Zheng Jiexiang believes that the statement that the culture of Zhongshan was “slash-and-burn” as proposed by scholars in the past is inaccurate, and that the culture of Zhongshan and Pei Ligang had already entered the stage of shovel plowing or The new type of production tools excavated from the Magatama culture, the stone axe, was a key factor in developing the wasteland and expanding the cultivation area, which promoted the rapid development of agricultural production at that time.
Wang Jihuai also believes that the developed agriculture of the Zhongshan Culture was not the earliest, but should be the development period of agriculture. Cheng Youwei believes that the discovery of a large number of production tools as well as corn at the site of the Magatama culture indicates that primitive agriculture had its initial development in the Neolithic period. Concerning the primitive religion of the Yangshan culture, Qiao Danyun believes that the complete or piles of animal bones such as pigs and dogs placed in the caves for grain storage may be sacrifices for some rituals, but their purpose is not purely for some “sacrifice”, but the most primitive “barn sacrifice” relics, i.e. praying to the god of barn, the god of grain or the imperial heaven and earth to bless the deposited grain not to be moldy for consumption. According to Wei Jianzhen, the remains of praying for the New Year and celebrating the harvest in the Magnetic Hill culture are actually a primitive form of social sacrifice in ancient times. According to Gao Jiangtao, the buried pigs in the grain cellar of the Magatama site were probably sacrificial animals to the Earth Mother. The nature of the site of Magnetic Hill culture. In response to previous scholars who excavated the structure of the main ash pits, the excavated area I-III was the place of worship and pray for the year, Qiao Dengyun proposed that the nature of the site should be the original village site.
In the earliest period of making pottery, so many chic and exquisite pottery, decorated with various patterns, and small pottery with appreciation value, were excavated here, showing that the ancestors of Zhongshan lived a relatively rich life. The pottery of the ancestral people of Zhongshan can be said to be a kind of artistic treasure that combines sculpture, engraved patterns and practicality. The finely carved fish dart, net shuttle, finely ground bone needle, bone arrowhead, decorative ware made of bone mussel, that is, practical goods are also arts and crafts, in addition, some shell jewelry and bone jewelry were also found.
In the vicinity of the adjacent West Wannian site, Cheng Erzhuang site and several other sites excavation has not found so many exquisite pottery products and bone jewelry, fully indicating that the magnetic mountain was once this regional tribal leaders living at that time, is their use of the legacy of living supplies. The pottery sun and moon, pottery ancestor-shaped ware, pottery yarrow ware, gui plate, pottery pill, stone ball, bean, plate, etc. concentrate on reflecting that magnetic mountain was the concentration place of divination and sacrifice in this region at that time.
In particular, the bird’s head-shaped bracket with a three-legged flat-bottomed pellet excavated in Magnetic Hill is a strong example that the bird was an auspicious object at that time, a symbol of auspicious power, and evolved into the later vermilion bird and phoenix in the future royal ornaments. The economic strength of Magatama is a powerful tribe in the Central Plains of the Yellow River Basin, where so many of the earliest human civilizations were created, and it was also a food storage base at that time, so it was the most primitive “political, economic, and cultural” exchange center.
Origin of Civilization
The culture of Magnetic Mountain is the same as the culture of Fuxi, which belongs to the same historical period, and there is a close connection between Magnetic Mountain and the historical region of Tai Hao Fuxi, the founder of China.
Is this a coincidence in history, for the determination of the time of Fuxi culture, should be re-determined by the standard of the magnetic mountain culture period. If the founder of China, Tai Hao Fu Xi, did not live in the magnetic mountains, then the magnetic mountain culture time before the culture of Fu Xi, is the one with “great wisdom” of the magnetic mountain people led 8,000 years ago into the earliest human civilization, Chinese ancestors should find clues in the magnetic mountain culture, the first people of the magnetic mountains created the origin of Chinese civilization. The founder of China, Tai Hao Fu Xi, was born in Tianshui, which has a history of 7,000 to 8,000 years, and is in the same historical period as the “magnetic mountain culture”. The founder of China, Tai Hao Fu Xi, was a great success and a great virtue to heaven and earth. According to historical records, his main virtues are roughly summarized as follows: making nets, fishing and hunting, raising sacrifices, filling the kitchen, drawing the eight trigrams, making the calendar, fixing the four seasons, building houses, starting to settle, making the dry war, decorating martial arts and so on.
Magnetic mountain culture site has been excavated and excavated are net shuttle, fish bladder, arrowheads, bone arrowheads, animal bones, fish bones, shells, chicken, pig, dog remains, pottery bracket, pottery pellet (the earliest cooking utensils), pottery pill, accounting for yarrow grass ware, Gui plate, pottery spinning wheel, half cave type house base, stone axe, stone knife (the earliest grinding stone tools), and so on, magnetic mountain culture and has Henan Huaiyang, Gansu Tianshui has not yet been able to identify the relics of the culture (for the calendar, set the four seasons, kitchen, etc.).
Fuxi culture system is comprehensive and perfect, magnetic mountain is less than 100 miles from Shibu County where Nuwa Palace is worshiped, the two places are not far away, there is a close connection between the regions, the time is the same, the culture is the same, the geographic location has a close connection, the “Zhan Jian Yi Zhi Lu” records that Tai Hao Fuxi rate tribe by water and grass and herding, and finally choose the Yellow and Huai plains, high in the water, grass and trees rich in Wanqiu settled down. It is a conclusive fact that the founder of China, Tai Hao Fu Xi, lived in Magnetic Mountain and created the greatest Chinese history in the world. The culture of magnetic mountain – the source of Fuxi culture, the root of Fuxi culture.