New Shangshan Culture Site
Photograph by Hu Ruizhe
The archaeological base of the central part of Zhejiang has settled in Jinhua, and notably, the Santan Hill site was found after the discovery of the Shangshan site in Pujiang, the Qiaotou site in Yiwu, the Shanxiazhou and Qingyangshan sites in the Wucheng District. All told, there are probably more than 20 early Neolithic sites of the Shangshan site group in Zhejiang.
With a history of 9,000 to 10,000 years, the Santan Hill site is located on Santan hillside to the northwest of Dongzhu Village in Tangxi Town. Situated in the Jinhua Development Zone, it is about one kilometer away from the Qingyang Hill site.
There are quite a number of Shangshan cultural sites in Jinhua. As of the discovery of the Shangshan site in Pujiang in 2000, a total of 18 early Neolithic sites had been discovered in Zhejiang Province, of which those in Jinhua account for two-thirds. They are Shangshan site in Pujiang County, Miao Hill site in Yongkang County, Taipo Hill site, An Hill site, Changtian site, Huxi site, Changchengli site, Dagong Hill site in Wuyi County, Shanxiazhou site in Wucheng District, Qingyang Hill site, Qiaotou site in Yiwu, and Laoying Hill site in Dongyang.
The Santan Hill site was discovered during a tentative excavation in the latter half of last year. Now there are 13 early Neolithic sites in Jinhua, and 19 in Zhejiang.
“It is very rare in East Asia where the early Neolithic sites are densely located and can be found in Jinhua. These sites are among the first known places where humans lived their lives from the caves to the open field, and are of great significance in exploring the history of the early people of China,” said Jiang Leping, an expert on Shangshan Culture and senior researcher at the Zhejiang Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology. He also noted that they discovered charcoal pottery pieces at the Jiufeng Hill site, which is about five kilometers from the Santan Hill site, and they may date to the early Neolithic period. If so, there are more than 20 early Neolithic sites in Zhejiang.
Jiang Leping experienced the whole process of discovering and researching Shangshan culture. He discovered the Shangshan site in Pujiang during his undertaking of another archaeological project. Since then, he has continued to explore the Shangshan Cultural Site in Jinhua for 19 years and truly enjoys the work.
The World Archaeological Forum, which will be held next month, has officially sent an invitation to Jiang, who will introduce Shangshan culture to the world.
Jiang Leping led Cao Hong; Fang Xiangming; Ye Shunqing, deputy secretary-general of the Municipal Government; and Fang Xianwen, director of the Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television, and Tourism, to visit the exhibition concerning the distribution area of Qingyang Hill site of Shangshan culture on the second floor of Jinxi Management Center of Jinhua Development Zone. The archaeological excavations of stone axes, stone plaques, stone pots, pottery pots, clay pots, stone cores, stone scrapers, stone slabs, and other cultural relics are viewable on display. (By Li Yan – Jinhua Daily, translated by Zhang Jiajia, edited by Kendra Fiddler)