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HomeNewsNew discoveries
Early Age Tombs and Bronzes Workshop Remains Discovered in Panlongcheng Site, Hubei Province
From:Chinese Archaeology  Writer:  Date:2016-06-28
To cooperate with the large-scale conservation of Panlongcheng Site, the School of History of Wuhan University together with other institutions conducted archaeological investigation of Panlongcheng Site since 2013, especially in 2015, targeted work had been done, acquiring significant achievement. Upper class tombs, special burial custom tombs around the site, as well as, core area’s bronze workshop remains were discovered.

The New Acquirement of the Settlement

In a long time, the academia believed that the core area of Panlongcheng Site were the Palace and the cemetery of Lijiazui. The new discovery of the upper class tombs M11 in Yangjiawan confirmed that the core area of Panlongcheng Site had moved to the south hillside field of Yangjiawan. Large construction remains F4 was found in recent years, 40 meters from east to west, 10 meters from north to south, which could possibly be the core building of late ages. 6 concentrated distribution tombs was found in the northwest of F4, among which lots of relics was unearthed from M17, such as the bronze vessel with handle, which had never been seen before. Turquoise inlaid gold decoration, turquoise as the theme pattern, gold decorated eyes, teeth, eyebrows as the key parts, which was the earliest gold decoration in mainland cultural system, suggesting the owner of the tomb was upper class leader. The existence of large building and upper class tombs declared that the late age of Panlongcheng Site should be centered in the hill area of Yangjiawan.


Bronze ornament decorated with animal masks unearthed from Yangjiawan tomb M17 
 
The Three Stages of Panlongcheng Settlement

The first stage, about 16 century BC, regarding as late Erlitou Culture to Erligang Culture in mainland area, was the primary age of Panlongcheng as a city.

The second stage, about 15 century BC, regarding as late Erligang Culture in mainland, was the thriving age of Panlongcheng. Centered with city wall there are around with the upper class tombs as Lijiazui M1 and M2 and etc..

The third stage dated about 14 century BC, regarding as mid-Shang culture in mainland. The core area moved to the south hillside of Yangjiawan until the abondon of the settlement, which was the late stage of Panlongcheng site.

Loess terrain, 150 meters in length, 20 meters in width, was found in Q1614 the north hillside of Yangjiawan in recent years’ investigation. There was foundation trench under the terrain, as well as stone built revetment in the north and south sides, which could be the outer rampart remains. Whether the outer city was existed, was significant to understand the distribution of Panlongcheng site and early Shang Dynasty’s cities.


Turquoise inlaid gold plaque ornament unearthed from Yangjiawan tomb M17


The excavation site of Xiaowangjiazui cemetery

 
The New Discovery of the Society and Production of Settlement

The archeological excavation of Panlongcheng site was under the guidance of investigation system, besides solving environment, distribution and other problem, the principal aim was to explore the factor of the settlement’s nature. The acquirement of this was finding the site’s outer area’s special burial custom tombs and core area’s bronzes workshop remains.

The excavation of the Xiaowangjiazui Site in the north side of Panlong Lake unearthed 29 units of Erligang Cultural remains. The scale of the tombs was relatively small, but the other feature matched with the normal tombs, such as the burial objects as set of bronze wares, Gu, Jue, Jia, Ding, as well as jade, pottery, which could be the tombs of under age. Whether the planed tombs existed in early Shang Dynasty was unconfirmed in the past archaeological discoveries. The Xiaowangjiazui tombs were as sheet distribution, the direction, arrangement and custom of which was highly accordance. This was the first time proved the existence of planned tombs, which offered important materials for the studies of the social custom of Xia and Shang Dynasty.

The producing area of Panlongcheng bronze wares had always drawn the attention of academe, but the related casting remains had never been found. In the excavation of the west of Panlongcheng’s rampart, found the large site, the south and north of which was over 30 meters, the operating platform constructed with stone was scattered in the site. The remains included ash, plenty of copper slag was found, where should be related with bronze ware production. This discovery reconsidered the mainstream point that the bronze ware production was national monopoly in early age of state, as while as was significant to the study of the nature of Panlongcheng  Site.   (Translator: Lang Langtian)
 



The 3D image of burial objects unearthed from Xiaowangjiazui cemetery

The producing area of Panlongcheng bronze wares had always drawn the attention of academe, but the related casting remains had never been found. In the excavation of the west of Panlongcheng’s rampart, found the large site, the south and north of which was over 30 meters, the operating platform constructed with stone was scattered in the site. The remains included ash, plenty of copper slag was found, where should be related with bronze ware production. This discovery reconsidered the mainstream point that the bronze ware production was national monopoly in early age of state, as while as was significant to the study of the nature of Panlongcheng  Site.   (Translator: Lang Langtian)



 
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