Skip to comments.Ancient Cities Discovered In Yangtze Valley
Posted on 08/02/2003 4:01:46 PM PDT by blam
Ancient cities discovered in Yangtze Valley
By David Keys, Archaeology Correspondent
03 August 2003
China's Yangtze River was once home to an ancient civilisation, just as the Nile, the Tigris-Euphrates and the Indus rivers were, according to new archaeological research.
A series of 13 walled towns and cities have so far been discovered. Dating from around 3000BC these ancient urban centres - excavated by Chinese and Japanese archaeological teams over the past decade - appear to have had populations of up to 10,000. The largest cities had up to three miles of defensive walls. The discoveries show that exactly the same process of urbanisation and state formation was taking place in China in the same river valley environment and in roughly the same period that similar developments were occurring in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley.
Like the earliest phases of the other great riverine civilisations, the newly discovered Yangtze civilisation belonged to the neolithic period - substantially prior to the development in China of metal technology.
The culture that gave rise to these first Chinese towns had its origins in around 7000BC, when the first villages started appearing on the banks of the Yangtze. Indeed the Yangtze area was one of the first in the world to produce pottery - an amazing 13,000 years ago.
Archaeological investigations have so far revealed the sites of nine ancient towns in the Middle Yangtze Valley between Wuhan and Jiangling, and four in the Upper Yangtze near Chendu.
The excavations - carried out by the local Hubei Province Archaeological Institute and other Chinese and Japanese archaeological units - have been revealing evidence of the Yangtze Valley civilisation's culture. Stone weapons and sickles have been unearthed as well as jade statuettes of humans, birds and animals. Beautiful pottery with geometric designs is also being found. The three biggest urban sites each cover up to 2,250 acres.
The archaeological discoveries, revealed in the current issue of BBC History Magazine, show that the Yangtze Valley civilisation lasted for 500 years and collapsed as a result of climatic and environmental problems and warfare.
It is not clear who the people were who created China's first civilisation. They may have been related ethnically to Malays, Burmese or Tibetans, and were probably pushed south as peoples from further north invaded the Yangtze Valley. According to one leading authority on Yangtze Valley archaeology, Professor Kazuo Miyamoto of Japan's Kyushu University, the discoveries are "transforming the academic world's understanding of early China".
Especially when one realizes that gradualism is a silly science busy making the facts fit their own pre-conceieved notions.
Yup. IMO, the good stuff is out on the continental shelf, underwater. The melt from the Ice Age must have covered many coastal cities.
Making beer requires an agrarian society to grow the hopps. Once the nomadic people tasted beer, they settled down to grow hopps. Each year after the harvest there was a big celebration.
The agrarians invented games to honor their hunter-gatherer heritage, and one of them was exceptionally fun to watch while drinking beer, especially on Monday nights. The game involved chasing a pig into a cage that was called a "gule".
As time went on this game was passed down through history to become what we now call baseball. ;^)
Before domesticated yeast they had nothing but unleavened bread and rice milk to supplement the natural food: bugs and berries. What a horrible time it was before civilization. Golden Age? Oh, sure.
Agriculture. Farmers need plows, hoes, scythes, pottery to store the harvest in, lots of stuff. The purpose of cities is to enable manufactoring by bringing suppliers for the various manufactoring processes close together
Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this ping list.
Apparently, along about that time, some of them grabbed their Clovis-pointed spears, said, "This place is going to pot!" and headed northeastward for that new land bridge... ;-}
Jiangling--Sounds like a nice name for a Christmas village.
It seems to me that inhabitants of these first early cities
all had one thing in common--they were all afraid of something.
Yes and they enacted a form of genocide against anyone who had any Caucasian features. The Hakka Chinese who migrated from north China all the way across China to the south were such people. However, they still express such features on occasion. They were 'off-spring' of these people:Mystery Of The Desert Mummies
You may be thinking of this
Especially hoes, practitioners of the world's oldest profession (actually, I think jewelers were first).
I think you're entirely correct: cities were the manifestation of agricultural life, when people could settle down and stop being nomads for a living. Technology like beer and bread require a settled life, with nutritional protein supplied by herds of domesticated creatures. (Prior to that, fermented mare's milk probably got everyone going on Saturday night). Since these discoveries were diffused around the populated world at approximately the same time, cities emerged everywhere roughly simultaneously.