Yangshao Culture

Era Information
Time:(1.7 million years - the 21st century BC)
Location of Capital:
Emperors: Shun, Yao, Yu
Replaced by:Xia Dynasty

Remains of Prehistoric human in China's historySubsistence The subsistence practices of Yangshao people were varied. They cultivated millet extensively; some villages also cultivated wheat or rice. The exact nature of Yangshao agriculture—small-scale slash-and-burn cultivation versus intensive agriculture in permanent fields, is currently matter of debate. However, Middle Yangshao settlements such as Jiangzhi contain raised floor buildings that may have been used for the storage of surplus grains. They kept such animals as pigs, chickens and dogs, as well as sheep, goats, and cattle, but much of their meat came from hunting and fishing. Their stone tools were polished and highly specialized. The Yangshao people may also have practiced an early form of silkworm cultivation.

Farming The Yangshao people mainly cultivated millet but some settlements grew rice. They also grew vegetables like turnips, cabbage, yams and other vegetables. The Yangshao people domesticated chickens, ducks, pigs, dogs and cattle. Millet and rice was made into gruel for the morning while millet was made into dumplings.Meat was only eaten on special occasions and rice was ground in to flour to make cakes.Most of the meat was gotten by hunting or fishing. [edit] Clothing The Yangshao culture produced silk to a small degree and wove hemp. Men wore loin cloths and tied their hair in a top knot. Women wrapped a length of cloth around themselves leaving the shoulders bare or wore a skirt and took the front end between the legs and tied it in the back. Women tied their hair in a bun. The wealthy could wear silk.

Houses were built by digging a rounded rectangular pit few feet. Then they were rammed and a lattice of wattle was woven over it.Then it was plastered with mud.The floor was also rammed down. Next a few short wattle poles would be placed around the top of the pit and more wattle would be woven to it. It was plastered with mud and a framework of poles would be placed to make cone shape for the roof. Poles would be added to support the roof.It was then thatched with millet stalks.

There was little furniture, a shallow fire place in the middle with a stool, a bench along the wall, a bed of cloth and food nd item were placed or hung against the walls. A pen would be built outside for animals. [edit] Pottery Human faced fish decoration bowl, 5000-4000 BC. Banpo village, Shaanxi. The Yangshao culture is well-known for its painted pottery. Yangshao artisans created fine white, red, and black painted pottery with human facial, animal, and geometric designs. Unlike the later Longshan culture, the Yangshao culture did not use pottery wheels in pottery-making. Excavations found that children were buried in painted pottery jars.

Archaeological sites The archaeological site of Banpo village, near Xi'an, is one of the best-known ditch-enclosed settlements of the Yangshao culture. Another major settlement called Jiangzhai (姜寨) was excavated out to its limits, and archaeologists found that it was completely surrounded by a ring-ditch. Both Banpo and Jiangzhai also yielded controversial incised marks on pottery which a few have interpreted as numerals or perhaps precursors to the Chinese script. However, such conclusions may be premature .

Source: WIki