By Liu Yuyang (MA) Supervisor: Du Jinpeng
Key words：Erlitou site composition of the site spatio-temporal ascription of the remains
As an important site during the formation of early China, Erlitou Site, which is apparently meaningful in the reconstruction of early Chinese history, has always been a place of interest since its excavation. The phenomena of vestiges, and the abundance and diversity of those artifacts are also focuses of archaeological researches. There has been a good many significant archaeological discoveries and productions since the excavation of Erlitou Site, such as large building-foundations of grand palaces, handicraft industry workshop remains associated with bronze casting, jade and turquoise manufacture, phenomena of vestiges associated with sacrifice, interlaced pathes, and abundant building-foundations, ash pits, tombs and unearthed wares of different texture and type, all of which indicate the specific features of Erlitou Site. Compared with common settlements, Erlitou Site is doubtless a superior central settlement. As a result, researches about Erlitou Site have always been important among Xia-Shang-Zhou period researches.
In spite of the generally acknowledged significance of Erlitou Site and many published literatures, most studies focus on the dividing line of Xia-Shang period and the source of Xia culture, researches paying attention to the interior structure of this important site itself are few and inadequate, with even fewer studies on specific phenomena of vestiges. Evidently, this can not meet the request in archaeology that real history should be reconstructed grounded on site, phenomena of vestiges, and remains, and through studies of material evidence within the site. Hence, analysing the site carefully based on the essential phenomena of vestiges, digging up as many details as possible from all materials on hand, and investigating the interior structure and spatial composition of the site, will be beneficial to a series of hot issues such as site usage and discarded time, and bring us more comprehensive knowledge of the site.
Here, we carefully observed the essential phenomena of vestiges in the site, analysed different remains and the relationship between them from a micro view, then studied the settlement composition from macro perspective, to recapitulate the evolution of this site from phase I to phase IV.
The building-foundations, ash pits and tombs were first reconstructed based on published reports, with the "井"-like roads around the palace regions as district borderlines. Related remains were reconstructed into the site, for the convenience of discussion in the composition of every districts and the whole site during each phase of Erlitou culture. Then, the composition modes, building-foundations and tombs of each phase were compared longitudinally to show how Erlitou Site changed over time.