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HomeNewsNew discoveries
Houli Cultural Remains found in Xidazhang Site, Shandong
From:Chinese Archaeology  Writer:  Date:2017-08-01
Xidazhang Site is located in the south of Xidazhang Village, Lique Town, Guangrao County, Shangdong Province. From October to November in 2016, salvage excavation of Xidazhang Site was conducted jointly by Shandong Provincial Institute of Cultural Heritage and Archaeology and Dongying municipal History Museum, covering an area of about 600 square meters. Different kinds of features were uncovered, including 67 ash pits, 9 ash ditches, 2 wells, 2 tombs. Relatively rich pottery and porcelain shards as well as a few copper coins were unearthed.


Houli cultural sites are mainly found in the northern hilly flank of Tai-Yi Mountains. Only Houli cultural layers were discovered, no features at all. A few pottery shards from Houli Culture were collected from the layers, most of which were sand-tempered reddish-brown pottery shards. No complete pottery was uncovered. Only rim of pottery fu-cauldrons with additional clay strip design or folded edge were found, having characteristics of Houli Culture.


Main parts of features from Shang Dynasty were ash pits and one tomb. There were ash pits with round and irregular planes. The latter ones were all trash pits. Relatively rich remains were found from them. While most of the round pits were storage pits, rather few remains were unearthed. There were pottery, stone, bone, shell artifacts, as well as bone and copper arrowheads and so on. Most of the pottery shards were sand-tempered grey pottery and the shapes include li-cauldrons with three feet, bowls, basins and etc. What’s more, tomb M2 was a rectangular earthen shaft pit tomb. It was 1.5m long, 0.4m wide and 0.2 deep residue. Wooden coffin was not found. The deceased was in extended supine position. There was no funeral gift being uncovered.


Features from Tang and Song Dynasties include ash pits, ash ditches and one tomb. Ash pits have square and irregular planes. Most of them with flat bottoms were probably trash pits. Relatively few remains were discovered from them. Artifacts from Tang and Song Periods range from pottery, porcelain, animal bones and so on. The majority of pottery wares were grey clay wares, a few dark-brown. Shapes of pottery conclude bowls, jars, eaves tiles, urns and so on.


Tomb M1 was rectangular in plane. Only brick-paved bottom was left. It was 2.6m long, 1.9m wide and 0.3m deep residue. There were copper coins from Song Dynasty, such as Huangsong tongbao (皇宋通宝), Chongning tongbao(崇宁通宝) and so on in the middle part of bricks being paved on the bottom of the tomb.


There is a Shang-Zhou dynasties site in the north of Houdazhang Village, only hundreds meter away from this site. According to results of the excavation and surveys, these two sites are predicted to be a unit. Based on unearthed pottery specimen so far, the main remains of the site were dated back to Tang and Song Dynasties. Typical artifacts of Tang-Song Periods were porcelain wares with jade ring feet or pie-shaped feet, including bowls, jars, pots and etc. Representative artifacts of Shang Dynasty were mainly sand-tempered grey pottery li-cauldrons with three feet and basins and so on. Thus, the discovery of cultural layers of Houli Culture is of great value. It not only provides a new site for research on distribution of Houli Culture and enriches historical and cultural researches of northern part of Shandong area, but also push forward the human living history of Guangrao County for more than 3000 years.    (Translator: Ma Huanhuan)


 
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