Shangzhai Ruins: Stonework reveals archaeological history of Beijing
Published: Dec 14, 2022 09:39 PM
A pottery relic of Shangzhai Culture Photo:IC

A pottery relic of Shangzhai Culture Photo:IC

Shangzhai Ruins: Stonework reveals archaeological history of Beijing

Located in the Pinggu district of Beijing, the Shangzhai Ruins tell a story about the cultural civilizations of China's capital city dating back to 6,000 to 7,000 years ago. 

In November 1984, archaeologists found some scattered pottery fragments near Shangzhai village in Beijing. The discovery led them to uncover the Shangzhai Ruins and numerous other relics such as ancient stone tools. 

After investigating the discovered relics, researchers discovered that they belonged to a Neolithic culture unique to the city. 

During the ancient Neolithic period, the Shangzhai people were ingenious craftsmen. They created for themselves an "animal paradise" by sculpting figures such as stone turtles, monkeys and even marine creatures such as seahorses. 

These stone sculptures have simple lines mixed with lifelike details. The stone turtle, with its tiny tail and open mouth, is an example of ancient Chinese people's creativity. 

Additionally, the stone pig head looks extremely vivid as well.

Researchers theorize that these animal figures were created for ritual events. 

Along with these animal figures, distinctive stone beads were also found. Archaeologists believe they were used by ancient Beijingers to make calculations. 

Pottery relics, such as pots decorated with intricate patterns, were also discovered at the site. They reflect the wisedom of ancient Beijingers. 

By analyzing the patterns on the pottery wares, researchers found out that ancient Shangzhai people calculated the spacing of the potteries according to the circumference of the body and the size of the ornaments before applying them, and then carefully applied them to the pottery. 

The equal division of the circle showed that the ancients had a knowledge of mathematics, especially geometry. 

In order to better promote this ancient culture, the Shangzhai Culture Exhibition Center was established in 1989.

More than 200 relics from the culture are on display for visitors to enjoy. 

They not only include stone-made production tools, everyday tools like spoons and cups, but also decorations that show ancient people's aesthetic tastes. 

Global Times