The Qijia Culture of Northwest China – Entering a New Era of Research

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

The Qijia Culture plays a central role both in terms of the history of archaeology in Northwest China and as a tradition that occupies a critical time and place in the social and technological transitions that underlie the “origins of Chinese civilization." Occupying a vast territory covering much of the modern province of Gansu, as well as adjacent areas of Qinghai, Ningxia and Shaanxi, the Qijia Culture dates to the end of the third and early second millennia BC and witnessed important transformations in subsistence practices, the adoption of new plant and animal domesticates, developments in metallurgy and pottery production, dramatic environmental events and climate change, the introduction of new types of prestige goods, among other shifts. This panel includes presentations of new research on various aspects of the Qijia Culture that reflect renewed interest in this cultural tradition and provide new insights on the important transformations that occurred.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-12 of 12)

  • Documents (12)

  • The Cemetery at Qijiaping: New insights into the production and use of ceramics vessels (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Andrew Womack.

    Excavated in 1975, the cemetery at the Qijia Culture type-site of Qijiaping in southern Gansu province, China, provides a wealth of data on life and death in Qijia society. Up to this point however, the production and use of the most common type of burial good, ceramic vessels, has never been fully researched. This paper will explore production organization and methods likely used to produce several classes of vessels though statistical analysis of vessel standardization. Ideas of what...

  • Cereal cultivation shift during Qijia culture period in Gansu and Qinghai Province, NW China: Archaeobotanic evidence (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Weimiao Dong. Guanghui Dong.

    Qijia period (4400- 3500 cal yr BP) is the key period for the introduction of wheat and barley originated from West Asia into Gansu and Qinghai Province, northwest China. Based on archaeobotanic and radiocarbon data from Caomaidian, Lajia, Jinchankou and Lijiaping Qijia sites, we discuss change of cereal cultivation through that period. Our results suggest only foxtail millet and common millet were cultivated in Caomaidian and Lajia sites dated to 4300-3900 cal yr BP, which account for 97.19% of...

  • Dietary shift and cultural evolution relation to intercontinental cultural exchanges and climate change in the Hehuang and contiguous regions, northwest China ~3600 years ago: Evidence from Carbon and Nitrogen Stable Isotopic Analysis (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only MINMIN MA. Guanghui Dong. Hui Wang. Fahu Chen.

    This study traces the extent to which dietary change coincides with intercontinental cultural exchanges in Eurasia, to enhance understanding of the effects of long-distance exchanges on the human diets. Through stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of late Neolithic and early Bronze Age human and animal bone collagen, we find that intercontinental cultural exchanges in Eurasia led to significant changes in diet in the Hehuang and contiguous regions of northwest China. The isotopic evidence...

  • Early Bronze Age Animal Use at Lajia, a Qijia Culture Site in Qinghai Province, China. (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only David Fargo. Maolin Ye. Yin Lam.

    The faunal remains from Lajia, a late Neolithic and early Bronze Age site in northwestern China, reveal that sheep, a newly introduced domesticate during this time period, are the central source of meat for the site’s residents. This represents a shift from earlier modes of subsistence in the region, which were focused on pig husbandry. Sheep were the most common domesticate in the Lajia assemblage, followed by pigs and cattle. An examination of age profiles reveals that mature adult sheep...

  • The Evolution of the Qijia Culture and its contacts with other cultures (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Hui WANG.

    The Qijia culture originated in Loess Plateau of East Gansu and rose to a dominant culture in the vast region of present Gansu and Qinghai with its territory stretching as far as Huanghe hetao area, Guanzhong Plain and NW Sichuan. Its consistence and continuity in material culture offers great scope for archaeological research into its varying material manifestations. This article takes a comparative approach to enhance our understanding of the evolution of the Qijia culture and its contacts...

  • New research at Qijiaping (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Rowan Flad. Andrew Womack. Yitzchak Jaffee. Jing Zhou.

    In 2014 a team from the Gansu Provincial Institute of Archaeology, Peking University, Harvard University and National Taiwan University conducted intensive site survey and geophysics work at the site of Qijiaping, the type site of the Qijia Culture. This research complements previous excavation work in the cemetery area of the site, and coring conducted by the Gansu Provincial Institute, and has provided new understandings of the distribution of cultural material in the site area, as well as...

  • Preliminary bioarchaeological analysis of the Qijia culture Mogou site (2400-1900 BCE), Gansu Province, China. (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Christine Lee.

    At the Mogou site 1000 graves were excavated from 2008-2011. A preliminary bioarchaeological analysis was done on 154 individuals. The male to female sex ratio is the same as other Qijia sites, with more males than females. The sample population was heterogeneous with 8% of the individuals originating from the west (Xinjiang), north (Mongolia), and east (China) of the region. This may be a result of the site being situated on trade routes from the West into China. Analysis was done on trauma...

  • Radiocarbon dating of Qijiaping site in Gansu Province, China (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Xiaohong Wu.

    Qijiaping site is one of the most important sites of Qijia culture. It was found by Swedish scholar J. G. Anderson in 1924 and excavated by Gan Su Museum in 1975. There are few absolute dating results been published since then. We collected more than 30 human bone and animal bone samples from the material of the 1975’s excavation. 25 radiocarbon dates were produced after the processes of sample pretreatment, preparation and AMS measurement. The result is that most of the dates give the ages not...

    DOCUMENT Citation Only Rita Dal Martello.

    Mortuary data is one of the few now available tools we have to understand Chinese late neolithic culture of Qijia. With the exception of Lajia site, the most famous and best investigated sites are cemeteries, scattered throughout the regions of Gansu, Qinghai and Ningxia in Northwest China. The data they revealed has been a long time source for Chinese archaeologists in the attempt of reconstructing the social organisation of the time, often putting too much emphasis on only certain type of...

  • Ritual animal use of "Qijia Cultural", evidence from Mogou Cemetery, Lintan County, Gansu province, China (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Hua Wang. Ruilin Mao. Hui Wang.

    Animal bones were frequently recovered from burials at the Mogou site. Researchers commonly assumed that they were related to specific ritual or sacrificial activities. With application of different zooarchaeological methods and approaches to the animal bones recovered from burials at mogou, this study attempt to understand human behaviour patterns behind this phenomenon, and how they change through times. Pig mandibles were recovered in large quantities from Mogou cemetery. With detailed...

  • A Technical Study of Casting and Inlay on Chinese Ceremonial Weapons at the Harvard Art Museums (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ariel O'Connor. Katherine Eremin.

    The Harvard Art Museums contain one of the world’s largest collections of inlayed Chinese ritual weapons from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BCE). These weapons are ornately decorated with turquoise inlay, exemplifying power and elitism in early Chinese society; yet little is known about their manufacture and use. A technical study of 32 inlayed weapons and pre-Shang plaques has yielded new observations on early technology and production organization in ancient China, and concluded that the...

  • Turquoise Ornaments and Inlays Technology in Qijia Culture -- A Comparative Study of Qijia Culture and Erlitou Culture (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only XiaoLi Qin.

    Most turquoise ornaments from early Neolithic sites are pendants with a single material. However, from the later Neolithic period such as Qijia culture, people started to use ornaments which were inlaid with turquoise and other materials by unique techniques. In early Bronze Age, turquoise production process, especially the inlays technology, reached its peak. From a Qijia culture site, we found a bone hairpin. On its tail part, small white bone rings were sticking on black jelly. From Majiayao...