From Settlement to City: Two Issues Related to Phases I of the Site of Sanxingdui, Southwest China

Author(s): Yu Lei

Year: 2015


Since the first archeological excavation in 1934, the site of Sanxingdui has been explored in 16 separate field projects, exploring an area of nearly 10000 m2. Due to various reasons, only the data of 5 excavations (Yueliangwan in 1934 and 1963, Sanxingdui in 1980, the Sanxingdui sacrificial pits in 1986, and Rensheng cemetery in 1998) have been published, reporting only on 3000 m2 of excavation surface containing mainly Bronze Age remains. Our understanding of the Neolithic period (Phase I) at Sanxingdui has therefore remained rather limited, comprising only some finds from Yueliangwan and settlement layers of the central portions of Sanxingdui. It was therefore generally assumed that the Neolithic remains were litmited to a rather small area with shallow settlement layers and very few objects. Based on an evaluation of excavation records spanning the most recent excavation campaigns from 1980 to 2000, this paper argues that the distribution of the Phase I remains at Sanxingdui was actually substantial, both in surface extent and in depth of settlement layers, making Sanxingdui the most substantial settlement of the Neolithic Period not only on the Chengdu Plains but also along the whole upper Yangzi River.

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Cite this Record

From Settlement to City: Two Issues Related to Phases I of the Site of Sanxingdui, Southwest China. Yu Lei. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395834)


Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;