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Understanding the Settlement Structure of the Middle Yangshao Period (Miaodigou Phase) based on Recent Archaeological Discoveries in the Wei River Valley

Author(s): Weilin Wang

Year: 2017

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Summary

As one of the most influential archaeological cultures in prehistoric China, the Miaodigou Phase of the Yangshao Culture has been found widely in many regions. During the Miaodigou Phase, a common cultural identity appeared across China for the first time, which had great significance for the later formation of Chinese civilization. However, archaeological research has until recently been limited to the study of ceramic styles. In recent years, investigations at the Yangguanzhai site in Shaanxi have uncovered a moated settlement with a west gate, a central reservoir, and a large adult cemetery separated from the settlement, while projects at other sites in the Wei River Valley have found large single-room house foundations of the same period. These discoveries have shed light on the internal structure of Miaodigou Phase settlements, and have shown that during this period, dramatic social change occurred, large sites appeared, and a settlement hierarchy began to form. The structure of large settlements also became standardized, and symmetrical site plans appeared. The discovery of large houses also represents early social stratification, and the predominance of single burials is an evidence of the appearance of nuclear family structures.


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Understanding the Settlement Structure of the Middle Yangshao Period (Miaodigou Phase) based on Recent Archaeological Discoveries in the Wei River Valley. Weilin Wang. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429740)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 13179

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America