Chengtoushan National Archaeological Site Park
Address: Chengtoushan Town, Li county, Changde city, Hunan province
Hours:8:30 am - 4pm
General admission: 55 yuan ($8.51)
The Chengtoushan site is located in 18.7 hectares in Li county, Changde city, Hunan province, 10 kilometers northwest of the county seat. It is reputed to be the site of the earliest city in China, dating back about 6,000 years, and represents the height of the development of the Neolithic Age civilization in the Yangtze River basin of China.
The site was discovered in 1979. Since 1991, a total of 15 archaeological excavations have uncovered an area of nearly 9,000 square meters and unearthed more than 16,000 cultural relics, including wares of stone, pottery, jade, and bone. According to carbon-14 dating of its charcoal samples, the Chengtoushan site is over 6,000 years old.
In 1997, tens of thousands of carbonized rice grains were unearthed at the Pengtoushan site, a few kilometers away from Chengtoushan. Combined with the discovery of ancient rice paddies and their supporting irrigation facilities at Chengtoushan, and the thermoluminescence detection of the paddies by the University of Hong Kong, archaeologists concluded that this was the earliest paddy found in the world, dating back to about 6,000 years ago, when the residents of Chengtoushan had already developed rice cultivation technology.
There are also walls, gate facilities, moats, houses, pottery kilns, altars, roads, and tombs at the Chengtoushan site. In the urban ruins, the areas for living, farming, waste disposal, worship, and burial are strictly separated, reflecting its basic regional plan and spatial layout as a city.
Construction of the Chengtoushan National Archeological Site Park began in 2013, with three major functions: site protection, cultural display and tourist attraction. In addition to the site itself and the museum, the park has added various facilities for the convenience of visitors.