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Traces of time: The rich prehistoric legacy of Inner Mongolia

The Bronze Age: The Lower Xiajiadian Culture

Updated: Dec 30, 2021 govt.chinadaily.com.cn Print
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The Bronze Age

Inner Mongolia saw several cultures flourish during the Bronze Age, each with distinct features and presenting a clear development sequence of their own, as well as interacting with cultures originating from the Central Plain.

The Lower Xiajiadian Culture 

As one of the pioneers of the northern China Bronze Age, it is named after the Lower Xiajiadian Site in Chifeng, dating back from the 2nd millennium to 1500 BC, which roughly overlapped with the Xia Dynasty (c.21st century-16th century BC) to the early Shang Dynasty (c.16th century-11th century BC). It originated from the Xiliao River region, presenting a close connection with Shang Culture, and is an important symbol of ancient northern grassland civilization.

Painted pottery calabash from the Lower Xiajiadian Culture, unearthed from the Aohan Banner in Chifeng, from the collection of the Chifeng Museum [Photo/cfp.cn]

The relics of the Xiajiadian Culture are primarily stone cities, or dwellings surrounded by stone walls. Designed in half crypt or ground types with different sizes, they were built in groups and indicated a hierarchical social structure. Its pottery was mainly handmade with hard bodies and neat shapes, including li vessels, jars, basins, ding vessels, plates, jue drinking vessels and dou stemmed bowls. Their motifs and designs reveal a close connection with the bronze wares of the Shang and Zhou dynasties.

Painted pottery jar from the Lower Xiajiadian Culture, unearthed from the Aohan Banner in Chifeng, from the collection of the Chifeng Museum [Photo/cfp.cn]
Painted pottery li caldron from the Lower Xiajiadian Culture, unearthed from the Aohan Banner in Chifeng, from the collection of the Chifeng Museum [Photo/cfp.cn]

 

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