Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City

Location: Pingyao Town, Yuhang, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China
History: 4,300 - 5,300 years
Scale: Over 2,900,000 square meters (716.6 acres)

Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City is the political and belief center of an early regional state which was based on rice farming and has complex social division. It is the first discovered Neolithic city site in the downstream of the Yangtze River and an example of the early urban civilization of human beings. The city existed for more than 1,000 years from about 4,300 - 5,300 years ago.

Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City appears a slightly rounded rectangle and is 1,500 - 1,700 meters (1640 – 1860 yards) from east to west and 1,800 - 1,900 meters (1968 – 2077 yards) from north to south. The overall value of Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City reflects in four major parts: city site, water conservation system, hierarchical cemeteries and unearthed artifacts with jade as its core. It was inscribed on the World Heritage List on July 6, 2019.
 

City Site

As the core of Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City, City Site was surrounded by Tianmu Mountain in the north, west and south. In addition, ancient riverbeds meandered through the city. The landscape was embraced by mountains and streams which divide the city site into different functional areas: the palace area, inner city and outer city from the inside to the outside.
 

The Palace Area

The Palace Area is made up of the central Mojiao Mountain Platform, south-located Huangfen Mountain Platform and Shizhong Temple Platform. Mojiao Mountain Platform is the highest one and also the living and entertainment place of the supreme ruler and nobles. The volume of soil base is approximately 2,110,000 cubic meters (about 74,514,000 Cu. Ft.), the major body of which was heaped by physical labors. According to archaeological evidence, there are 35 houses bases on it and 13,000 kilograms (28,660 pounds) carbonized rice.
 

Inner City

Surrounded by 6,000-meter (4 miles) long city wall all round, the plane figure is a lightly rounded rectangle. It is 1,910 meters from south to north and 1,770 from west to east. The well-preserved part of city wall is 4 meters high and ruined walls are 2 meters high. More than 20 human-made platforms and interleaved river beds remain here. The 20 platforms include not only unparalleled noble cemeteries but also handicraft workshops. Of the 9 gates found, only 1 was a land gate and the other 8 were built on moats, which were the key to the circulation of water inside and outside of this ancient city.
 

Outer City

Outer city is constituted by 17 handmade platforms. The area is about 500 hectares (1,235 acres). Meiren Platform shows us the scenery of the villages and wooden bank protection facilities on both sides of the artificial canal. Bianjia Mountain Platform has been verified to be a settlement site with residence, clan cemetery and embankment pier.
 

Water Conservation System

The area of the water conservation system is up to 76.2 hectares (178 acres) and comprises artificial dike sites including high dams, plain low dams and causeways in front of the mountain and natural terrains like hills, isolated hills and spillways. It is the geographical boundary of Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City and plays a key role in flood control, water storage, water transport and irrigation. It is the earliest large-scale water conservancy project discovered so far in China, and also one of the pioneers of the dam systems found so far worldwide.
 

Hierarchical Cemeteries

There are a number of cemeteries in different levels located inside and outside the city site, five of which are preserved well, that is, Yao Mountain, Fan Mountain, Jiangjia Mountain and Bianjia Mountain.
 

Yao Mountain

Yao Mountain is a high level cemetery. It is considered as an altar to hold important sacrificial ceremonies because of its regular shape, peculiar structure and huge volume. The funeral objects unearthed include jade wares, pottery wares and stone wares, 754 pieces in total, of which 678 pieces are jade.
 

Fan Mountain

It is a high class cemetery where the largest number and the most complete varieties of jades were found. The funeral objects incorporate jade wares, stone wares, pottery wares, ivory wares and inlaid jade lacquers, totaling 1,200 pieces, of which more than 90% are jade.
 

Jiangjia Mountain

It is assumed as a family cemetery because there are not only cemeteries in high levels as well as burials for common people and even children with few burial articles.
 

Wenjia Mountain

This is a long-lasting cemetery which was used from the middle to the late of Liangzhu civilization. Some wastes left from stone tools production indicate that there should be stone tool processing workshops nearby.
 

Bianjia Mountain

It is low-grade cemetery where families bury together. At present, 66 tombs have been discovered. Axstone was found in man’s tomb while ancient textile machine was found in woman’s tomb.
 

Unearthed Artifacts

The main unearthed artifacts include jade, pottery wares, stone wares, lacquers, bamboo wares and wood ware, bone horn ware, totally 10,000 pieces, of which 7,000 are jade in different shapes like jade axe, jade bracelet, jade turtles, fish, birds, etc., which all represent the jade culture of Liangzhu.
 

How to Get to Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City from Hangzhou

1. From downtown area in Hangzhou, passengers can take bus line 313 or line 348 to get there.
2. Passengers can also take taxis to get to the park which takes about 1 hour and cost about CNY100.

Opening Time 9:00 - 17:00, last entry at 16:00
Ticket Fare CNY80
CNY200 for English explanation service


Notes:
1. Tourists are required to make an appointment for visiting 1 – 7 days in advance on WeChat Official Account. The reservation system accept only real name appointment.
2. The number of appointments per day is 5,000.

- Last modified on Oct. 24, 2019 -
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