Dadiwan Site

In 1958, the Dadiwan Site was discovered in Shaodian Village northeast of Qin’an County, about 102 km (63 miles) from Tianshui City. It is the earliest Neolithic cultural ruins discovered in Northwest China, showing the Yangshao Culture of about 8,000 years ago. The Dadiwan Neolithic Site reflects how our ancestors made a living about 4,900 to 8,120 years ago. Its excavation work has impressed the world due to its large scale and rich connotations.

Cultural relics excavated at Dadiwan Ruins include 240 houses sites. Besides, a large amount of art treasures and implements of production such as stone wares, earthen wares, mussel decorations, stone knives and axes, potteries and kilns have been unearthed there, leading scientists to believe that people in the Neolithic Age had already lived a settled life with farming as their major production activity. Such a large-scale site is rarely seen in China. Therefore, it has a significant implication for the study of human beings who lived in the Yellow River Basin in the Neolithic Age, or even for the origin of Chinese civilization. Despite being a long way away, the site is definitely worth a visit.

The Dadiwan Site mainly consists of Dadiwan Museum, Restoration Area, and Palace Ruins.


Dadiwan Museum

The museum is a grand building with earthy yellow walls. In the museum, cultural relics unearthed in the Dadiwan Site are displayed, combined with original Dadiwan graves. Among them, the colored pottery is especially eye-catching. Those pottery relics are of great value because they are the oldest colored pottery discovered so far. Although the patterns are illegible now, they prove that the making of colored pottery is much anterior than what scholars have estimated. Besides, also found on those pottery relics are over ten kinds of symbols, according to experts, are likely to be the embryonic form of Chinese characters.


Restoration Area

At the west of the museum is the Restoration Area where part of the Dadiwan site has been restored so that visitors can see a primitive village of the Neolithic Age. Here, statues imitating the primitive life scenes are displayed in houses made of thatch and wood stakes.


Palace Ruins

The Palace Ruins, at the south of the museum, are the ruins of the base and walls of a palace over 5,000 years ago. Covering an area of 403 square meters (502 square yards), the palace is the oldest and largest palatial architecture unearthed till now. It is a representative of wood structures, showing the supreme skill of house building of the Yangshao Culture Period. Now a house has been erected around the periphery of the ruins to protect them.


How to get there

Firstly, take bus 6, 7, 19, 23, 24, 26, 83 or 84 to get to Tianshui Coach Station. From Tianshui Coach Station, take a bus to Qin’an County. The fare is CNY 14 and it takes about an hour. After arrival, take a bus to Wuying Town and get off at Shaodian Village. The journey takes about 1.5 hours.
Admission Fee Free
Opening Hours 8:00 - 17:00
Dadiwan Museum:
April to October: 9:30-17:00; November to March: 10:00-16:00
Visitors need to enter half an hour before the closing time.
The museum is closed on Monday, except public holidays.
Recommended Time for a Visit Two hours
- Last updated on Aug. 21, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Dadiwan Site
Asked by Kate Havard from CHINA | Dec. 18, 2012 22:26Reply
I am in Tianshui and am really interested in visiting the Dadiwan site and the Water Curtain cave.
How can I get to these places from Tianshui? Which buses would take me there?
Answers (1)
Answered by Frank | Dec. 19, 2012 01:18

When go to Dadiwan Site, you can take bus from Tianshui Bus Station to Wuying County. Upon arrival, you can take the local bus or taxi to the site. When go to the Wtaer Curtain Cave, you can take train to Wushan first. Then you can find buses go to the cave from Wushan train station. Or you can take bus to Wushan and then transfer to local bus to the cave.
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