Longshan Culture

Decorations Exhibited in Xi'an Banpo Museum
Decorations Exhibited in Xi'an Banpo Museum

Examples of Longshan Culture that were produced in the late period of the Neolithic Age (2900 BC to 2100 BC) can be found in the old town of Longshan, in the city of Zhangqiu which is located in Shangdong Province. Its influence can be found in the middle and lower areas of the Yellow River Valley flowing thru Shandong, Henan, Shaanxi, and Shanxi Provinces. Artifacts from the Longshan are characterized with the applications of both copper and stone.

Compared with the Yangshao Culture, farming techniques in agriculture and the raising of livestock have greatly improved in the Longshan Culture. Farmers from the Longshan Culture planted millet as the main crop, and raised pigs, dogs, sheep and cattle. They also made great advancements in the area of tool making, and were able to create many tools made of stone that would include stone knives used to drill holes, as well as stone reaping hooks, and stone shovels to name just a few of their more common tools.

Rudimentary Chipped Stone Tools
Rudimentary Chipped Stone Tools

The Longshan Culture also made great advancements in the area  of pottery making, with black pottery being one of the more striking examples of this remarkable culture. Pottery was made using techniques that enabled the artisans of the Langshan Culture to produce large numbers of pieces while at the same time maintaining a sense of quality. Some of the walls of the pottery were as thin as eggshells with surfaces that were quite bright. Some of the more common pieces produced were bowls, basins, jars, urns and a variety of cooking vessels. Nowadays, the black pottery that was and continues to be produced have been regarded as works of art, and are appreciated and sought after by many people.

In architecture, the rectangular earth-platform pattern buildings were set up during that time which can be seen in the remains of the Longshan Culture found in Shangdong Province. The earth platforms were constructed by a technique known as 'rammed earth' that came into being during the Shang Dynasty (16th B.C-11th B.C.). In recent years, at least ten of these kinds of platforms have been found with seven of them closely situated in a group in Shandong Province.

Three-legged Jar
Three-legged Jar

The Longshan Culture also had some rather interesting customs when it came to burying their dead family members in a cemetery that was usually separated from the area where they actually lived. It was common for one person to be buried in a rectangle pit, while occasionally a few would be buried together in a single pit. Children, as those of the Bampo Culture period would be put into urns before being buried. Bones used for predicting one's fortune, and made from the bones of sheep, pigs, deer and cow have been found in the graves from that period. With this in mind it is believed that the custom of augury or divination may have been popular and practiced.

With the development of social productivity, women's dominate place in the Longshan Culture began to give way to men as they began to play more important roles in farming and the developing handicrafts industry. Family life based on the principle of monogamy was established, and at the same time polarization between the rich and poor also began to gradually appear. With the advancements being made in so many areas of the society, the Longshan Culture like so many other cultures was subjected to changes that needed to be made in order to continue its remarkable development.

- Last updated on Apr. 21, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on Longshan Culture
Asked by sanya from LIMA,OHIO | Apr. 27, 2016 11:50Reply
What important contributions did the longshan people make to the chinese culture?
Can somebody please give me the answer?
Answers (1)
Answered by Elsie from ITALY | Apr. 27, 2016 22:01

The most distinctive achievement of it should be the skills of making black pottery. Many exquisite pottery wares were discovered and some of them are as thin as eggshell and have smooth surface. The pottery craftsmanship reached the peak during that time.
Asked by Mr.Charles from AFRICA | Feb. 08, 2011 12:40Reply
How in the year DC 2000 did the Roman empire play a role in the mongol invation of China?
Answers (1)
Answered by Mr.James | Feb. 08, 2011 21:53

Are you sure about the year, DC2000?
Asked by Ms.Ankita from USA | May. 25, 2009 02:00Reply
My school book says that tools were made from copper or stone. Here it just talks about stone.
Answers (1)
Answered by Mr.Qin from USA | Jun. 13, 2009 05:26

Apparently you did not read the article thoroughly...at the end of the first paragraph it says
"Artifacts from the Longshan Culture are characterized with the applications of both copper and stone."
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