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Ban Po Museum

The Banpo Neolithic Village ( banpo yizhi) lies 6 kilometers east of XI’AN. This excavated site of village dates back some 6,000 years and was first discovered in 1953.During that period, the village was called BAN PO village and distinct culture of these villagers was known Yang shao culture. The site shows the houses and graves of some 300 people, giving insight into their primitive yet well developed lifestyle. Inside the village, you will discover some 45 houses, 6 pottery kilns. 200 storage pits, 250 adults’ tombs and children’s burial jars which were unearthed.

Agriculture began at this stage in the middle and upper reaches of the Yellow river. The Banpo people began to cultivate cereals, especially millet, and to form settlements. There is evidence of numerous villages in the North China plains inhabited by people with agricultural as well as pastoral economy: they made pit dwellings, beehive shaped huts, lined with mud blocks and roofed with reeds, and half sunk into the ground for warmth.

North China was warmer in ancient times than it is today. Woolly mammoths and wild horses roamed the plains, bears, and tigers lived in the hill. The domestication of animals and animal husbandry began during this time. Animals were sometimes caught alive in hunting, and some of them would be killed immediately for food. Gradually Banpo people learned to tend the others, and the domestication began of such creatures as dogs and pigs, and later sheep, cattle, horses and chickens. The stone-bladed hoe was his chief means of defense and offense. To aid in defense he devised a bamboo-headed spear. Clothing made from skins, bark, and perhaps hemp kept him warm. The area of the Great Bend of yellow river was an important center of Neolithic culture. Here the fertile loess soil could be worked with primitive tools, to support a substantial population. The men of this time also developed the art of making pottery for storing food and drink. Many example of red clay pots, painted with black or purple lines, both monochrome and polychrome.

According to Chinese historians land and livestock were owned collectively at this period, weapons only were individually owned: farming and herding were collective activities, and the products were shared among all. There is evidence that early Chinese society was metrical. Or at least matrilineal: for example, the Chinese characters for “surname” include the symbol for a female.

The people lived in clans: neighboring clans formed tribes which were led by elected tribal chiefs. Tribes formed alliances to guard their grazing and hunting grounds from attacks by hostile neighbors.



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