The Ancient Period

Longshan Culture

Was a culture of the Chalcolithic Age that existed about 4,350-3,950 years ago. It is named after Longshan Zhen in Zhangqiu, Shandong. This culture was distributed in Shandong, Henan, Shanxi and Shaanxi Provinces along the middle and lower courses of Yellow River.

The fast-wheel pottery technique, which was developed in the Dawenkou Culture, was widely used in this culture. Better and more numerous polished black wares were produced. Some were as thin as eggshells and as shiny as lacquer. Pottery of this period represented the zenith of pottery making in China. At the same time, copper metallurgy appeared, evidenced by two copper picks unearthed from the Sanlihe Site, Jiao County. Their material was tested as brass. Architecture also showed an advance in technology. Rectangular houses with clay foundations were found. These foundations which were formed by pounding, were the type used in the Shang and Zhou Dynasties. The watershed around the foundation also represented an improvement. Walled cities began to appear in large numbers. The city discovered at Chengziya had an enclosure 450 metres long and 390 metres wide. Recently, a dozen cities were found in Shandong. Seven of them were so densely situated that they formed a city network.