Ancient kingdom reveals its secrets

By Deng Zhangyu | China Daily | Updated: 2022-12-09 05:55
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The emblem of a human-shaped deity riding on an animal was ubiquitous on jade pieces in Liangzhu culture, to show a unified religion system lasting for about 1,000 years. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Editor's note: A national comprehensive research program, launched in 2002, to trace the origins of Chinese civilization, has led to the excavations and studies of key sites that are about 3,500 to 5,500 years old. It has revealed a host of secrets about ancient China, including how early civilizations were formed and how they merged to create unity in diversity. China Daily speaks to experts working at these sites to decode their recent discoveries.

From 5,300 to 4,300 years ago, people from the late Neolithic period moved to a marshland in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, and settled there to grow rice. They built a complicated dam system and set up a megacity, featuring a unified belief system that lasted for almost 1,000 years.

The glorious civilization at the Liangzhu site in Hangzhou is considered a key clue to the origins of China's 5,000-year civilization, especially after UNESCO inscribed the Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City on its World Heritage List in 2019.

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