"Banpo - an ancient civilization: Part 3" Top 5 Page for this destination Banpo Neolithic Village Tip by mke1963

Banpo Neolithic Village, Xi'an: 15 reviews and 18 photos

Just to give an idea of the sophistication of the Banpo and Yangshao potters, many of the objects have ears and handles, many are polished, many are painted different colours with brushes, and the pre-painted surfaces were lightened to a whiter or redder shade. They were able to manufacture all kinds of bowls, jugs, steamers, eating and drinking vessels, and an amazing amphora-type jar that tilts when placed in water so allowing the water to flow in. This jar also had a very narrow neck to prevent the water splashing out when being carried.
The development of pottery meant that foodstuffs could be stored for consumption later, and so there was no need to follow the animals for hunting as they migrated. Good pottery created human settlements: it is sobering to think that the humble pottery plate, cup, amphora and storage urn made it possible for homo sapiens to stop hunting and start building a place to live.
Although much knowledge of the settlement social structures is conjecture (and challenged by many experts), archaeologists create a very convincing picture of life at Banpo. The clan seems to have been matriarchal, judging by the pattern of burying females with more treasures and objects, and because of the curious practice of reburying people around or in the grave of certain women who died later, with that woman placed at the centre. The first evidence of a patriarchal civilisation doesn?t appear for almost another thousand years.
The graves are interesting, with the bodies arranged facing south and usually with some funereal bowls and jewellery. Some children were buried inside large urns, and in graves within the residential area. Adults were buried outside the defensive trench.
Chinese archaeologists are keen to demonstrate that these were also primitive collective settlements, as storage areas and cellar complexes are clearly communal. Bai Shouyi?s book 'An Outline History of China' proudly states "Collective labour and the public character of the ownership of the means of production....". Yes, quite.

Directions: Bus #105 stops near the museum
Phone: 86-29-83512375
Website: http://bpmuseum.com

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jan 12, 2004
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