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HomeNewsAcademic activities
Bronze Casting Site of Wu State Found in Jiangsu Province
From:Chinese Archaeology  Writer:  Date:2017-05-31
From November 2015 up to now, in order to cooperate with the construction of ZhenJiang--Danyang motorway, Nanjing Museum and Zhenjiang Museum have conducted the archaeological investigation, exploration and excavation to Sunjiacun site, with an area of 2650 square meters. It could be speculated that the site might be one of the bronze-casting site of the Wu State sites group in Dagang, Zhenjiang city.


The section of the ditch

Special Location

The site was located at Sunjiacun village, Zhenjiang city, Zhejiang Province, at the hilly land, transitional zone from mountain to plain. At the west, there was an extension part of Ningzhen hill, in the direction of northwest and southeast, with a little river at the north. Dagang area was the birthplace of Wu culture, distributed several upper-class noble tombs, platform-typed site, which made up the site group of Wu State. Sunjiacun village was located at the south of the site group.


The rectangular soil abutment(No.6)

Special construction

The site was about 12,000 square meters, consisting of platform and ditch. The platform was in oval shape, with an area of about 8000 square meters at the bottom, and about 4.5 meters in height. The thickness of the cultural accumulation of the platform was from 3.5 to 4.8 meters, from the middle period of western Zhou dynasty to the late phase of the Spring and Autumn period.

The site preserved completely, the ditch was located around the site. There was also ring-shaped earthen ridge at the inner side of the trench, at the lower part of which, a large platform was found, and several connected soil abutments were built on the platform, with pits between the soil abutments. The middle one was the largest, kilns were found as well; the rest soil abutment were smaller, in the shape of round or oval, distributed around the largest one, many of which had house remains upon. The pit between was large and deep, a large amount of silt was found, obviously was used for water storage.


The aerial photo of kilns (Y2-Y4)

The total length of the ditch was 350 meters, there was a 30 meters-width gap at the southwest corner.

The earthen ridge was located at the inner side of the ditch, and the top of the site, built of clean loess, in the shape of trapezoid at the top, and the height was increased while using. The ridge was built at the middle period of the Western Zhou dynasty.

In total, 29 soil abutments was found, all inside the ridge, was firstly built at the middle of the Western Zhou dynasty, and the height was increased while using, and it was used until the middle phase of the Spring and Autumn Period. Soil abutment No.6 was the largest, located near the middle of the site, in the shape of rectangle, on which 4 kilns (Y1-Y4) were found. Y4 was located at the north edge, had 4 paralleled fireplaces, all connected. A large amount of burnt soil was found at the soil abutment and around. Altogether 27 ash pits of the Spring and Autumn Period were discovered. H13 was located between soil abutments, it was the largest and the deepest, with silt at the bottom (might be used for water storage); while H38 was smaller, with burnt trace at the bottom, charcoal and burnt soil were also found, related to copper casting.

Cultural Relics Related to Copper Casting

Among the relics from the middle period of Western Zhou to the late phase of the Spring and Autumn period, the majority was pottery and porcelain, including Tripod-Ding, Caldron-Li, jar, Bu (vase), basin, Bowl-Bo , vessel Dou, bowl and etc., while the minority was stone-tool, including axe, adz, hammer, gravel and etc.


The clay moulds


The bronze dagger


The bronze axe
 
The relics relating to casting were made of clay or stone, both were combined moulds, in the shape of oval, inside the mould, a grey and green glass layer used for casting was found. According to the shape of mould cavity, it could be speculated to cast weapon or tool. Only crucible fragment was found, made of clay, with sand inside, and copper liquid residual inside the mould. A large amount of copper slag, slag with copper liquid and bronze ware were found, but without copper ore. The bronze ware consisted of weapon and tool, in the shape of dagger, knife, blade peel,arrowhead, axe, adze, sickle and etc.

Significance

According to the special location, construction, unearthed relics of Sunjiacun site, it could be speculated to be an important bronze-casting workshop of Wu State. The archeological discovery found one of the locations of bronze production of Wu State, having significance to understanding the metallurgy technology and regional civilization of Wu State.   (Translator: Wang Jue)



 
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