Zhejiang Provincial Institute of Archaeology and Cultural Relics and the Museum of Longyou County jointly conducted an archaeological investigation focusing a Neolithic site situated in Qujiang and Lingshan river basins within the Longyou county from August 2010. A significant breakthrough was achieved through the investigation and an early Neolithic Site Qingdui was identified.
The Qingdui site is located 500m west away from Sihou village of Long Zhou community in Longyou county. In an on-site survey, a number of artifacts with Shangshan Cultural features were identified including reddish pottery with charcoal inside, stone milling grinder and milling stick. Then the Zhejiang Provincial Institute of Archaeology and Cultural Relics joined the Museum of Longyou investigate the site in a comprehensive manner made use of trial excavation and augers. From 23 to 31 August 2010. The trial excavation area is about 12 sq. meters, with two trenches measured 2m x 3m located in the north and south respectively.
The initial investigation has confirmed that the distribution of the site is measured approximately 170m from south to north and 160m from east to west, while the area of the site is around 30000 sq. meters. Cultural deposits can be divided into two stages and the cultural findings basically are pottery and stone tools. The major type of pottery from the lower layer is reddish pottery with charcoal inside. Reconstructed and known shape’s artifacts include flat based basin with wide mouth (some of them have multiple edges), basin with stand decorated with nipple protrusion, pots with small ears, pot with flat foliated edge without ear, small bowl and etc. Decoration patterns include zig-zag incised, stamped and so forth. There are copious amount of stone tools including milling stick, milling grinder, hammer, flake tools, as well as a few polished chisel, adze, and perforated tools etc. Artifacts from the lower layer of Qingdui has shown rich features of the Late Shangshan Culture, which could be dated to 9,000 BP. According to pottery typologies from upper cultural layer, they can be separated into charcoal type or coarse sand type. Most of these potteries are in grayish black, and major type of artifacts include caldron with spreading mouth and concave edge, flat base plate with shallow body, pot with double handles and container with foot ring. Most of them are decorated in cord pattern, bow string pattern, rice pattern, as well as with perforations. Stone adze, grinding stone and stone flake were also identified. Based on their typology, artifacts from Qingdui Upper layer can be identified to the middle layer of Shangshan Site, Pujiang, which bears similar characteristic to Kuahuqiao Culture dated over 8,000 BP.
The Qingdui site was the 10th early Neolithic Site found in mid Zhejiang and adjacent areas after Shangshan Site, which was also the earliest Neolithic site in Quzhou area. The discovery of Qingdui testified that distribution of the Shangshan Culture has spread to the Western Zhejiang area. This implies not only the fact that the entire Upper Qiantang River is the birthplace of Zhejiang Neolithic culture, but also one of the prominent birthplaces of the rice farming culture in China or/and even East Asian. (Translated by Li Langlin)