Early Neolithic sites in east China’s Zhejiang form alliance

An alliance of early Neolithic sites in east China’s Zhejiang province, known as the Shangshan sites, was established recently during a symposium on the 20th anniversary of their discovery, held from Nov. 12 to 14 in Pujiang county, Jinhua, Zhejiang province.

The Shangshan Archeological Park in Pujiang county, Zhejiang province. (Photo/Xinhua)

The alliance’s first joint conference was also held during the symposium. People in charge of the 19 Shangshan sites attended the meeting, at which they passed and released a declaration, as well as the alliance’s constitution.

The declaration calls on people to protect the sites of Shangshan culture and save the precious cultural heritage for future generations, pass on the legacy of Shangshan culture and make the culture an impressive symbolic achievement of China, study the results of Shangshan culture and tap into its cultural genes, footprints of civilization, and spiritual belief in the culture to contribute to the establishment of the theoretical system of the cultural genes of the Chinese nation, develop Shangshan culture into a golden name card so as to make the Shangshan culture sites a research base of the world’s rice cultivation and a place of pilgrimage for knowledge about human civilization from around 10,000 years ago.

The relevant parties should also set short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals for efforts to get Shangshan culture included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, says the declaration.

These 19 sites are mainly distributed near the upper reaches of the Qiantang River, the longest river in Zhejiang, and its tributaries. They date back about 8,600 to 10,000 years, and represent the earliest, largest, and richest early Neolithic ruins group near the Qiantang River, the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, and even in China.

The Shangshan culture sites are believed to be the birthplace of the world’s rice civilization, colored pottery culture, and village culture.  

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