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Hemudu [Ho-mu-tu]locked

  • Robert E. Murowchick



Site of a Neolithic village in Yuyao County, Zhejiang Province, China. It was excavated in 1973–4 and 1977–8. Of the four cultural layers identified, the upper two layers (1 and 2), radiocarbon dated to c. 3700 bc, correspond to the neighbouring Songze culture. The lower two layers (3 and 4), radiocarbon dated to the late 6th millennium bc and early 5th, are particularly rich in cultural material and best represent the early phase of the Neolithic Hemudu culture (c. 5200–c.3300 bc) located south of Hangzhou Bay. Vast quantities of discarded faunal and floral remains include the earliest known evidence of rice cultivation in China, dating from c. 5000 bc. The extensive and well-preserved remains of wooden pile dwellings show carefully constructed mortice-and-tenon joinery. Numerous bone utensils were found, particularly hoes carved and polished from mammal scapulae, paddles, spindle whorls, handles and weaving shuttles; some of these were engraved with horizontal and diagonal lines and figures of birds. A red ...

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