|The model shown above is of Jiangzhai Village, a Neolithic site, located about a kilometer north of Lintong County Town. It dates to about 4,000 BC. It is well placed with the Wei River to the north and the Lin River to the west. Lishan Mountain, to the north, gives it protection and the open plain to the east provides plenty of land for agriculture and other pursuits.
The village is surrounded by moats on three sides and uses the river and terrain for further protection. There are three main areas to the village. The residential area is in the center and contains both large and small structures. The small houses were for individual families and the large structures were either a sign of hierarchy and importance for leaders or places where communal activities took place. For instance, the output of the pottery kilns could have been stored there as well as the output of harvests. I am on the side of communal use because the size would make them difficult to heat. If there was differentiation of leadership, living in a cold, drafty house would not seem to be an advantage to be desired. At Banpo, they found larger house that had multiple small rooms built one after another, often at different levels. It was as if they added rooms as the family grew.
On the east side of the village there are three areas used as graveyards. They are outside of the village proper, as is found in other Neolithic villages of the era. The kilns are located along the Lin River where water would be convenient for pottery making. Quite a few items on the previous pages were found at the excavation of the Jiangzhai Village. On the next page there is another Jiangzhai pottery vessel to give you an idea of the workmanship.
Last update: March 2010
© Marilyn Shea, 2010