Home >>Local

The Xia Dynasty Travel Episode I The Shizhuang Site in Huaiyang: 'National Granaries' of the Xia Dynasty

Source:dahe.cn Published:2021-09-09 15:02

The Xia Dynasty Travel Episode I

The Shizhuang Site in Huaiyang: 'National Granaries' of the Xia Dynasty



In China's written documents, the Chinese character "仓廪" (granary) has a very long history. The oracle bone script of "仓" in form is like an underground cave covered with a conical roof featuring rain, wind and sand-proof functions. In history, the last king of the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC-1046 BC) built a large granary, called "Juqiao" (钜桥). In July 2019, the Shizhuang Site was unearthed in Shizhuang village of Zhoukou city, Central China's Henan province. It is China's earliest facility of centralized grain storage, unveiling the "national granaries" of China's first dynasty -- the Xia Dynasty (2070 BC-1600 BC).



Click on the video

On a man-made foundation covering an area of about 5,600 square meters in Shizhuang, the remains of 29 granaries were discovered. Archaeologists not only found the remains of corn and millet at the bottom of the granaries, but also those of reed bed or knitting fabric which are believed to be the direct bedding.


The Shizhuang Site in Huaiyang, Zhoukou. [Photo/Henan Daily]

Overally, the foundation is surrounded by a wide trench, not deep. At its center lies a house with living function, with 29 granaries distributed around. The number of the granary remains discovered at this area topped that of other remains such as ash pits, pottery kilns, tombs, etc. Experts said that the site was a special settlement in history with a clear structure and a single function.


The Shizhuang Site in Huaiyang, Zhoukou. [Photo/Henan Daily]

Cao Yanpeng from Henan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology who heads the archaeology of the Shizhuang Site said, "Since both the rammed earth enclosure and the granaries were built on the foundation, it was planned purposefully. The carbon-14 dating of the charcoal in the granaries shows they can be traced back to about 4,000 to 3700 years ago, belonging to the early Xia Dynasty. It is China's earliest facility of centralized grain storage, indicating that there might be a relatively complete and strict system for grain storage and management at that time."



Cao noted that the emergence of Shizhuang shows that early China had divided the functions of settlements, which is of great value for refreshing the current understanding of early China's grain management, social structure, administration, governance capacity, etc.

曹艳朋表示,“粮仓城邑”的出现,说明中国早期国家已经开始对聚落功能进行专门划分。这对重新认识早期国家的粮食储备管理、社会组织结构、管理水平和国家治理能力等具有极其重要的价值。(中文来源/河南日报客户端 记者/李悦 黄晖 翻译/赵汉青 视频/实习生王君艺 审校/李文竞)

Related reports

The Xia Dynasty Travel Episode II The Dongzhao Site in Zhengzhou: 'Bridgehead' of the Xia Dynasty


The Xia Dynasty Travel Episode III The Huadizui Site: 'The Songs of the Five Sons' Composed in Luorui


The Xia Dynasty Travel Episode IV The Guchengzhai Site in Xinmi: Thousand-Year-Old City Wall Still Stands


The Xia Dynasty Travel Episode V The Puchengdian Site: Two Ancient City Ruins Discovered


The Xia Dynasty Travel Episode VI The Xinzhai Site in Xinmi: The First Capital of the Xia Dynasty?


The Xia Dynasty Travel Episode VII The Yuzhuang Site: Unveiling the Noble Life 4,000 Years Ago


The Xia Dynasty Travel Episode VIII The Shaochai Site: Uncover Secrets of the Xia Dynasty under the Ordinary Field


The Xia Dynasty Travel Episode IX The Erlitou Site in Yanshi: A 'Dynasty' in a Small Village


Editor:Zhao Hanqing