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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

追寻夏的轨迹丨淮阳时庄遗址:夏王朝的“国家粮仓”

 

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).

专门存储粮食的“仓廪”,很早就进入了文字记录的视野。甲骨文的“仓”字很明显是一个地下窖穴上面覆盖着圆锥形屋顶的形象,防雨防风防沙尘。历史记载中,商纣王时期就有个巨大的粮仓叫钜桥仓。2019年7月,随着位于周口市淮阳区四通镇时庄村的时庄遗址发掘,一座中国目前发现的年代最早的用于粮食集中存储的“粮仓城邑”,终于向世人展现了夏王朝“国家粮仓”的具体风貌。

 

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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.

在时庄村一处面积约5600平方米的人工垫筑台地上,集中分布着29座仓储遗迹。考古人员在仓储遗迹底部检测出粟、黍类作物的成分,以及用于地面铺垫或编织物的芦苇类植物成分。


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.

从整体布局上看,在台地外围有宽浅的围沟,中间是一座具有居住功能的连间房,29座粮仓围绕在房子外围。此外,在该区域发现的同时期遗存以粮仓遗迹为主,极少见灰坑、陶窑、墓葬等其他类型的遗迹。专家表示,证明此处聚落布局结构清晰、功能单一,是一处以储粮为主要功能的特殊城邑。


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."

曹艳朋说:“夯土围墙和粮仓建筑都坐落在一个大型的人工建筑台基之上,这显然是经过人工规划的,通过对遗迹中的木炭进行碳十四测年数据显示,上述遗存的年代为距今4000年到3700年左右,基本定性为夏代早期粮仓。这是目前中国发现最早的专门用于粮食存储的城邑,说明当时可能存在一套较为完整和严格的粮食收储和管理制度”。

 

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)


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Editor:Zhao Hanqing