Sites & cities that bear the name of Chengziya


Today in : China
First trace of activity : ca. 26th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 3rd century B.C.E
Recorded names : 都, Dū, Chengziyai, 城子崖

Description : Chengziya, also spelled Chengziyai, is a Chinese archaeological site and the location of the first discovery of the neolithic Longshan culture in 1928. The discovery of the Longshan culture at Chengziya was a significant step towards understanding the origins of Chinese civilization. Chengziya remains the largest prehistorical settlement found to date. The site is located in Shandong province, about 25 kilometres (16 mi) to the east of the provincial capital Jinan. It is protected and made accessible by the Chengziya Ruins Museum (Chinese: 城子崖遗址博物馆; pinyin: Chéngzǐyá Yízhǐ Bówùguǎn). The ancient settlement of Chengziya was constructed around 2600 BC and was located on a tableland near the old Guanlu and Wuyuan rivers. The name Chengziya, literally "city cliff" refers to this location and the wall that encloses the settlement. The Wuyan River flows in the north-south direction to the west of the settlement. The Chengziya settlement had rectangular layout (400 by 500 meters, 1300 by 1600 feet) with edges oriented along the north-south and east-west directions. While the western, southern, and eastern walls are straight, the northern wall juts outward following the terrain. The settlement hence covered an area of about 200,000 square meters and was enclosed by a hangtu (rammed earth) wall that stood about 7 metres (23 ft) tall, was 10 metres (33 ft) wide at the base and tapered off to a width 5 metres (16 ft) at the top. The technique for erecting the walls from pounded earth was a new innovation at the time. Successive layers ranging between 12 and 14 centimetres (5.5 in) in thickness were each compacted before the next layer was added. On the outside of the walls was a deep moat that was fed by water from a nearby river. As there are no major walls inside the settlement, the layout conforms to the style of a "platform city" (Chinese: 台城; pinyin: tái chéng). Chenziya is at the center of a cluster of more than 40 sites belonging to the Longshan Culture. These sites come in three size classes: sites covering from a few thousand up to 10,000 square meters are thought to belong to the ju (Chinese: 居; pinyin: Jū; lit. 'settlements') referred to in ancient documents. Larger sites up to 50,000 square meters are believed to be yi (central towns) and finally Chengziya itself has been identified as a du (Chinese: 都; pinyin: Dū, capital). Based on thick deposits found at the site (from 3–4 up to 5–6 meters deep), the population of the Chengziya has been estimated to be in the tens of thousands. Other settlements After the decline of the Longshan culture, the Chengziya site was occupied by two more walled settlements. One belonging to the Yueshi culture 1900–1500 BC) and the other dated to the time of the Zhou dynasty (1100–256 BC).

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