Longshan culture

The Longshan culture (Chinese龙山 文化, pinyin Longshan Wenhua ) was a late Neolithic culture in the middle and lower Yellow River in China. It was named after the landscape Longshan ( ie Dragon Mountain ) in Shandong Province, where in 1929 the first finds of this culture were made. It is depending on the source about the time of 3200 BC to 1850 BC.

The Longshan culture, with its black ceramic superimposed the Yangshao culture ( ie the culture of painted pottery, 5000-2000 BC), at least in the province of Henan. In other areas, but both cultures could also be next to each other have passed.

Characteristic Yongsan is a special type of ceramic. It has a glossy black or gray surface, little decoration and is sometimes as thin as an egg.

First (approx. 3000 BC) used it a gray ware with cord, mat or notched decoration, often black paint on a red background. After this fine, hard, thin and shiny black pottery spread, was used for the black, that is iron-rich clay, the hallmark of Longshan. However, they can only be found in Shandong often, that is elsewhere a coarser and also different colored ceramics was prevalent at the same time. On the black ceramic gray ceramic followed very similar to that of Longshan, thin wall and other decoration, found in Xiaodun ( Shanxi ) and immediately after the Bronze Age.

The Longshan pottery was the first pottery in China, which was produced by potter's wheel. In the earlier Yangshao pottery there is no indication on potter's wheels.

Among other forms, there are also vessels with three legs, whose appearance was then imitated in the Bronze Age ( = thing ).

During the Longshan culture villages with walls made ​​of rammed earth ( hang- t'u ) were built, as a permanent dwellings on high ground along the rivers. The clay was tamped it in a casing in layers. From such villages, several power centers of the Shang dynasty developed. In contrast, the Yangshao village was only occasionally used and unpaved. Contents were pigs, sheep and cattle but not horses. The cultivation of rice was consistent at the time.

The Longshan culture was patriarchal. This is evident from the arrangement of the skeletons in the graves in which was assigned to the man's wife. In contrast, the earlier Yangshao culture (5000-2000 BC) was apparently still matriarchal.

There you will also find jewelry made of jade. So there was an upper class, which became the Longshan period and whose existence is reflected in the graves.

A further characteristic of the Longshan culture is the emergence of the oracle bones ( Scapulomantie ), for which one pierced bone and glowing pieces of wood stuck to interpret the cracks.

The population of the Chinese Neolithic reached its peak during the Longshan culture. Towards the end there was a large drop, as evidenced by a decrease in high-quality black pottery in ritual burials.

The Longshan cultures are usually distinguished by Chinese archaeologists: Longshan culture of Shandong Longshan culture of the second period of Miaodigou Culture, Longshan Culture of Henan Longshan culture of Shanxi and Longshan culture of Taosi. Divided Gröber it is the Longshan culture in Shandong and central China Longshan culture.

A number of local migrations brought the Longshan culture to the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, in southern China coast and early, that is, about 2500 BC, to Taiwan.

The Longshan culture is a direct ancestor of the Shang culture, the first " Chinese " culture. The onset of the Bronze Age (about 2000 BC in Gansu ) then marks its end around 1800 BC.