|13 October 2003
China and Japan began cultural exchanges 7,000 years ago
Prehistoric exchanges between China and Japan began about 7,000 years ago. This was the conclusion of 200 scholars and archaeologists from the two countries at a symposium convened at Beijing (China) this month. They compared archaeological findings from the Xinglonggou Relics Site in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (known as “China’s first primitive village”) and findings from Neolithic Japanese sites ranging from 10,000 to 4,000 years ago.
Several pieces of evidence support the conclusion. Jade ear and neck decorations, usually found together in northeast China 8,000 years ago, have also been found together at 7,000-year-old-plus sites in Japan. Japanese flat-bottomed pottery was displaced by forms and decorations found in relic sites in northeast China. Wang Wei, deputy director of the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that the exchange route ran from northeast China through coastal Russian areas to Hokkaido and Honshu.
The Xinglonggou site, discovered in Chifeng city in 1982, pushed back estimates of China’s jade production to some 8,000 years ago. The site has so far yielded 37 houses, 26 graves and 50 storage pits, together with human bones, pottery and stoneware. Amongst a number of unique customs are a small number of burials in residences and the practice of placing drilled deer and pig heads and clam shells before houses. Excavations begun in 2001 show that the ancient tribal people were primarily hunter-gatherers. The Xinglonggou findings are expected to help further study of cultural exchange, according to Japan’s Okamura Michio, director of the Department of Heijo Palace Site Investigations, National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Nara.
Source: www.chinaview.cn (11 October 2003)
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