Home Region:  North China (East Asia)

Yangshao

D G SC WF HS EQ 2020  cn_yangshao / CnYngsh

Preceding:
7000 BCE 5001 BCE Peiligang (cn_peiligang)    [None]
Add one more here.

Succeeding:
3000 BCE 1900 BCE Longshan (cn_longshan)    [continuity]
Add one more here.

Yangshao culture (Miaodigou, Xiyincun) first developed in the Loess plateau in the Holocene period. [1] The culture was present from 5000 to 3000 BCE, extending from the Middle Yellow River Valley to modern Qinghai and Gansu. [2] Yangshao sites are mainly found in the Guanzhong region in Shaanxi, eastern Gansu, western Shanxi, southern Hebei and Henan. [3] Yangshao subsisted on wild foods and domesticated millet. Men most likely hunted, and men and women farmed and produced goods. [4]
Yangshao villages were often surrounded by a ditch, and contained groups of semi-subterranean round or square houses constructed using the wattle and daub method, a graveyard and a public courtyard. [5] Homes contained hearths for cooking and wide benches. [6] Yangshao culture is characterized by the presence of painted black and red pottery featuring animals and geometric designs. [3] Pottery, jewelry and stone, bone and ceramic tools have been excavated from Yangshao period graves. [6]
Population and political organization
In the early Yangshao phase, settlements did not have any detectable hierarchies. In the later phase, structures in the settlements began to vary in size, suggesting the existence of settlement hierarchies. [5] In many villages, a large structure is surrounded by smaller dwellings. [6] However, grave goods in Yangshao burials suggest a more egalitarian society. [6] More information is needed on settlement hierarchy and community organization in the Yangshao period. The population of Yangshao settlements varied- smaller settlements had 70 to 80 members while larger settlements housed a few hundred. [1]

[1]: (Lee 2001, 335) Lee, Yun Kuen. 2001. “Yangshao.” In East Asia and Oceania (Encyclopedia of Prehistory, Volume 3), edited by Peter Peregrine and Melvin Ember. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. 333-339. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/BUI9EC3T

[2]: (Tanner 2009, 20) Tanner, Harold Miles. 2009. China: A History. Indianapolis, Indiana: Hackett Publishing Company. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/46QCS68G

[3]: (Lee 2001, 333) Lee, Yun Kuen. 2001. “Yangshao.” In East Asia and Oceania (Encyclopedia of Prehistory, Volume 3), edited by Peter Peregrine and Melvin Ember. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. 333-339. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/BUI9EC3T

[4]: (Lee 2001, 336) Lee, Yun Kuen. 2001. “Yangshao.” In East Asia and Oceania (Encyclopedia of Prehistory, Volume 3), edited by Peter Peregrine and Melvin Ember. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. 333-339. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/BUI9EC3T

[5]: (Lee 2001, 334) Lee, Yun Kuen. 2001. “Yangshao.” In East Asia and Oceania (Encyclopedia of Prehistory, Volume 3), edited by Peter Peregrine and Melvin Ember. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. 333-339. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/BUI9EC3T

[6]: (Von Falkenhausen 1994, 55) Von Falkenhausen. Lothar. 1994. “Rediscovering the Past.” In China: Ancient Culture, Modern Land, edited by Robert E. Murowchick. Norman Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/KKWA9MT3

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
50 S  
Original Name:
Yangshao  
Capital:
absent  
Alternative Name:
Miaodigou  
Xiyincun  
Temporal Bounds
Duration:
[5,000 BCE ➜ 3,000 BCE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Supracultural Entity:
China  
Succeeding Entity:
Longshan  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
1,000,000 km2  
Preceding Entity:
Preceding:   Peiligang (cn_peiligang)    [None]  
Succeeding: Longshan (cn_longshan)    [continuity]  
Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity  
Language
Linguistic Family:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[200 to 500] people  
Polity Population:
[10,000 to 30,000] people  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[2 to 3]  
Administrative Level:
[1 to 2]  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
inferred absent  
Professional Priesthood:
unknown  
Professional Military Officer:
inferred absent  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
unknown  
Merit Promotion:
unknown  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
unknown  
Examination System:
unknown  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
unknown  
Judge:
unknown  
Formal Legal Code:
unknown  
Court:
unknown  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
unknown  
Irrigation System:
unknown  
Food Storage Site:
inferred present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
inferred absent  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
inferred absent  
Port:
inferred absent  
Canal:
unknown  
Bridge:
unknown  
Special-purpose Sites
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
absent  
Script:
absent  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent  
Nonwritten Record:
inferred present  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
absent  
Sacred Text:
absent  
Religious Literature:
absent  
Practical Literature:
absent  
Philosophy:
absent  
Lists Tables and Classification:
absent  
History:
absent  
Fiction:
absent  
Calendar:
absent  
Information / Money
Token:
inferred absent  
Precious Metal:
unknown  
Paper Currency:
absent  
Indigenous Coin:
inferred absent  
Foreign Coin:
inferred absent  
Article:
unknown  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
inferred absent  
General Postal Service:
inferred absent  
Courier:
inferred absent  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
inferred present  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
inferred present  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
present  
  Fortified Camp:
inferred absent  
  Earth Rampart:
present  
  Ditch:
present  
  Complex Fortification:
absent  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
absent  
  Iron:
absent  
  Copper:
absent  
  Bronze:
absent  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
unknown  
  Self Bow:
inferred present  
  Javelin:
unknown  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
absent  
  Composite Bow:
absent  
  Atlatl:
inferred absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
unknown  
  Sword:
inferred absent  
  Spear:
unknown  
  Polearm:
inferred absent  
  Dagger:
inferred absent  
  Battle Axe:
present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
absent  
  Elephant:
absent  
  Donkey:
unknown  
  Dog:
inferred absent  
  Camel:
absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
unknown  
  Shield:
inferred absent  
  Scaled Armor:
absent  
  Plate Armor:
absent  
  Limb Protection:
absent  
  Leather Cloth:
unknown  
  Laminar Armor:
absent  
  Helmet:
inferred absent  
  Chainmail:
absent  
  Breastplate:
absent  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
absent  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
absent  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
absent  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Yangshao (cn_yangshao) was in:
 (5000 BCE 3001 BCE)   Middle Yellow River Valley
Home NGA: Middle Yellow River Valley

General Variables
Identity and Location


Capital:
absent

"While Yan’s classic definition of the Big Yangshao model is still influential, more and more archaeologists are inclined to name the local archaeological remains as independent cultures, each having its own local cultural tradition and developmental sequence (Zhang Zhongpei and Qiao 1992; Henan Sheng 1994; Wang 2010)." [1] This implies that each polity probably had its capital.

[1]: (Li 2013, 215)


Alternative Name:
Miaodigou

"The monograph on the excavations published in 1959 - the first archaeological report of the People’s Republic of China (IA,CASS 1959) - gives the middle Yangshao remains a new name - “the Miaodigou Type.” Some nostalgic archaeologists like to use the name “Xiyincun culture” to refer to the same remains (Zhang Zhongpei 1996), but Miaodigou Type or Miaodigou culture is still the most common name." [1] Miaodigou is an umbrella term for many other archaeological subcultures though: "However, although sharing Miaodigou-style painted designs and some typical vessels, local archaeological cultures in these areas also show their own characteristics. While Yan’s classic definition of the Big Yangshao model is still influential, more and more archaeologists are inclined to name the local archaeological remains as independent cultures, each having its own local cultural tradition and developmental sequence (Zhang Zhongpei and Qiao 1992; Henan Sheng 1994; Wang 2010). Some scholars suggest a core-periphery model for the relationship of the local cultures with the heartland area of the Miaodigou Type (Wang 2010)." [2]

[1]: (Li 2013, 213)

[2]: (Li 2013, 215)

Alternative Name:
Xiyincun

"The monograph on the excavations published in 1959 - the first archaeological report of the People’s Republic of China (IA,CASS 1959) - gives the middle Yangshao remains a new name - “the Miaodigou Type.” Some nostalgic archaeologists like to use the name “Xiyincun culture” to refer to the same remains (Zhang Zhongpei 1996), but Miaodigou Type or Miaodigou culture is still the most common name." [1] Miaodigou is an umbrella term for many other archaeological subcultures though: "However, although sharing Miaodigou-style painted designs and some typical vessels, local archaeological cultures in these areas also show their own characteristics. While Yan’s classic definition of the Big Yangshao model is still influential, more and more archaeologists are inclined to name the local archaeological remains as independent cultures, each having its own local cultural tradition and developmental sequence (Zhang Zhongpei and Qiao 1992; Henan Sheng 1994; Wang 2010). Some scholars suggest a core-periphery model for the relationship of the local cultures with the heartland area of the Miaodigou Type (Wang 2010)." [2]

[1]: (Li 2013, 213)

[2]: (Li 2013, 215)


Temporal Bounds
Duration:
[5,000 BCE ➜ 3,000 BCE]

[1]
"The Yangshao (7000-4500 B.P.) tradition of the middle Yellow river valley witnessed the emergence of relatively large agricultural communities organized around a public courtyard, many with a defensive moat." [2]

[1]: (Chang 1999, 49)

[2]: (Peregrine and Ember 2001, xix)


Political and Cultural Relations
Supracultural Entity:
China

"When the chronologies of the various cultural types and systems are care- fully traced, it becomes apparent that by approximately 4000 B.C. some of the adjacent regional cultures had come into contact as an inevitable result of expansion and that a number of ceramic styles began to assume a sphere- wide instead of merely a region-wide distribution. For example, among pottery vessel types, the ding and the dou are found in every region, often in large numbers, suggesting the wide distribution of a style of cooking formerly prevailing only in the Dawenkou and Daxi cultures. The perforated slate rectangular and semilunar knives represent another horizon marker, as do some pottery and jade art motifs that, as pointed out earlier, may reflect deeper substratal commonalities than recent contact. With the definition of "interaction spheres," for the first time we can discuss the issue of the name "China." I suggest that from this point on, as the regions with which we are concerned came to be joined together in archaeological terms and exhibit increasing similarities, the interaction sphere may be referred to as "Chinese." " [1]

[1]: (Chang 1999, 58-59)



Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
1,000,000 km2

km squared.


Preceding Entity:
Peiligang [cn_peiligang] ---> Yangshao [cn_yangshao]

[1]

[1]: (Peregrine in Peregrine and Ember 2001, 283)

Preceding Entity:
Yangshao [cn_yangshao] ---> Longshan [cn_longshan]

(Relationship): "Thus, when I say, for example, that the Yangshao tradition was followed by the Longshan tradition, it should not be taken to imply that the break between the two is clear and discrete, or that all people changed in exactly the same ways at precisely the same time. Nor should such a statement imply that there was a population replacement between the two traditions. More important, such a statement should not be taken to imply that the peoples of either tradition knew they were living in any sort of unity with other people who we, from our perspective today, suggest they shared a common archaeological tradition." [1]
(Entity): "Such remains obviously indicate a society at a stage of development between that of the Yangshao culture, which until the 1950s was the only known Neolithic culture earlier than the Longshan, and the later Shang civilization." [2]

[1]: (Peregrine and Ember 2001, xx)

[2]: (Chang 1999, 59)


Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity

"Discovered by the Swedish geologist J. G. Andersson in 1920 at Yangshao village in Mianchi county, Henan, this was the first Neolithic culture to be found in China and is still the best known. More than a thousand archaeological sites of this culture have been found distributed in the Yellow River valley from Zhengzhou in the east to the upper reaches in Gansu and Qinghai. Within this vast area, the culture can be divided into several phases on the basis of ceramic styles. All of these, however, are of reddish color and are painted with various designs in black or dark brown (Fig. 1.4). Major vessel types include the bowl, water bottle, jar, and urn. Tripods and bowls on ring stands are seen in the east only, possibly being forms introduced from the eastern coastal areas.The Yangshao was a culture of millet farmers, already planting both Setaria and Panicum millets. The people lived in lineage units regularly laid out in villages. [1]

[1]: (Chang 1999, 49-52)


Language
Linguistic Family:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI

Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[200 to 500] people

Inhabitants. "Several extensively excavated settlement and burial sites reveal that the population size of a Yangshao community varied from several dozens (70-80) to a few hundreds. In some favorable farming regions, for instance, the Weishe basin, the density of Yangshao settlement sites exceed that of the modern village. Although some Yangshao sites may not be contemporary, their density is still impressive." [1]

[1]: (Lee in Peregrine and Ember 2001, 335)


Polity Population:
[10,000 to 30,000] people

People. [1]

[1]: (Feinman, Gary. North China Workshop 2016)


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[2 to 3]

levels.
Example in the Li Luo River Valley:1. Big villages. 75ha is the biggest in the Li Luo River Valley.
2. Smaller villages. 3 to 6 ha.
"There was significant differentiation in the size of middle and late phase Yangshao settlements. Settlement hierarchies have been identified from systematic survey and reconnaissance (Liu 1996; Liu and Chen 2000). In the Yi-Luo River valley,Yangshao sites range in size from less than one hectare to about 75 hectares, which formed a two-tiered settlement hierarchy (Liu 1996:254). There is a three- tiered hierarchy in the Lingbao region of western Henan. There is an unusually large settlement (about 90 hectares) called Beiyangping located between two tributaries, while most sites range in size from about 2 hectares to 36 hectares (Henan Institute of Cultural Relics et al. 1999; Henan Team et al. 1995)." [1]
Example in the Yangping River Valley:1. Regional center. eg: Beiyangping, 90 ha.
2. Secondary central settlement. Eg: Xipo, 40 ha.3. Smaller villages. 2ha and bigger.
"A full-coverage survey was conducted in the Zhudingyuan 铸鼎原 area in central Lingbao in western Henan in 1999 to establish a database of prehistoric sites along two small tributaries of the Yellow river - the Yangping 阳平 river in the west and the Sha 沙 river in the east. A total of 31 sites, dating from the pre-Yangshao to late Longshan 龙山 periods were recorded. For the Miaodigou period, there was a sharp increase in the quantity of settlements (from 13 in the early Yangshao period to 19) and a marked increase in the size of settlements (from 44ha in the early Yangshao period to 189.3 ha). Even more significantly, a clear three-tiered settlement hierarchy appeared in the Miaodigou period. The Beiyangping site in the middle Yangping river valley is about 90 ha in size and obviously a regional center. The Xipo site previously mentioned, located in the upper Sha river valley, is 40ha in size and the secondary central settlement.
The full survey in the Yuanqu 垣曲 basin in southern Shanxi resulted in the same pattern. There also was a sharp increase in quantity of settlements (from eight in the early Yangshao to 20) and size (from 25.16ha in early Yangshao to 109.16) during the Miaodigou period. A three-tiered hierarchy of settlements occurred in the basin for the first time. The largest site, Beibaotou 北堡头, is 30 ha in size and might have been the regional center. The second largest site, Xiaozhao 小赵, is 15 ha in size and might have been a secondary center. The rank-size distribution is near a log-normal curve, indicating a well-integrated social system (Dai 2006: 19)." [2]
"In the earlier phase, the settlement patterns exhibited strong egalitarian tendencies. No settlement hierarchy has been detected. In the later period, the variation of settlement size and structure increased; some settlements were built in masonry or earthen wall enclosures. Although systematic settlement system study is still lacking, it has been noted that some sites, in the dozens, clustered together, and the variation in site size suggests the emergence of settlement hierarchy." [3]
"Many of these sites were occupied during the middle Yangshao phase as well, up to ca. 3500 B.C. Most sites range in size from ca. 3 to 6 hectares (Chang 1986:116-19), but Jiangzhai, an extensively excavated site, is ca. 18 hectares in size (Yan 1999:136)." [4]

[1]: (Underhill and Habu 2008, 131-132)

[2]: (Li 2013, 218)

[3]: (Lee in Peregrine and Ember 2001, 334)

[4]: (Underhill and Habu 2008, 128)


Administrative Level:
[1 to 2]

levels.
1. Village leader"Decisions were made based on consensus in each level of organization. Leadership was both achieved and ad hoc." [1]
"Two to five corporate groups made up a village settlement" [1]
2. Corporate group leader"Decisions were made based on consensus in each level of organization. Leadership was both achieved and ad hoc." [1]
"About a dozen households formed a corporate group" [1]
"The Yangshao society was evidently regulated by egalitarian principles, comparable to the organization of a segmentary society like a tribe. The social organization was also heavily embedded with political functions. A two-level sequential hierarchy in community is expected. Decisions were made based on consensus in each level of organization. Leadership was both achieved and ad hoc. This observation has been confirmed by the strong egalitarian tendency documented in the burial treatment. Nevertheless, Yangshao society became increasingly internally differentiated. Simultaneous hierarchy might have emerged at the terminal period of Yangshao Culture." [1]

[1]: (Lee in Peregrine and Ember 2001, 336)


Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent

No evidence for military so one could infer that regularly paid professional military officers were absent.


Professional Priesthood:
unknown

"Religious Practitioners. The human face and fish motifs on the painted bowls of the Banpo phase are generally interpreted as portraits or masks of a shaman." [1]
Temples found at Hongshan sites [2]
"Xishuipo grave M45 has often been taken to be a ’shaman’s’ grave."- Other scholars argue "it is more likely to have been the resting place of a sociopolitical leader." [2]
"Ritual structures (or ’temples’), which are found only in northeast China, along with the graves associated with these structures, might suggest that religious ideas and specialist practitioners (priests) were more important to the sociopolitical integration of societies in northwest China than in other parts of north China during the Early Neolithic period." [3]

[1]: (Lee in Peregrine and Ember 2001, 336)

[2]: (Shelach-Levi, Gideon. 2015. The Archaeology of Early China: From Prehistory to the Han Dynasty, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 98)

[3]: (Shelach-Levi, Gideon. 2015. The Archaeology of Early China: From Prehistory to the Han Dynasty, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 100)


Professional Military Officer:
absent

No evidence for military so one could infer that regularly paid professional military officers were absent.


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
unknown


Full Time Bureaucrat:
unknown

Examination System:
unknown

Specialized Buildings: polity owned


Food Storage Site:
present

"The layouts of settlement sites suggest that there were three levels of sociopolitical organization in a Yangshao community. The households were the building blocks of the community. About a dozen households formed a corporate group. Although the daily domestic activities were carried out in the household, the distribution of storage facilities suggests that the corporate group likely coordinated the management and distribution of the basic means of subsistence, particularly staple food." [1]

[1]: (Lee in Peregrine and Ember 2001, 336)


Drinking Water Supply System:
absent

water wells known from later period so piped water very unlikely in this earlier period.


Transport Infrastructure

In the subsequent Longshan period: "There also was an early-period city road system. A survey by the geologist Li Rongquan 李荣权 showed that the small southern gully Xiaonan Gou 小南沟, the large southern gully Danan Gou 大南沟, and southern gully Nan Gou 南沟 were all roads used during the city’s occupation." [1] However, that "road was not entirely straight or as developed as roads in later Chinese cities" [1] so whether it was a beaten trail or a properly maintained "road" might be open to question. Given the question marks over the later period, this still earlier period we could infer absent.

[1]: (He 2013, 264)


largest city size is about 500 and it is unlikely they had developed road maintenance linking any port to other cities, as would be necessary for a port.


Canal coded for Longshan period at Tenghualuo (Liuyungang, Jiangsu) "an apparently unwalled dwelling site complete with a canal and a pier, which covers an area of 10 ha (Anonymous 1996a)." [1] For this earlier period, unknown.

[1]: (Demattè 1999, 124)


Bridge:
unknown

Unknown. Wooden bridges?


Special-purpose Sites
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
absent

Writing may have been invented in the Longshan [1] , no evidence for earlier writing in earlier times.

[1]: (Chang 1999, 64)


Writing may have been invented in the Longshan [1] , no evidence for earlier writing in earlier times.

[1]: (Chang 1999, 64)


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent

Writing may have been invented in the Longshan [1] , no evidence for earlier writing in earlier times.

[1]: (Chang 1999, 64)


Nonwritten Record:
present

Writing may have been invented in the Longshan [1] , no evidence for earlier writing in earlier times.

[1]: (Chang 1999, 64)


Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
absent

Writing may have been invented in the Longshan [1] , no evidence for earlier writing in earlier times.

[1]: (Chang 1999, 64)


Sacred Text:
absent

Writing may have been invented in the Longshan [1] , no evidence for earlier writing in earlier times.

[1]: (Chang 1999, 64)


Religious Literature:
absent

Writing may have been invented in the Longshan [1] , no evidence for earlier writing in earlier times.

[1]: (Chang 1999, 64)


Practical Literature:
absent

Writing may have been invented in the Longshan [1] , no evidence for earlier writing in earlier times.

[1]: (Chang 1999, 64)


Philosophy:
absent

Writing may have been invented in the Longshan [1] , no evidence for earlier writing in earlier times.

[1]: (Chang 1999, 64)


Lists Tables and Classification:
absent

Writing may have been invented in the Longshan [1] , no evidence for earlier writing in earlier times.

[1]: (Chang 1999, 64)


History:
absent

Writing may have been invented in the Longshan [1] , no evidence for earlier writing in earlier times.

[1]: (Chang 1999, 64)


Fiction:
absent

Writing may have been invented in the Longshan [1] , no evidence for earlier writing in earlier times.

[1]: (Chang 1999, 64)


Calendar:
absent

Writing may have been invented in the Longshan [1] , no evidence for earlier writing in earlier times.

[1]: (Chang 1999, 64)


Information / Money

“仰韶墓随葬品上不存在悬殊的现象,不存在私有制.” Absence of personal articles in tombs shows that there was no concept of private ownership among the Yangshao. [1]

[1]: (Yang, 2012, 313) Yang, Yubin. 2012. 20世纪仰韶文化的重要发现与研究. 袁广阔主编出版社.


Precious Metal:
unknown

no data


Paper Currency:
absent

Paper did not exist at this time.


Indigenous Coin:
absent

Coins evolved at a later time.


Foreign Coin:
absent

Coins evolved at a later time.


Article:
unknown

“仰韶墓随葬品上不存在悬殊的现象,不存在私有制.” Absence of personal articles in tombs shows that there was no concept of private ownership among the Yangshao. [1] -- might one group have exchanged items with another group? such as animal skins for weapons?

[1]: (Yang, 2012, 313) Yang, Yubin. 2012. 20世纪仰韶文化的重要发现与研究. 袁广阔主编出版社.


Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
absent

No data on whether the elite used relay stations to transmit messages faster. This might be considered unlikely as elsewhere relay stations evolved and were used in context of much larger states and bureaucracies where long distances needed to be traversed.


General Postal Service:
absent

No literacy so there would have been nobody to use a general postal service, if such had existed.


Courier:
absent

Specialist messenger probably unlikely at this early time.


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Wooden Palisade:
present

"Late Paleolithic Chinese roamed the grasslands of the great Northern Plain, gathering wild varieties of millet. Around 7000-6000 B.C.E. they began creating a village culture along the Yellow River, elevating their villages above the floodplain, often enclosing them with ditches or wooden palisades." [1]

[1]: (Adler and Pouwels 2018, 54-55) Philip J Adler. Randall L Pouwels. 2018. World Civilizations. Eighth Edition. Cengage Learning. Boston.


Stone Walls Non Mortared:
present

Stone walls present in the Neolithic period [1]

[1]: (Feinman, Gary and Liye, Xie. North China Workshop 2016)


Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown

Wall surrounding a village in Shaanxi built in 4000 bce. Note: City wall [1] -- was this "masonry" stone?

[1]: (DuTemple 2003, 16)


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

"Some late-phase sites were located on the strategic locations of piedmonts, significantly distant from rivers." [1]

[1]: (Lee in Peregrine and Ember 2001, 336) Peregrine, P. and M. Ember (eds.) 2001. East Asia and Oceania (Encyclopedia of Prehistory, Volume 3). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. Note: Defensive or protection against flooding?


Modern Fortification:
absent

Defences against gunpowder weapons not necessary until the invention of gunpowder, a few thousand years after this period.


"The Yangshao (7000-4500 B.P.) tradition of the middle Yellow river valley witnessed the emergence of relatively large agricultural communities organized around a public courtyard, many with a defensive moat." [1] "A defensive moat was dug on the periphery of the dwelling area." [2]

[1]: (Peregrine and Ember 2000, xix)

[2]: (Lee in Peregrine and Ember 2001, 334) Peregrine, P. and M. Ember (eds.) 2001. East Asia and Oceania (Encyclopedia of Prehistory, Volume 3). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.


Fortified Camp:
absent

No military organization [1] so there was no army to make a fortified camp.

[1]: (Otterbein 2004, 160) Otterbein, Keith. 2004. How War Began. University of Texas A&M Press.


Earth Rampart:
present

Hang-tu earth walls [1]

[1]: (DuTemple 2003, 15)


Protective ditches [1] Present in the Late Yangshao [2]

[1]: (Sawyer 2011, 40)

[2]: (Xie, Liye. North China Workshop 2016)


Complex Fortification:
absent

[1]

[1]: (Sawyer 2011, 46)



Military use of Metals

Battles were fought with stone and wood in the Neolithic period (5500-3000 BC) [1]

[1]: (Sawyer 2012, 97)


Battles were fought with stone and wood in the Neolithic period (5500-3000 BC) [1]

[1]: (Sawyer 2012, 97)


Battles were fought with stone and wood in the Neolithic period (5500-3000 BC) [1]

[1]: (Sawyer 2012, 97)


Battles were fought with stone and wood in the Neolithic period (5500-3000 BC) [1]

[1]: (Sawyer 2012, 97)


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
absent

Technology first seen in Warring States period [1]

[1]: (Liang 2005)


Sling Siege Engine:
absent

Earliest references to siege weaponry are from the Warring States Period [1]

[1]: (Liang 2005)


Known from the Zhou period, when: "The conscripted foot soldiers wore sheepskin jackets and used slings and bows with bronze-tipped arrows." [1]

[1]: (Meyer 1994, 132) Milton Walter Meyer. 1994. China: A Concise History. Second Edition, Revised. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Lanham.


"Common stone tools included celts, adzes, chisels, shovels, knives, and arrowheads. Bone was the other common tool-making material for arrowheads, harpoons, and fishhooks." [1] Composite bow not known to have been developed at this early time.

[1]: (Lee in Peregrine and Ember 2001, 335) Peregrine, P. and M. Ember (eds.) 2001. East Asia and Oceania (Encyclopedia of Prehistory, Volume 3). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.


Stone spears existed in the Neolithic, However, the "spear appears to have remained relatively uncommon prior to the late Shang." [1]

[1]: (Peers 2011, 428)


Handheld Firearm:
absent

Gunpowder not invented for another few thousand years.


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent

Earliest evidence of cannons and firearms is in the Song. [1]

[1]: (Liang 2005)


Technology first seen in Warring States period [1]

[1]: (Liang 2005)


Composite Bow:
absent

Composite bow not known to have been developed at this early time.


Technology used in the new world. Unlikely.


Handheld weapons

"However extensively clubs and staves may have been employed, the bow and arrow and early versions of the axe (but surprisingly not the spear) came to dominate the ever intensifying conflict that plagued China during the Neolithic period." [1]

[1]: (Peers 2011, 373)


No reference to evidence of swords yet encountered in sources.



No reference to evidence of polearms yet encountered in sources. Horses not used for battle until the invention of chariots in 1300 bce [1] and polearms often used by infantry as defence against horse-back soldiers.

[1]: (Peers 2011, 505)


Minimally effective knives took form in Neolithic, mainly used as tools. Not daggers. [1]

[1]: (Peers 2011, 389)


Battle Axe:
present

"However extensively clubs and staves may have been employed, the bow and arrow and early versions of the axe (but surprisingly not the spear) came to dominate the ever intensifying conflict that plagued China during the Neolithic period." [1]

[1]: (Peers 2011, 373)


Animals used in warfare

Horses not used for battle until the invention of chariots in 1300 bce [1]

[1]: (Peers 2011, 505)


Animal not present in region.


Donkeys used as pack animals in China, but warfare likely not complex enough at this time for use of pack animals [1]

[1]: (North China Workshop 2016)


Dogs not known to have been domesticated at this time.


Animal not present in region.


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
unknown

we would expect the earliest defenses to not have been made of metal and so unlikely to have been preserved.


Helmet found at Dayangzhou, Xin’gan, brings helmets to the Erligang period. [1]

[1]: (Thorp 2013, 110) Thorp, Robert L. 2013. China in the Early Bronze Age: Shang Civilization.University of Pennsylvania Press.


Scaled Armor:
absent

widespread use of armor seems to have developed alongside rise of large infantry forces only in Warring States period, 5th c bce [1] [2]

[1]: (Dien 1981)

[2]: (Tin-bor Hui 2005)


Plate Armor:
absent

widespread use of armor seems to have developed alongside rise of large infantry forces only in Warring States period, 5th c bce [1] [2]

[1]: (Dien 1981)

[2]: (Tin-bor Hui 2005)


Limb Protection:
absent

widespread use of armor seems to have developed alongside rise of large infantry forces only in Warring States period, 5th c bce [1] [2]

[1]: (Dien 1981)

[2]: (Tin-bor Hui 2005)


Leather Cloth:
unknown

we would expect the earliest defenses to not have been made of metal and so unlikely to have been preserved.


Laminar Armor:
absent

widespread use of armor seems to have developed alongside rise of large infantry forces only in Warring States period, 5th c bce [1] [2]

[1]: (Dien 1981)

[2]: (Tin-bor Hui 2005)


Helmet found at Dayangzhou, Xin’gan, brings helmets to the Erligang period. [1]

[1]: (Thorp 2013, 110) Thorp, Robert L. 2013. China in the Early Bronze Age: Shang Civilization.University of Pennsylvania Press.


widespread use of armor seems to have developed alongside rise of large infantry forces only in Warring States period, 5th c bce [1] [2]

[1]: (Dien 1981)

[2]: (Tin-bor Hui 2005)


Breastplate:
absent

widespread use of armor seems to have developed alongside rise of large infantry forces only in Warring States period, 5th c bce [1] [2]

[1]: (Dien 1981)

[2]: (Tin-bor Hui 2005)


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
absent

"The first recorded use of ships in a military operation occurred circa 1045 B.C.E." [1]

[1]: (Lorge 2012, 82-83)


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
absent

"The first recorded use of ships in a military operation occurred circa 1045 B.C.E." [1]

[1]: (Lorge 2012, 82-83)


Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
absent

"The first recorded use of ships in a military operation occurred circa 1045 B.C.E." [1]

[1]: (Lorge 2012, 82-83)



Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions
- Nothing coded yet.