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  4. Styles and Periods (hierarchy name)
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  8. Chinese (culture or style)
  9. Chinese prehistoric cultures and periods
  10. Chinese Neolithic periods
  11. Hongshan
Scope note
Refers to a Chinese Neolithic culture dating from 4000 to 3000 BCE; it covered the area of Liaoning province, the western part of Inner Mongolia, and northeast Hebei province. It was named after the first excavation site in 1908 at Hongshanhou on the Laoha River. Hongshan's relatively complex society was based on villages in a wide distribution, with contact with the Yangshao culture of the Central Plain. The Hongshan had sites along rivers in the grassland and ceremonial sites and elaborate burial grounds in the hills and forest. Realistic animal and female human clay figurines have been found at ceremonial sites; the female figurines may indicate a matriarchal society. Dwellings are large and built on high terraces; graves are of the cairn type and often include gifts of pottery and jade carvings. Polished stone tools and red and grey pottery, sometimes decorated with geometric patterns, were produced. The carved and ornamented jade objects of the Hongshan are particularly noteworthy since most Neolithic jades are without surface decoration. Hongshan jades are fashioned into various animal shapes, beads, rings, pendants, and bi discs.
Accepted term: 15-Jul-2024