When the first light of the morning shone on the land of Liangzhu 5,000 years ago, the Chinese civilization was awakened. As the earliest group of people living in the Jiangnan area, Liangzhu people worked when the sun rose and rest when it set. They went fishing, hunting, weaving, and drinking, and lived a simple and beautiful life.
The meat that Liangzhu people consumed was mainly from domestic pigs, and they ate fish, spiral shells, clams and other food sourced from rivers. Occasionally, they hunt wild animals such as deer, cattle, and tigers for food.
The water system discovered on the periphery of Liangzhu Ancient City in Hangzhou is the earliest large-scale water conservancy project in China. It has a history of 4,700 to 5,100 years, a thousand years earlier than the legendary "Dayu Tamed the Flood".
Liangzhu people invented the stone sickle, which is similar to the present iron sickle in shape. They harvested crops with one hand holding the rice and the other cutting it with a stone sickle, which was extremely efficient.
Mud Wrapped in Grass
Liangzhu people used silvergrass from rivers to wrap up a pile of silt, and then tied it tightly with reed strips, which were then piled up and covered with loess to fight the flood. The structure has a good waterproof performance so that the torrential flood can't go through, while the loess on the top layer can strengthen the structure. Even today, this kind of mud-built structure is still used when building dams.
Sacrificial offerings were normally found in the tombs of dignitaries, and the phenomenon confirms the high unity of divine power and royal power during the Liangzhu Period. The altar was both the tomb of the king and the place where the clergy communicated with heaven and the earth.
The advantage of this split-type stone plow is that Liangzhu people only need to replace the "blade" once it was damaged, which is kind of like the current razor. It has greatly extended the service life of the plow.
Liangzhu Imperial City
Here we are now entering the imperial city.
Stone Froe was an important logging tool in the Liangzhu Period and its biggest draw is that it can be used with almost all types of wooden handles. There was a kind of stone fore called Youduan Stone Froe in Liangzhu, which was polished, and was as sharp a cutter! It can cut an arc on the surface of wood, and that's how canoes in the Liangzhu Period were made.
Fishhooks in Liangzhu Culture Period look quite ordinary, but as long as a fish was hooked, there was no way it can get away. This kind of craft is very advanced even today.
Black Pottery is viewed as the "Hermes" among Liangzhu Period's pottery. Although it was large and black, flat and wide, it was the highest-level representative of pottery making at that time.
From the style of the unearthed wooden clogs, we can tell that Liangzhu people already knew how to design their clogs according to the characteristics of feet.
Liangzhu Period is abundant in jade ware. Back then, artisans used lines to do rough shape cutting and a rope or a tool with a hard surface to drive jade sand to repeatedly rub on the jade material to make jade ware. During the Liangzhu Period, there was another important jade production technique which is called "Jian Di (减地)" in Chinese. It can create bas-relief patterns, and that's how the slightly raised patterns of immortals with an animal face on jade ware were made.
Ding is an ancient cooking utensil, standing upon legs with a lid and two facing handles. For the fact that it's easy to crack under the circumstances of uneven heating, Liangzhu people generally used it to cook porridge or other foods with soup.
Pots and Pans
The ceramic gui (陶簋), ceramic dou (陶豆) and ceramic plate (陶盘) unearthed from Liangzhu Culture were food vessels, which are similar to various tableware of modern people. They indicated that there was a clear hierarchy system during the Liangzhu Period.
Archaeological discovery shows that nature had provided abundant resources for Liangzhu people, and Gorgon fruit and water chestnut were the most commonly eaten. A large number of leftover pieces and broken shells were found in the site. In addition, melons and other fruits had a big share. Apricot, peach, jujube, etc. that Liangzhu people ate are not so different from the varieties we eat now.
During the Liangzhu culture period, people raised domesticated pigs, as a supplement to meat. At the peak of domestic pig raising, the pork intake of Liangzhu people accounted for 64% of all meat. Almost every family raised pigs and ate meat every meal.
As early as the Liangzhu Culture Period, people were particular about their clothing. Besides the practical functions such as protection, adornment, modesty, etc., clothing at that time was also viewed as one of the signs of status. Clothing from the Liangzhu Period was mainly made of linen. Therefore, Liangzhu people were called "the clan of linen clothing".
The three-piece wine set, Gui (鬶), He (鬶) and cup unearthed from the Liangzhu Period allowed privileged Liangzhu people to enjoy luxury touches. After all, not every household had extra rice to make wine during the time.
In the No. 23 tomb of the Fanshan aristocratic cemetery in the historical site of Liangzhu Ancient City were unearthed parts of a loom. It seems that more than 5,000 years ago, Liangzhu people already used the "first machine" of the weaving industry - waist loom.