Liangzhu Ancient City is the first city site from the Neolithic Age to have ever been excavated in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and it is also the largest prehistoric city site found in China before the discovery of the Shenmu Shimo (神木石峁) in Shaanxi Province, having long been recognized as the ‘No.1 City of China’. In 2007 the accidental discovery of Liangzhu Ancient City not only changed the former interpretation of Liangzhu culture being the early stages of prehistoric civilization but also offered evidence in proving that the Liangzhu Culture is a most prosperous period of prehistoric civilization.
Liangzhu Ancient City is estimated to have existed sometime between 2600 BC and 2300 BC. Rectangular in shape the ancient city is approximately 1700 meter in width and 1900 meter in length and according to experts its south-facing location was elaborately picked as its south and north sides were occupied by the Tianmu Mountain ranges, with one stream and one channel flowing eastwards at its two sides and the two hills in its southwest and northeast corners were well utilized in the construction of its city walls.
The largest Tutai in the world was discovered inside Liangzhu Ancient City (Tutai is a mud platform to act as the base of ancient Chinese constructions like palaces and pavilions) as was Fanshan Tomb – a tomb constructed to the highest-level in the hierarchical Neolithic age. Furthermore, from the renowned Yaoshan Tomb, five kilometers northeast of Liangzhu Ancient City a large group of, the highest-level, ritual vessels of Liangzhu Culture – jade cong and jade bi were uncovered and all of which indicate that Liangzhu Ancient City is at the center of Liangzhu Culture.
Dig a little deeper and an ancient state of Liangzhu, where Liangzhu Ancient City served as the capital, may also be found.
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