Shangcheng Relics Site in Henan
Location: Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China
The Shangcheng(商城Shāngchéng) Relics is the relics of the capital of Shang (or Yin) Dynasty in ancient China and the oldest and largest ancient city in China. With a history of about 3500 years, Shangcheng Relics Site possesses the relics earlier than the Archaeological Site of Yinxu, Anyang, whose excavation began in 1950th. The discovery of Shangcheng Relics Site of Zhengzhou provides precious material information to study the Slave Society of Shang Dynasty and the formation and development of Chinese ancient cities. This site is in a rectangle shape with a total area of 25 square kilometers and a city wall with a length of seven kilometers and a height of 10 meters. There are 11 nicks on the city wall, some of which might be the gate. In the northwest of the city lies the Palace Area, where several palace sites were discovered. Inside the palace site, there are some small house sites and well sites; while outside there are residence area, cemeteries, Copper-casting site, Ceramic Site and so on.
Covering about one sixth of Shangcheng Relics Site, there are many earth platforms in different heights in the northeast part and east-central part of Shangcheng. More than 20 earth building sites of Shang Dynasty were discovered in the northwest part, the biggest one can reach more than 2000 square meters, while the smallest one is only more than 100 square kilometers. In the south-central part, an earth building site has been discovered, which is supposed to be where the slave owners lived. Some smaller buildings were found inside the city, where might be the residences of ordinary people. Besides, lots of agricultural tools were discovered, from which we may infer there might be some fields inside the city to do the planting. Manual Workshops Sites arranged in certain layout have been excavated as well.
Thousands of cultural relics have been excavated from the Shangcheng city, the funeral objects in the small tombs being mostly potteries and in the middle-size tombs being mainly bronze sacrificial Jade, vessels and Stone Wares, etc. in addition, two bronze cellars are excavated by chance. The most precious jade articles reflect the high level of making jade at that time.