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The Neolithic ceremonial complex at Niuheliang and wider Hongshan landscapes in north-eastern China

Zhang, H; Bevan, AH; Guo, D; (2012) The Neolithic ceremonial complex at Niuheliang and wider Hongshan landscapes in north-eastern China. Journal of World Prehistory Green open access

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Abstract

This paper reviews the current evidence for settlement patterns and ceremonial activity amongst Hongshan Neolithic groups in north-eastern China, with particular attention to the well-known ceremonial site at Niuheliang. In particular, we consider the locational properties of Hongshan ceremonial sites in their wider landscape settings, arguing that such sites are a chronologically late stage of Hongshan ceremonial investment and that, within these broad complexes, the most impressive architecture and portable goods come from an especially late phase of activity. These more impressive localities were also particularly privileged places in terms of their access to major routes through the landscape, specific kinds of local geology and integrated patterns of visibility. In contrast to more loosely organized, similarly-sized Hongshan residential sites, it is clear that ceremonial centres such as Niuheliang (and, within these, certain important sub-localities) were key mechanisms for social, political and regional stratification around roughly the mid 4th millennium BCE.

Type:Article
Title:The Neolithic ceremonial complex at Niuheliang and wider Hongshan landscapes in north-eastern China
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Institute of Archaeology

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