Skip to main content
Email Print Share

Excavating at Liangchengzhen (Image 2)

Archaeologists excavate Liangchengzhen, a late prehistoric settlement in China

In northern China, archaeologists excavate Liangchengzhen, a late prehistoric settlement that dates from the Longshan period (2600-2001 B.C.). The view shown here is facing east. The foundation of a house, one of several uncovered during excavation of the site, is visible in the foreground. [Image 2 of 3 related images. See Image 3.]

More about this Image:
In 2000, the National Science Foundation awarded a grant (BCS 99-11128) to Anne P. Underhill of The Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Ill., for regional archaeological survey and excavation at the Liangchengzhen site, located near the modern city of Rizhao, Shandong Province, China.

Archaeologists first excavated Liangchengzhen in 1936, and dated it to the Longshan period based on items recovered there, including jade and pottery vessels. During this period in northern China, towns developed and social stratification increased. Underhill and her collaborators wanted to assess the size of the site and determine whether it was larger than other contemporary settlements in the Rizhao area.

Together with Chinese collaborators, Underhill conducted archaeological fieldwork at the site over two seasons. An initial season of test excavation at the site unexpectedly revealed what appeared to be houses built on platforms within the walled settlement, suggesting the possibility that differences in social status may have been in place early in the center's occupational history.

Data collected thus far has allowed Underhill to examine the nature and extent of diachronic variation in housing, subsistence and diet, craft production and patterns of consumption. Underhill continues to survey and analyze excavated materials today and is working on several publications, including a monograph on the excavation. Work on this project was performed in collaboration with Shandong University (Jinan City, Shandong Province) Professors Cai Fengshu, Yu Haiguang, Luan Fengshi and Fang Hui. (Year of image: 2000)

Credit: Photo by Anne P. Underhill

General Restrictions:
Images and other media in the National Science Foundation Multimedia Gallery are available for use in print and electronic material by NSF employees, members of the media, university staff, teachers and the general public. All media in the gallery are intended for personal, educational and nonprofit/non-commercial use only.

Images credited to the National Science Foundation, a federal agency, are in the public domain. The images were created by employees of the United States Government as part of their official duties or prepared by contractors as "works for hire" for NSF. You may freely use NSF-credited images and, at your discretion, credit NSF with a "Courtesy: National Science Foundation" notation. Additional information about general usage can be found in Conditions.

Also Available:
Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (851 KB)

Use your mouse to right-click (Mac users may need to Ctrl-click) the link above and choose the option that will save the file or target to your computer.