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Hemudu Cultural Relics


Hemudu Cultural Site, located at Liangshuqiao Village of Hemudu Town, Yuyao City, is a site of cultural relics of the Neolithic Age (BC 7000). Found in 1973 and excavated in 1973 and 1977, the site at present is found to consist of four ancient cultural layers whose accumulation is as thick as four meters.

Hemudu (whose translation is "the Ferry Place on the Yaojiang River") was in the past called "Huangmudu" or "the Ferry-place near the Tomb of the Revered Mr. Huang" for it is the place where Huangong-one of the four venerable elders in the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 24) lived and died. In February 1982, Hemudu entered in the list of the National Key Cultural Preservation Units and later it was listed as one of the National Patriotic Education Base of the country. Hemudu Cultural Site Museum was opened in May 1993 and its name is the inscription by Jiang Zemin, then General Secretary of the CPC and President of China.

Hemudu Cultural Site Museum comprises two parts: the Exhibition Halls and the Excavation Sites. The Exhibition part is a complex of six buildings which are connected to one another by covered corridors. Each building is patterned after the 7,000-year-old Hemudu "raised house", typical of "long ridge, short eaves, and elevated foundation." Built on 456 stilts, the buildings of the exhibition halls take the shape of a rafter roof construction and on the sloping exposed walls stand seven sets of structural components, imitating the mortise and tenon components of houses 7,000 years ago. The buildings, with brown walls and red tile, are in great harmony with the environment. The front building is in shape of a flying roc-an enormous legendary bird transformed from a gigantic fish-totem of our Hemudu ancestors.

About 100 meters from the exhibition hall is the excavation site. Visitors here can enter the restored raised houses and experience the many advantages of this kind of house: warm in winter and cool in summer, dry and safe from beasts. Beside the houses is a restored wood-mouthed well. On the site there are sets of stereo models revealing the panorama of the life of the Hemudu people: life in the raised house, working on the artworks, spinning, weaving, fishing, hunting, husking rice, having meals, and feeding babies.

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