Luoyang is a city located in the confluence area of Luo River and Yellow River in the west of Henan province. Governed as a prefecture-level city, it borders the provincial capital of Zhengzhou to the east, Pingdingshan to the southeast, Nanyang to the south, Sanmenxia to the west, Jiyuan to the north, Jiaozuo to the northeast; as of the final 2010 census, Luoyang had a population of 6,549,941 inhabitants with 1,857,003 people living in the built-up area made of the city's five urban districts, all of which except the Jili District are not urbanized yet. Situated on the central plain of China, Luoyang is one of the cradles of Chinese civilization, is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China; the name "Luoyang" originates from sunny side of the Luo River. Since the river flows from west to east and the sun is to the south of the river, the sun always shines on the north side of the river. Luoyang has had several names over the centuries, including "Luoyi" and "Luozhou", though Luoyang has been its primary name.
It has been called, during various periods, "Dongdu", "Xijing", or "Jingluo". During the rule of Wu Zetian, the city was known as Shendu The greater Luoyang area has been sacred ground since the late Neolithic period; this area at the intersection of the Luo river and Yi River was considered to be the geographical center of China. Because of this sacred aspect, several cities – all of which are referred to as "Luoyang" – have been built in this area. In 2070 BC, the Xia dynasty king Tai Kang moved the Xia capital to the intersection of the Luo and Yi and named the city Zhenxun. In 1600 BC, Tang of Shang defeated Jie, the final Xia dynasty king, built Western Bo, a new capital on the Luo River; the ruins of Western Bo are located in Luoyang Prefecture. In the 1036 BC a settlement named Chengzhou was constructed by the Duke of Zhou for the remnants of the captured Shang nobility; the Duke moved the Nine Tripod Cauldrons to Chengzhou from the Zhou dynasty capital at Haojing. A second Western Zhou capital, Wangcheng was built 15 km west of Chengzhou.
Wangcheng became the capital of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty in 771 BC. The Eastern Zhou Dynasty capital was moved to Chengzhou in 510 BC; the Eastern Han Dynasty capital of Luoyang would be built over Chengzhou. Modern Luoyang is built over the ruins of Wangcheng, which are still visible today at Wangcheng Park. In 25 AD, Luoyang was declared the capital of the Eastern Han Dynasty on November 27 by Emperor Guangwu of Han. For several centuries, Luoyang was the focal point of China. In AD 68, the White Horse Temple, the first Buddhist temple in China, was founded in Luoyang; the temple still exists, though the architecture is of origin from the 16th century. An Shigao was one of the first monks to popularize Buddhism in Luoyang; the ambassador Banchao restored the Silk Road in Eastern Han dynasty and this has made the capital city Luoyang the start of Silk Road In 166 AD, the first Roman mission, sent by "the king of Da Qin, Andun", reached Luoyang after arriving by sea in Rinan Commandery in what is now central Vietnam.
The late 2nd century saw China decline into anarchy: The decline was accelerated by the rebellion of the Yellow Turbans, although defeated by the Imperial troops in 184 AD, weakened the state to the point where there was a continuing series of rebellions degenerating into civil war, culminating in the burning of the Han capital of Luoyang on 24 September 189 AD. This was followed by a state of continual unrest and wars in China until a modicum of stability returned in the 220s, but with the establishment of three separate kingdoms, rather than a unified empire. In 190 AD, Chancellor Dong Zhuo ordered his soldiers to ransack and raze the city as he retreated from the coalition set up against him by regional lords all across China; the court was subsequently moved to the more defensible western city of Chang'an. Following a period of disorder, during which warlord Cao Cao held the last Han emperor Xian in Xuchang, Luoyang was restored to prominence when his son Cao Pi, Emperor Wen of the Wei dynasty, declared it his capital in 220 AD.
The Jin dynasty, successor to Wei, was established in Luoyang. When Jin was overrun by Xiongnu forces in 311 AD, it was forced to move its capital to Jiankang; the Xiongnu warriors sacked and nearly destroyed Luoyang. The same fate befell Chang'an in 316 AD. In winter 416, Luoyang fell to Liu Yu's general Tan Daoji. In 422, Luoyang was captured by Northern Wei. Liu Song general Dao Yanzhi took the city back. In 493 AD, Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei dynasty moved the capital from Datong to Luoyang and started the construction of the rock-cut Longmen Grottoes. More than 30,000 Buddhist statues from the time of this dynasty have been found in the caves. Many of these sculptures were two-faced. At the same time, the Shaolin Temple was built by the Emperor to accommodate an Indian monk on the Mont Song right next to Luoyang City; the Yongning Temple, the tallest pagoda in China, was built in Luoyang. When Emperor Yang of Sui took control in 604 AD he founded the new Luoyang on the site of the existing city using a layout inspired by his father Emperor Wen of Sui's work in newly rebuilt Chang'an.
During the Tang dynasty, Luoyang was Dongdu, the "Eastern Capital", at its height had a population of around one million, second only to Chang'an, which, at the t
Classical Gardens of Suzhou
The Classical Gardens of Suzhou are a group of gardens in Suzhou region, Jiangsu province, which have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Spanning a period of one thousand years, from the Northern Song to the late Qing dynasties, these gardens, most of them built by scholars, standardized many of the key features of classical Chinese garden design with constructed landscapes mimicking natural scenery of rocks and rivers with strategically located pavilions and pagodas; the elegant aesthetics and subtlety of these scholars' gardens and their delicate style and features are imitated by various gardens in other parts of China, including the various Imperial Gardens, such as those in the Chengde Mountain Resort. According to UNESCO, the gardens of Suzhou "represent the development of Chinese landscape garden design over more than two thousand years," and they are the "most refined form" of garden art; these landscape gardens flourished in the mid-Ming to early-Qing dynasties, resulting in as much as 200 private gardens.
Today, there are 69 preserved gardens in Suzhou, all of them are designated as protected "National Heritage Sites." In 1997 and 2000, eight of the finest gardens in Suzhou along with one in the nearby ancient town of Tongli were selected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site to represent the art of Suzhou-style classical gardens. Famous Suzhou garden designers include Zhang Liang, Ji Cheng, Ge Yuliang, Chen Congzhou; the site is monitored following a comprehensive monitoring plan and there is provision for both the routine maintenance and programmed conservation projects for all of the gardens. The Suzhou Municipal Administrative Bureau of Gardens is responsible for this. Chinese garden Classical Gardens of Suzhou - UNESCO World Heritage
Buddhism is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions and spiritual practices based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are recognized by scholars: Theravada and Mahayana. Most Buddhist traditions share the goal of overcoming suffering and the cycle of death and rebirth, either by the attainment of Nirvana or through the path of Buddhahood. Buddhist schools vary in their interpretation of the path to liberation, the relative importance and canonicity assigned to the various Buddhist texts, their specific teachings and practices. Observed practices include taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, observance of moral precepts, monasticism and the cultivation of the Paramitas.
Theravada Buddhism has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia such as Myanmar and Thailand. Mahayana, which includes the traditions of Pure Land, Nichiren Buddhism and Tiantai, is found throughout East Asia. Vajrayana, a body of teachings attributed to Indian adepts, may be viewed as a separate branch or as an aspect of Mahayana Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism, which preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth-century India, is practiced in the countries of the Himalayan region and Kalmykia. Buddhism is an Indian religion attributed to the teachings of the Buddha born Siddhārtha Gautama, known as the Tathāgata and Sakyamuni. Early texts have his personal name as "Gautama" or "Gotama" without any mention of "Siddhārtha," which appears to have been a kind of honorific title when it does appear; the details of Buddha's life are mentioned in many Early Buddhist Texts but are inconsistent, his social background and life details are difficult to prove, the precise dates uncertain. The evidence of the early texts suggests that he was born as Siddhārtha Gautama in Lumbini and grew up in Kapilavasthu, a town in the plains region of the modern Nepal-India border, that he spent his life in what is now modern Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Some hagiographic legends state that his father was a king named Suddhodana, his mother was Queen Maya, he was born in Lumbini gardens. However, scholars such as Richard Gombrich consider this a dubious claim because a combination of evidence suggests he was born in the Shakyas community – one that gave him the title Shakyamuni, the Shakya community was governed by a small oligarchy or republic-like council where there were no ranks but where seniority mattered instead; some of the stories about Buddha, his life, his teachings, claims about the society he grew up in may have been invented and interpolated at a time into the Buddhist texts. According to the Buddhist sutras, Gautama was moved by the innate suffering of humanity and its endless repetition due to rebirth, he set out on a quest to end this repeated suffering. Early Buddhist canonical texts and early biographies of Gautama state that Gautama first studied under Vedic teachers, namely Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, learning meditation and ancient philosophies the concept of "nothingness, emptiness" from the former, "what is neither seen nor unseen" from the latter.
Finding these teachings to be insufficient to attain his goal, he turned to the practice of asceticism. This too fell short of attaining his goal, he turned to the practice of dhyana, which he had discovered in his youth, he famously sat in meditation under a Ficus religiosa tree now called the Bodhi Tree in the town of Bodh Gaya in the Gangetic plains region of South Asia. He gained insight into the workings of karma and his former lives, attained enlightenment, certainty about the Middle Way as the right path of spiritual practice to end suffering from rebirths in Saṃsāra; as a enlightened Buddha, he attracted followers and founded a Sangha. Now, as the Buddha, he spent the rest of his life teaching the Dharma he had discovered, died at the age of 80 in Kushinagar, India. Buddha's teachings were propagated by his followers, which in the last centuries of the 1st millennium BCE became over 18 Buddhist sub-schools of thought, each with its own basket of texts containing different interpretations and authentic teachings of the Buddha.
The Four Truths express the basic orientation of Buddhism: we crave and cling to impermanent states and things, dukkha, "incapable of satisfying" and painful. This keeps us caught in saṃsāra, the endless cycle of repeated rebirth and dying again, but there is a way to liberation from this endless cycle to the state of nirvana, namely following the Noble Eightfold Path. The truth of dukkha is the basic insight that life in this mundane world, with its clinging and craving to impermanent states and things is dukkha, unsatisfactory. Dukkha can be translated as "incapable of satisfying," "the unsatisfactory nature and the general insecurity of all conditioned phenomena". Dukkha is most translated as "suffering," but this is inaccurate, since it refers not to episodic suffering, but to the intrinsically unsat
Shanxi is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the North China region. Its one-character abbreviation is "晋", after the state of Jin that existed here during the Spring and Autumn period; the name Shanxi means "West of the Mountains", a reference to the province's location west of the Taihang Mountains. Shanxi borders Hebei to the east, Henan to the south, Shaanxi to the west, Inner Mongolia to the north and is made up of a plateau bounded by mountain ranges; the capital of the province is Taiyuan. During xia dynasty （ existed from 2070 bc-1600 bc), or 2030 bc--1600 bc, the capital city moved one capital situate in nowadays Yuncheng and nowadays Linfen In the Spring and Autumn period, the state of Jin was located in what is now Shanxi Province, it underwent a three-way split into the states of Han and Wei in 403 BC, the traditional date taken as the start of the Warring States period. By 221 BC, all of these states had fallen to the state of Qin; the Han Dynasty ruled Shanxi as the province of Bingzhou.
During the invasion of northern nomads in the Sixteen Kingdoms period, several regimes including the Later Zhao, Former Yan, Former Qin, Later Yan continuously controlled Shanxi. They were followed by Northern Wei, a Xianbei kingdom, which had one of its earlier capitals at present-day Datong in northern Shanxi, which went on to rule nearly all of northern China; the Tang Dynasty originated in Taiyuan. During the Tang Dynasty and after, present day Shanxi was called Hédōng, or "east of the river". Empress Wu Zetian, China's only female ruler, was born in Shanxi in 624. During the first part of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, Shanxi supplied rulers of three of the Five Dynasties, as well as being the only one of the Ten Kingdoms located in northern China. Shanxi was home to the jiedushi of Hedong, Li Cunxu, who overthrew the first of the Five Dynasties, Later Liang to establish the second, Later Tang. Another jiedushi of Hedong, Shi Jingtang, overthrew Later Tang to establish the third of the Five Dynasties, Later Jin, yet another jiedushi of Hedong, Liu Zhiyuan, established the fourth of the Five Dynasties after the Khitans destroyed Later Jin, the third.
When the fifth of the Five Dynasties emerged, the jiedushi of Hedong at the time, Liu Chong and established an independent state called Northern Han, one of the Ten Kingdoms, in what is now northern and central Shanxi. Shi Jingtang, founder of the Later Jin, the third of the Five Dynasties, ceded a piece of northern China to the Khitans in return for military assistance; this territory, called The Sixteen Prefectures of Yanyun, included a part of northern Shanxi. The ceded territory became a major problem for China's defense against the Khitans for the next 100 years, because it lay south of the Great Wall; the Zhou, the last dynasty of the Five Dynasties period was founded by Guo Wei, a Han Chinese, who served as the Assistant Military Commissioner at the court of the Later Han, ruled by Shatuo Turks. He founded his dynasty by launching a military coup against the Turkic Later Han Emperor, however his newly established dynasty was short lived and was conquered by the Song Dynasty in 960. In the early years of the Northern Song Dynasty, the sixteen ceded prefectures continued to be an area of contention between Song China and the Liao Dynasty.
The Southern Song Dynasty abandoned all of North China, including Shanxi, to the Jurchen Jin dynasty in 1127 after the Jingkang Incident of the Jin-Song wars. The Mongol Yuan Dynasty did not establish Shanxi as a province. Shanxi only gained its present name and approximate borders during the Ming Dynasty which were of the same landarea and borders as the previous Hedong Commandery that existed during the Tang Dynasty. During the Qing Dynasty, Shanxi extended north beyond the Great Wall to include parts of Inner Mongolia, including what is now the city of Hohhot, overlapped with the jurisdiction of the Eight Banners and the Guihua Tümed banner in that area. With the collapse of the Qing dynasty, Shanxi became part of the newly established Republic of China. During most of the Republic of China's period of rule over mainland China, the warlord Yan Xishan controlled Shanxi. Yan Xishan devoted himself to modernizing Shanxi and developing its resources during his reign over the province. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, Japan occupied much of the province after winning the Battle of Taiyuan.
Shanxi was a major battlefield between the Japanese and the Chinese communist guerrillas of the Eighth Route Army during the war. The soldiers of Shanxi province under Yan Xishan viciously fought against the invading Japanese, which impressed the Japanese to say that nowhere in China did people fight so heroically and bravely. Right after the defeat of Japan, much of the Shanxi countryside became important bases for the communist People's Liberation Army in the ensuing Chinese Civil War. Yan had incorporated thousands of former Japanese soldiers into his own forces to fight against the communists, these soldiers became part of his failed defense of Taiyuan against the People's Liberation Army in early 1949. Shanxi was conquered by the communists, resulting in the warlord Yan Xishan's retreat to Taiwan Island. In September, Shanxi Provincial People's Government was established. For centuries, Shanxi
Parthia is a historical region located in north-eastern Iran. It was conquered and subjugated by the empire of the Medes during the 7th century BC, was incorporated into the subsequent Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC, formed part of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire following the 4th-century-BC conquests of Alexander the Great; the region served as the political and cultural base of the Eastern-Iranian Parni people and Arsacid dynasty, rulers of the Parthian Empire. The Sasanian Empire, the last state of pre-Islamic Persia held the region and maintained the Seven Parthian clans as part of their feudal aristocracy; the name "Parthia" is a continuation from Latin Parthia, from Old Persian Parthava, the Parthian language self-designator signifying "of the Parthians" who were an Iranian people. In context to its Hellenistic period, Parthia appears as Parthyaea. Parthia corresponds to a region in northeastern Iran, it was bordered by the Karakum desert in the north, included Kopet Dag mountain range and the Dasht-e-Kavir desert in the south.
It bordered Media on the west, Hyrcania on the north west, Margiana on the north east, Aria on the south east. During Arsacid times, Parthia was united with Hyrcania as one administrative unit, that region is therefore considered a part of Parthia proper; as the region inhabited by Parthians, Parthia first appears as a political entity in Achaemenid lists of governorates under their dominion. Prior to this, the people of the region seem to have been subjects of the Medes, 7th century BC Assyrian texts mention a country named Partakka or Partukka. A year after Cyrus the Great's defeat of the Median Astyages, Parthia became one of the first provinces to acknowledge Cyrus as their ruler, "and this allegiance secured Cyrus' eastern flanks and enabled him to conduct the first of his imperial campaigns – against Sardis." According to Greek sources, following the seizure of the Achaemenid throne by Darius I, the Parthians united with the Median king Phraortes to revolt against him. Hystaspes, the Achaemenid governor of the province, managed to suppress the revolt, which seems to have occurred around 522–521 BC.
The first indigenous Iranian mention of Parthia is in the Behistun inscription of Darius I, where Parthia is listed among the governorates in the vicinity of Drangiana. The inscription dates to c. 520 BC. The center of the administration "may have been at Hecatompylus"; the Parthians appear in Herodotus' list of peoples subject to the Achaemenids. This "has rightly caused disquiet to modern scholars."At the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC between the forces of Darius III and those of Alexander the Great, one such Parthian unit was commanded by Phrataphernes, at the time Achaemenid governor of Parthia. Following the defeat of Darius III, Phrataphernes surrendered his governorate to Alexander when the Macedonian arrived there in the summer of 330 BC. Phrataphernes was reappointed governor by Alexander. Following the death of Alexander, in the Partition of Babylon in 323 BC, Parthia became a Seleucid governorate under Nicanor. Phrataphernes, the former governor, became governor of Hyrcania. In 320 BC, at the Partition of Triparadisus, Parthia was reassigned to Philip, former governor of Sogdiana.
A few years the province was invaded by Peithon, governor of Media Magna, who attempted to make his brother Eudamus governor. Peithon and Eudamus were driven back, Parthia remained a governorate in its own right. In 316 BC, Stasander, a vassal of Seleucus I Nicator and governor of Bactria was appointed governor of Parthia. For the next 60 years, various Seleucids would be appointed governors of the province. In 247 BC, following the death of Antiochus II, Ptolemy III seized control of the Seleucid capital at Antioch, "so left the future of the Seleucid dynasty for a moment in question." Taking advantage of the uncertain political situation, the Seleucid governor of Parthia, proclaimed his independence and began minting his own coins. Meanwhile, "a man called Arsaces, of Scythian or Bactrian origin, elected leader of the Parni", an eastern-Iranian peoples from the Tajen/Tajend River valley, south-east of the Caspian Sea. Following the secession of Parthia from the Seleucid Empire and the resultant loss of Seleucid military support, Andragoras had difficulty in maintaining his borders, about 238 BC – under the command of "Arsaces and his brother Tiridates" – the Parni invaded Parthia and seized control of Astabene, the northern region of that territory, the administrative capital of, Kabuchan.
A short while the Parni seized the rest of Parthia from Andragoras, killing him in the process. Although an initial punitive expedition by the Seleucids under Seleucus II was not successful, the Seleucids under Antiochus III recaptured Arsacid controlled territory in 209 BC from Arsaces' successor, Arsaces II. Arsaces II sued for peace and accepted vassal status, it was not until Arsaces II's grandson Phraates I, that the Arsacids/Parni would again begin to assert their independence. From their base in Parthia, the Arsacid dynasts extended their dominion to include most of Greater Iran, they quickl
Simplified Chinese characters
Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language; the government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore. Traditional Chinese characters are used in Hong Kong and the Republic of China. While traditional characters can still be read and understood by many mainland Chinese and the Chinese community in Malaysia and Singapore, these groups retain their use of simplified characters. Overseas Chinese communities tend to use traditional characters. Simplified Chinese characters may be referred to by their official name colloquially; the latter refers to simplifications of character "structure" or "body", character forms that have existed for thousands of years alongside regular, more complicated forms.
On the other hand, the official name refers to the modern systematically simplified character set, which includes not only structural simplification but substantial reduction in the total number of standardized Chinese characters. Simplified character forms were created by reducing the number of strokes and simplifying the forms of a sizable proportion of Chinese characters; some simplifications were based on popular cursive forms embodying graphic or phonetic simplifications of the traditional forms. Some characters were simplified by applying regular rules, for example, by replacing all occurrences of a certain component with a simplified version of the component. Variant characters with the same pronunciation and identical meaning were reduced to a single standardized character the simplest amongst all variants in form. Many characters were left untouched by simplification, are thus identical between the traditional and simplified Chinese orthographies; some simplified characters are dissimilar to and unpredictably different from traditional characters in those where a component is replaced by a simple symbol.
This has led some opponents of simplification to complain that the'overall process' of character simplification is arbitrary. Proponents counter that the system of simplification is internally consistent. Proponents have emphasized a some particular simplified characters as innovative and useful improvements, although many of these have existed for centuries as longstanding and widespread variants. A second round of simplifications was promulgated in 1977, but was retracted in 1986 for a variety of reasons due to the confusion caused and the unpopularity of the second round simplifications. However, the Chinese government never dropped its goal of further simplification in the future. In August 2009, the PRC began collecting public comments for a modified list of simplified characters; the new Table of General Standard Chinese Characters consisting of 8,105 characters was implemented for use by the State Council of the People's Republic of China on June 5, 2013. Although most of the simplified Chinese characters in use today are the result of the works moderated by the government of the People's Republic of China in the 1950s and 60s, character simplification predates the PRC's formation in 1949.
Cursive written text always includes character simplification. Simplified forms used in print are attested as early as the Qin dynasty. One of the earliest proponents of character simplification was Lufei Kui, who proposed in 1909 that simplified characters should be used in education. In the years following the May Fourth Movement in 1919, many anti-imperialist Chinese intellectuals sought ways to modernise China. Traditional culture and values such as Confucianism were challenged. Soon, people in the Movement started to cite the traditional Chinese writing system as an obstacle in modernising China and therefore proposed that a reform be initiated, it was suggested that the Chinese writing system should be either simplified or abolished. Lu Xun, a renowned Chinese author in the 20th century, stated that, "If Chinese characters are not destroyed China will die". Recent commentators have claimed that Chinese characters were blamed for the economic problems in China during that time. In the 1930s and 1940s, discussions on character simplification took place within the Kuomintang government, a large number of Chinese intellectuals and writers maintained that character simplification would help boost literacy in China.
In 1935, 324 simplified characters collected by Qian Xuantong were introduced as the table of first batch of simplified characters, but they were suspended in 1936. The PRC issued its first round of official character simplifications in two documents, the first in 1956 and the second in 1964. Within the PRC, further character simplification became associated with the leftists of the Cultural Revolution, culminating with the second-round simplified characters, which were promulgated in 1977. In part due to the shock and unease felt in the wake of the Cultural Revolution and Mao's death, the second-round of simplifications was poorly received. In 1986 the authorities retracted the second round completely. In the same year, the authorities promulgated a final list of simplifications, identical to the 1964 list except for six changes (including the restoration of three characters, simplified in the First Round: 叠, 覆, 像.
The Liangzhu culture was the last Neolithic jade culture in the Yangtze River Delta of China. The culture was stratified, as jade, silk and lacquer artifacts were found in elite burials, while pottery was more found in the burial plots of poorer individuals; this division of class indicates that the Liangzhu period was an early state, symbolized by the clear distinction drawn between social classes in funeral structures. A pan-regional urban center had emerged at the Liangzhu city-site and elite groups from this site presided over the local centers; the Liangzhu culture was influential and its sphere of influence reached as far north as Shanxi and as far south as Guangdong. The type site at Liangzhu was discovered in Yuhang County and excavated by Shi Xingeng in 1936. A 2007 analysis of the DNA recovered from human remains shows high frequencies of Haplogroup O1 in Liangzhu culture linking this culture to modern Austronesian and Tai-Kadai populations, it is believed that the Liangzhu culture or other associated subtraditions are the ancestral homeland of Austronesian speakers.
The Liangzhu Culture entered its prime about 4000 ~ 5000 years ago, but disappeared from the Taihu Lake area about 4200 years ago when it reached the peak. There are no traces in the following years in this area. Recent research has shown that the development of human settlements was interrupted several times by rising waters; this led researchers to conclude the demise of the Liangzhu culture was brought about by extreme environmental changes such as floods, as the cultural layers are interrupted by muddy or marshy and sandy–gravelly layers with buried palaeotrees. Some evidence suggests that the Taihu lake was formed as an impact crater only 4500 years ago, which could help explain the disappearance of the Liangzhu culture. However, other work does not shocked minerals at Lake Tai; the culture possessed advanced agriculture, including irrigation, paddy rice cultivation and aquaculture. Houses were constructed on stilts, on rivers or shorelines. A new discovery of ancient city wall base relics was announced by the Zhejiang provincial government on November 29, 2007.
It was concluded. A new Liangzhu Culture Museum was opened late in the year; the Liangzhu Ancient City is located in a wetland environment on the plain of river networks between Daxiong Mountain and Dazhe Mountain of the Tianmu Mountain Range. This ancient city is said to be the largest city during this time period, its interior area is 290 hectares, surrounded by clay walls. Two gates were located in the north and south walls. At its center was a palace site that spanned 30 hectares and there was evidence of an artificial flood protection design implemented within the city. Both of these constructions are said to be indicators of the social complexity developing in Liangzhu at the time. A granary may have been in place containing up to 15,000 kg of rice grain. There are numerous waterway entrances both inside and outside of the city, linking it to the river networks. Inside the city were artificial earth mounds and natural hills. Outside of the walled area, remains are found for 700 hectares, the residences are said to be built in an urban planning system.
8 kilometers to the north various dam-like sites were found and are speculated to be an ancient flood protection system. Discovered inside and outside the city are a large number of utensils for production, living and ritual purposes represented by numerous delicate Liangzhu jade wares of cultural profoundness; the Liangzhu city-site is said to have been settled and developed with a specific purpose in mind since this area has few remains that can be traced back to earlier periods. A typical Liangzhu community, of which there are over 300 found so far, chose to live near rivers. There have been oars recovered which indicate proficiency with boats and watercraft. A Liangzhu site has provided the remains of a wooden pier and an embankment thought to have been used for protection against floods. Houses were raised on wood to help against flooding, although houses on higher ground included semi-subterranean houses with thatched roofs. Well technology at the Miaoqian site during this period was similar to that of the earlier Hemudu period.
The Liangzhu culture is said to have been more developed and complex than northern contemporaries in the Han Valley. The inhabitants of Liangzhu sites used artifact designs of "bent knee" shaped adze handles, stone untangled adzes, art styles emphasizing the use of spirals and circles, cord-marking of pottery, pottery pedestals with cut-out decorations, baked clay spindle whorls, slate reaping knives and spear points. Pottery was decorated with a red slip; these artifacts are common in neolithic Southeast Asia and the technological and economic toolkits of these societies developed in the neolithic Yangtze River area. Some of the Liangzhu pottery is reminiscent of the Shandong Longshan black "eggshell" style, however most differed and were a soft-fired gray with a black or red slip. There has been evidence of tremolite particles being used as an ingredient for crafting some of the black "eggshell" pottery, it was determined that the black color of the pottery resulted from similar advancements in carburization and firing processes.
Similarities between Liangchengzhen, the largest Dawenkou site, pottery making process and that of the Liangzhu were noted, which led researchers to believe there was communication betwe