Can Guangxi people cast bronzes 3000 years ago? Here is the proof!

Can Guangxi people cast bronzes 3000 years ago? Here is the proof!

  Bronze ware is an important symbol of civilization, the last century90At the end of the 1980s, a large number of artifacts from the late Neolithic Age were unearthed at the Gantuoyan site in Napo County, Guangxi, which is located on the Sino-Vietnamese border. Although archaeologists did not find bronzes among them, they found clues that the bronzes were cast independently. What objects are enough to prove that a civilization has entered the Bronze Age?



  The Bronze Age is a historical stage in which tools, utensils and weapons were cast in bronze.Casting bronze ware is one of the important symbols of human beings moving from primitive to civilized. It has greatly improved social productivity and the ability of civilization to survive and expand, accelerated the progress of civilization, and raised its politics, economy, military and society to a new stage..

A large number of bronze wares and bronze workshops found in the Erlitou site in Yanshi, Henan Province have witnessed the prosperity and strength of the Xia Dynasty, the earliest wide-area royal state in China.

Afterwards, the royal ritual culture, art of war, common beliefs, and political system derived from the bronze wares of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties continued to expand to the surrounding areas. In just a few hundred years, they have spread all over the land of China. So when did this trend of casting weapons and ritual vessels in bronze spread to the land of Bagui? The archaeological discovery of Napogantuoyan is providing an answer to this question, and the answer is carried by a few small stone models.


  Stone Fan and Bronze Ware

  This small stone model collected in the Guangxi Institute of Cultural Relics Protection and Archeology, only7cm long,3.5cm wide,1.2cm thick and made of off-white sandstone. The slightly concave groove on this side is presumed to be used for casting a knife.

As a typical artifact of the early bronze culture, the stone fan was discovered in the Gantuoyan site. It is speculated that the ancestors at that time were able to independently cast some artifacts such as scrapers and daggers, and entered the Bronze Age.

Before the excavation of the Gantuoyan site, the earliest bronze wares unearthed in Guangxi were the late Shang Dynasty bronze ring and bronze ge from Wuming Matou.

Although these bronzes are exquisite, they are most likely not made locally, and the evidence that they can be identified as self-cast bronzes comes from the stone model in the Matou Yuanlongpo Cemetery, which is about the Western Zhou Dynasty. Is Fan’s age earlier?


  Tracing the source

carbon fourteen dating

  To determine the age of the artifacts, one can compare the artifacts with typical artifacts from other sites whose age has been determined. These stone models are very similar to those unearthed in South China,The age should not be too far away, roughly around the3000-4000years or so.

Since the development of ancient cultural communication was limited by geographical conditions, even if two objects were of the same type, their ages may differ by hundreds of years. To obtain more accurate age data, carbon-14 dating must be used.

   Carbon fourteen is an isotope of carbon.As long as the organisms on the earth are alive, they will continue to absorb carbon 14 and maintain a certain content. However, after the organism dies, the carbon 14 in the body will no longer be produced, and it will use carbon 14 every once in a while.5730annual decay50%rate of decay. Therefore, by measuring and calibrating the content of carbon fourteen on the unearthed biological remains, plant seeds and other substances, it is possible to infer how many years ago they were “alive”.

  Carbonized rice andCarbonized millet

A lot of rice and corn were unearthed in the second phase of the Gantuoyan site. They were arranged in small piles, which seemed to be used for sacrifices.These carbonized grains are excellent samples for carbon fourteen measurement

  archaeologists will2Pieces of carbonized rice,1A sample of carbonized millet was sent for measurement, and the results obtained were encouraging—the carbonized rice sample at the same time as Shifan was about3300-3000Years, corresponding to the history, is about the middle and late Shang Dynasty. This shows that the time when the ancestors of Bagui entered the Bronze Age was basically the same as that of the surrounding ethnic groups in south of the Five Ridges.

In the pre-Qin archaeology in Guangxi, carbonized millet was only found at the Gantuoyan site, and no other place was unearthed. How did millet, a crop from the northwest, be introduced into Guangxi?


  The Source of Gantuoyan Culture

Expert Interpretation

He Anyi, director of the Archaeological Research Office of the Guangxi Institute of Cultural Relics Protection and Archeology, researched carbonized millet and found that many millet were found in the ruins of Sichuan and Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, which formed a half-moon-shaped cultural corridor in series, entering Chengdu and Yunnan from the northwest. Entering Guangxi, I feel the corn on the rocks, which shows that the cultural factors of the Northwest and the Central Plains have some influence here.

Civilization Exchange and Development

  The large amount of carbonized grains used for sacrifices shows that the agricultural production here is relatively mature, and the fine stone tool making and bronze casting also show that the social division of labor has been further refined and productivity has been greatly improved.It is not difficult to imagine that in3000In the late Shang Dynasty years ago, the ancestors of Napogan Tuoyan had actively communicated with the ancient civilizations of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and South China, so they had mastered technological productivity beyond that of other nearby tribes, whether it was hunting, manufacturing, agriculture or In war, it has a leading advantage, and expanding to the periphery has become a necessity.

expert analysis

Wei Jiang, curator of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Museum and member of the excavation team at the Gantuoyan site, believes that the Gantuoyan culture has a common area, and the distribution range of the common area is basically to the west of the Wuming River Basin and the upper reaches of the Youjiang River. There are many confluences of left and right rivers.


  Civilization spread

  It is about400Matou Town, Wuming, which is 10000 kilometers away, is separated by high mountains and steep mountains, and the waterway cannot be directly connected. For the ancients three or four thousand years ago, it was difficult to have frequent exchanges. However, archaeologists are buried in caves nearby. Many artifacts of Gantuyan culture were found.

These stone adzes, jade adzes, jade chisels, and pottery pots unearthed from cave burials are very similar to Ganduoyan artifacts hundreds of kilometers away in terms of shape, grinding technique, and cultural appearance, but they are only more than ten miles away from them. The artifacts unearthed from Matouyuan Longpo tomb are different. Archaeologists speculate that some cave burial sites in the Wuming River Basin belong to the Zuojiang type of the Gantuoyan culture, while the nearby Yuanlongpo belongs to the Matou culture type, and the exchanges and interactions between the two are very frequent.

  The fall of the Shang Dynasty and the prosperity of the Zhou Dynasty caused the Central Plains to be full of drastic social changes. The Zhou people established a complete set of political and cultural etiquette system on the ruins of the Yin and Shang Dynasties. The era of rapid development.Since the Western Zhou Dynasty, the Matou ethnic group in the Wuming River Basin expanded rapidly, merged with the Gantuoyan cultural ethnic group, and gradually formed a larger ethnic group with other surrounding tribes—— Luoyue people, since then, a more magnificent flower of Luoyue civilization has bloomed.