Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City

Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City

Located in the Yangtze River Basin on the south-eastern coast of the country, the archaeological ruins of Liangzhu (about 3,300-2,300 BCE) reveal an early regional state with a unified belief system based on rice cultivation in Late Neolithic China. The property is composed of four areas – the Area of Yaoshan Site, the Area of High-dam at the Mouth of the Valley, the Area of Low-dam on the Plain and the Area of City Site. These ruins are an outstanding example of early urban civilization expressed in earthen monuments, urban planning, a water conservation system and a social hierarchy expressed in differentiated burials in cemeteries within the property.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Ruines archéologiques de la cité de Liangzhu
Situées dans le delta du Yangzi Jiang, sur la côte sud-est du pays, les ruines archéologiques de Liangzhu (environ 3 300-2 300 AEC) révèlent un ancien État régional au système de croyance unifié, fondé sur la riziculture, dans la Chine du Néolithique tardif. Le site se compose de quatre zones : le site de Yaoshan, la zone du barrage supérieur à l’embouchure de la vallée, la zone du barrage inférieur dans la plaine, et la cité. Ces ruines constituent un exemple exceptionnel de civilisation urbaine ancienne s’exprimant notamment par des monuments en terre, une planification urbaine, un système de conservation de l’eau et une hiérarchie sociale qui se traduit par une différenciation des sépultures.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

الأطلال الأثرية في مدينة ليانغتشو
تعود آثار مدينة ليانغتشو (3300-2300 عام قبل الميلاد)، الواقعة على ضفاف نهر يانغتسي على الساحل الجنوبي الشرقي للبلاد، إلى ولاية إقليمية كان يسودها نظام موحد للمعتقدات، يقوم على زراعة الأرز في أواخر العصر الحجري الحديث في الصين. ويتكون الموقع من أربع مناطق: موقع يوشان، ومنطقة السد العلوي عند مصب الوادي، ومنطقة السد السفلي في السهل والمدينة. وتقدّم هذه الآثار مثالاً بارزاً على التمدن الحضري في العصور القديمة، والتي تبرزها الآثار البرية، وعناصر التخطيط الحضري، ونظام الحفاظ على المياه، والتسلسل الهرمي الاجتماعي الذي يتجسد في الفروق الواضحة في المقابر.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

良渚古城遗址

位于中国东南沿海长江三角洲的良渚古城遗址(约公元前3300-2300年)向人们展示了新石器时代晚期一个以稻作农业为支撑、具有统一信仰的早期区域性国家。该遗址由4个部分组成:瑶山遗址区、谷口高坝区、平原低坝区和城址区。通过大型土质建筑、城市规划、水利系统以及不同墓葬形式所体现的社会等级制度,这些遗址成为早期城市文明的杰出范例。

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Руины древнего города Лянчжу
Руины древнего города Лянчжу, относящегося к периоду позднего неолита в Китае (около 3300-2300 гг. до н.э.), расположены в дельте реки Янцзы на юго-восточном побережье страны. Лянчжу – древнее региональное государство c единой системой верований, в основе которых лежало выращивание риса. Данный объект Всемирного наследия состоит из четырех зон: Яошань, плотина в верхнем устье реки, плотина в нижнем устье реки и древний город. Руины Лянчжу являются выдающимся примером древней городской цивилизации. Город имел развитую систему водоснабжения и городского планирования, земляные памятники, а также социальную иерархию, о чем свидетельствуют различия в погребальных памятниках.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Vestigios arqueológicos de la ciudad de Liangzhu
Situados en la costa sudoriental del país, en el delta del río Yangtsé, los vestigios arqueológicos de Liangzhu datan del periodo 3300-2300 a.C., esto es, de la era del neolítico tardío en China. Este sitio pone de manifiesto que en esta región ya existía entonces un antiguo Estado con una economía basada en el cultivo del arroz y un conjunto de creencias unificado. El sitio comprende cuatro partes: la zona de Yaoshan; la presa de contención superior, situada en la embocadura del valle; la presa inferior, situada en la llanura; y el lugar de asentamiento de la ciudad propiamente dicho. Estos vestigios constituyen un ejemplo excepcional de una antigua civilización urbana caracterizada por la construcción de obras y monumentos con tierra, la práctica de un urbanismo planificado, la creación de un sistema de conservación del agua y el establecimiento de una jerarquía social patentizada por la diferenciación de las sepulturas.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

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Aerial view 1 of City Site (from southwest to northeast) © Hangzhou Liangzhu Archaeological - Site Administrative District Management Committee
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City was the centre of power and belief of an early regional state in the Circum-Taihu Lake Area. It is located on a plain criss-crossed by river networks in the eastern foothills of the Tianmu Mountains in the Yangtze River Basin on the southeast coast of China.

The property is composed of four areas: Area of Yaoshan Site; Area of High-dam at the Mouth of the Valley; Area of Low-dam on the Plain – Causeway in Front of the Mountains; and Area of City Site.

The Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City reveals an early regional state with rice-cultivating agriculture as its economic base, and social differentiation and a unified belief system, which existed in the Late Neolithic period in China. With a series of sites, including the City Site built during ca. 3300-2300 BCE, the Peripheral Water Conservancy System with complex functions and socially-graded cemeteries (including an altar), and the excavated objects represented by series of jade artefacts symbolizing the belief system, as well as its early age, the property represents the remarkable contributions made by the Yangtze River Basin to the origins of Chinese civilization. In addition, the pattern and functional zoning of the capital, together with the characteristics of the settlements of the Liangzhu culture and of the Outer City with the terraces, support strongly the value of the property.

Criterion (iii): The Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City, as the centre of power and belief of Liangzhu culture, is an outstanding testimony of an early regional state with rice-cultivating agriculture as its economic base, and social differentiation and a unified belief system, which existed in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River in the Late Neolithic period of China. It provides unparalleled evidence for concepts of cultural identity, social and political organization, and the development of society and culture in the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age in China and the region.

Criterion (iv): The Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu illustrates the transition from small-scale Neolithic societies to a large integrated political unit with hierarchy, rituals and crafts. It includes outstanding examples of early urbanization expressed in earthen monuments, city and landscape planning, social hierarchy expressed in burial differentiations in cemeteries within the property, socio-cultural strategies for organization of space, and materialization of power. It represents the great achievement of prehistoric rice-cultivating civilization of China over 5000 years ago, and as an outstanding example of early urban civilization.

Integrity

The four component parts of the Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City include all the identified attributes necessary to convey its significance as an outstanding representation of a prehistoric early state and urban civilization in the Yangtze River Basin.

The property contains all material elements of the archaeological ruins, four main man-made elements, i.e. the City Site, the Peripheral Water Conservancy System, the socially-graded cemeteries (including an altar), and excavated objects represented by jade artefacts, as well as the natural topography that is directly linked to the function of the sites.

The buffer zone includes the historical environmental elements associated with the value of the property, such as mountains, isolated mounds, bodies of water and wetlands, but also includes scattered contemporaneous archaeological remains surrounding the ancient city, as well as the intrinsic association of value between different sites and their spatial layout and pattern.

The impact of urban development and construction and natural factors threatening the property have been properly addressed.

Authenticity

Sites in the four areas, including the City Site, the Peripheral Water Conservancy System, the socially-graded cemeteries (including an altar), preserved as archaeological sites, carry the authentic historical information of the heritage of the period ca. 3300-2300 BCE, including characteristics in site selection, space and environment, location and layout, contour of remains, materials and technologies, and historical function of the sites, as well as the internal connection between the overall layout of the property and individual elements, and the historical natural environment of the distribution region of the sites. The objects unearthed from the four areas represented by jade artefacts authentically preserve the shape, categories, decorative patterns, functions, materials and the complex processing technologies and exquisite craftsmanship of the artefacts. Together with the archaeological sites, they authentically and credibly demonstrate the degree of development of the rice-cultivating civilization in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River in the Neolithic period and provide a panorama of Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City as an early regional urban civilization.

Protection and management requirements

Three components sites, Area of Yaoshan Site (01), Area of Causeway in Front of the Mountains (03-2), and Area of City Site (04) of the Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City, have obtained the highest-level national protection and are located in the Key Protection Subzone within the protection range of “Liangzhu Archaeological Site”, a National Priority Protected Site for the protection of cultural relics. The Area of High-dam at the Mouth of the Valley (02) and Area of the Low-dam on the Plain (03-1) were listed as Provincial Protected Sites of Zhejiang in 2017, and an application is being processed for listing them as National Priority Protected Sites.

The property is owned by the State and is protected by relevant laws and regulations such as the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Cultural Relics, Regulations for the Implementation of Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Cultural Relics, and Administrative Regulations of Zhejiang Province on the Protection of Cultural Relics, and enjoys both national and provincial-level status in protection.

Special protection policies and regulations for the property have been formulated and improved, including Regulations for the Protection and Management of Liangzhu Archaeological Site of Hangzhou (revised in 2013), and a series of special regulations for heritage protection has been prepared, issued and implemented, including the Conservation Master Plan for the Liangzhu Archaeological Site (2008-2025) as a National Priority Protected Site, and monitoring over the property and its surroundings is also strengthened.

All four areas of the Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City share the same buffer zone and are managed effectively in a uniform way by a common management authority – the Hangzhou Liangzhu Archaeological Administrative District Management Committee.

It has a clear system for division of work and responsibilities, complete functions, sufficient technical and management staff specializing in protection, sufficient resources of funds, and complete facilities.

Various protection and management regulations will be strictly implemented, environmental capacity and development and construction activities in the property area will be effectively controlled, and negative impacts on the property from the pressures of various developments will be curbed; demands of stakeholders will be coordinated and taken into overall consideration, and the balance between the protection of the property and developments in tourism and urban construction will be kept, both rationally and effectively.

Research, interpretation and dissemination of the heritage value will be strengthened; the integrated function of the property, including cultural tourism and ecological protection, will be brought into play appropriately, and a sustainable and harmonious relationship between the protection of Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City and the development of Yuhang District and Hangzhou City will be maintained.