Neolithic China c. 4000–2500 BCE


Map Code: Ax01840

During the Neolithic period in China settlements developed on the main rivers and the coast, supported by farming and domesticated animals, rather than Stone Age hunting and gathering. Along the Yellow River Valley and Wei River tributary, the Yangsao culture flourished, with clans living in moated structures. The earliest of these permanent settlements was at Banpo and, from there, more appeared eastwards along the river, with residents specializing in painted pottery. On the east coast, other mostly separate cultures specialized in jade work and fine ceramics along with some, such as Hemudu, cultivating rice. The late Neolithic period was dominated by the Longshan culture and with it came great advances in agriculture, with a larger variety of livestock being reared and the cultivation of millet becoming widespread. The Longshan culture is also famous for innovative tool-making and, most of all, the creation of its characteristically delicate black pottery.

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