Banpo Village Remains
Banpo Village skull © Scott Swigart
On the outskirts of Xi'an city, on the bank of the Chanhe River, are the remains of the ancient settlement of Banpo, dating from about 5000 BC. The remains were discovered in 1953 by workers laying the foundations for a factory. Upon further investigation, the site proved to make up one of the most complete example of an agricultural Neolithic settlement in the world. The site contains the ruins of more than 40 homes, 200 cellars, numerous storage pots, a collection of pottery and tools, a pottery-making centre, and more than 250 graves belonging to a matriarchal community of the Yangshao culture. There is an on-site museum constructed over the excavation site with two smaller exhibition halls displaying the archaeological artefacts that have been unearthed. More than 400 archaeological sites similar to Banpo have been discovered in and around the Yellow River Valley in China, giving the area the reputation of being the birthplace of ancient Chinese culture. Banpo is an essential visit for those interested in archaeology and ancient history.