Experience the Life and Work of the Shangshans
Nataliia Litvinova, 2020-06-02

    On May 22, the launching ceremony of the Millenary Shangshan Culture Project was held in the village of Huangzhai, Pujiang. After its completion, the project will provide visitors with the opportunity to experience the ways of living and working at the time of the Shangshan civilization. 


The most important discovery related to the Shangshan civilization is evidence of early rice cultivation, which shows that ten thousand years ago, our ancestors had already begun to cultivate rice.


Apart from this, the Shangshan civilization also produced stone grinding discs and stone grinding rods, which were used to separate the shells and kernels of rice. This is evidence of a 10,000-year-old rice mill. In addition to the abundant remains of rice cultivation, the Shangshan site also conserved animal remains, which proves that at that time, people had a fixed source of food and adopted a settled lifestyle. This is also evident because there was a discovery of a large number of pottery.


At the site, the remains of three series of parallel columns also appeared. Each series is about 14 meters long and about 3 m. apart from each other. With 10 to 11 bases of columns, each base is 90 cm deep in the ground and has a diameter of about 40-50 cm. Experts speculate that this might have been a wooden structure, proving that the Shangshan civilization had already left the caves to move in free, flat and open fields, and live in wooden houses. 

Today, at a distance of 4 kilometers from the Shangshan Site, the Pujiang’s Millenary Shangshan Cultural Village is open. This will be a national-level tourism and recreational complex that integrates Shangshan cultural experience, theme amusement park, natural cultural research, leisure residence, and corporate headquarters. 


In the Tribal Square, there will be performances of ancestors lighting a bonfire, offering sacrifices, and dancing in group. The sacrificial performance is related to the cultivation of rice. In the Tribal Garden, there are also hunter camps, where visitors can hunt with stone spears, bows, and traps just like the Shangshans used to do. There is also a paddy field organized according the Shangshan tradition, including the ancient techniques of rice transplanting, the flourishing of the plants, and the fragrance of the rice in the various seasons.


The entire project includes a total of 27 individual parts, including 14 private investment projects and 3 cultural tourism projects. The total investment of the project is 6.828 billion RMB, and the annual planned investment is 1.65 bn RMB, involving traditional technology, industrial upgrading, education, municipal administration, roads, and cultural tourism, among others. The total investment for the Shangshan Cultural Village is 4.2 bn RMB, with an annual planned investment of 500 million RMB. (By Huang Liming, translated by Marco Lovisetto, edited by Mariam Ayad)