Hosts: National Museum of China, Publicity Department of the CPC Liaoning Provincial Committee
Organizers: Liaoning Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism (Liaoning Provincial Bureau of Cultural Heritage), Liaoning Provincial Cultural Performing Arts Group (Liaoning Provincial Public Cultural Service Center)
Supporting Institution: Liaoning Provincial Museum
Lending Institution: Liaoning Provincial Institute of Archaeology
The Hongshan culture is the most famous Neolithic archaeological culture of the West Liao River Basin in northeast China, dating back around 6,500-5,000 years ago. It has a unique and important position in the course of China's five thousand years of civilization. To mark the resumed excavation of the Niuheliang site of the Hongshan culture, the National Museum of China, in conjunction with the Publicity Department of the CPC Liaoning Provincial Committee, the Liaoning Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism (Liaoning Provincial Bureau of Cultural Heritage) and the Liaoning Provincial Cultural Performing Arts Group (Liaoning Provincial Public Cultural Service Center), co-organized the "Jades from Hongshan: An Archaeological Achievements Exhibition of the Hongshan Culture."
The Hongshan culture was first discovered in the early 20th century. Related archaeological excavations and research have witnessed the establishment and development of modern archaeology in China. In 1955, archaeologist Yin Da first proposed the term "Hongshan culture" in the book Chinese Neolithic Age. After the 1970s, the successive discoveries and excavations of important sites of the Hongshan culture, such as Hutougou Cemetery in Fuxin, Dongshanzui Building Complex in Kazuo, Niuheliang site in Chaoyang, Tianjiagou Cemetery Group in Lingyuan, and Banla Mountain Cemetery in Chaoyang of Liaoning, greatly promoted the research on the origins of Chinese civilization. Most famous of all is the Niuheliang site in Chaoyang, representing the largest known sacrificial site and tomb group of the Hongshan culture. A sacrificial building complex made up of an altar, temple and tombs as part of a rudimentary ritual system has been discovered at this site, with unique jade and pottery also uncovered. Thus, the rich and conclusive archaeological data prove that as early as the late period of the Hongshan culture, the societal structure had developed into a primitive nation state, which provides strong material evidence for the five thousand years of civilization of the Chinese nation.
The exhibition is divided into three parts, which are ritual focus on sacrifice, burial with jades and the dawn of civilization. This exhibition features more than 160 precious cultural relics, such as jade ritual vessels, red pottery sacrificial vessels and portrait sculptures. Combined with pictures of the archaeological site and the restoration of the construction process, the previous important discoveries and the latest archaeological findings of the Hongshan cultural site are displayed together. Among them, the cultural relics unearthed from the Tianjiagou Cemetery and Banla Mountain Cemetery are exhibited outside Liaoning Province for the first time. In addition, the exhibition also reveals the important influence and position of the West Liao River Basin, connecting north and south and communicating between east and west, in the origin and development of Chinese civilization. This is achieved through a comparison of the cultural relics unearthed from the Hongshan culture and the cultural relics unearthed from the Yangshao culture, Dawenkou culture, Liangzhu culture and more.