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Hemudu Site Museum

Hemudu Site Museum
The exterior of the Hemudu Site Museum.

The Hemudu Site Museum is located in Hemudu Town, Yuyao City, Zhejiang Province. The site dates from the early Neolithic period in southern China. It covers forty thousand square meters and has a cultural layer that is a total of 3.7 meters in depth. Four separate cultural layers can be distinguished that, after calibrated carbon fourteen testing, date to between 7,000 and 3,500 years ago. In 1982, this site was declared a National Key Cultural Protected Unit.

A bone spadelike plough
A bone spadelike plough unearthed in Hemudu.

The Hemudu Site Museum was opened in May of 1993 and is divided into two parts: the actual site of excavation and an exhibition of objects. It covers a total of 26,000 square meters and the building area covers a space of 3,163 square meters. The building area is composed of six separate buildings that are joined to one another by corridors. The general layout of the buildings conforms to the unique Hemudu style of architecture, which in Chinese is called ganlan-style, or trunk and railing. This includes a long ridgepole, short eaves, and a high foundation. The building rests on 456 pillars on which lie groups of cross beams, symbolizing the tenon and mortise technology already used some 7000 years ago. The foyer is in the shape of a legendary 'roc' spreading its wings, expressing the worship of birds that was practiced by the early Hemudu people.

Hemudu Human Residence Site
The original state of the Hemudu Human Residence Site.

This museum exhibits around 3,000 objects that were retrieved in two main excavation periods at the site. Among the objects are remains of rice kernels planted by man, ceramic fragments that have traces of carbonized rice grains, rice-husk?patterned pottery fragments, bone items, wooden joint pieces, ivory bird-shaped artefacts, ivory carved plate-shaped containers with sun motifs, jade items, and so on. These are all worthy of being described as gems of neolithic culture.

The restored external appearance of the Hemudu Human Residence.
The restored external appearance of the Hemudu Human Residence.

The exhibition is divided into two parts, the permanent exhibition and the specimens exhibition. The permanent exhibition has three halls. The first covers 400 square meters and explains the basic situation of the 7,000-year-old site in terms of charts and photographs. The second hall covers 300 square meters, and reflects the hunting and gathering life as well as the rice-agriculture of the time. It exhibits actual items such as man-cultivated grain, agricultural implements made of bone, a husker made of wood, and stone grinders, ceramic axes, etc., as well as containers for holding food, appropriate for an exhibition of rice-producing culture. The third hall covers 400 square meters and includes two parts, one on the life of the settlement and one on its spiritual or intellectual culture. Exhibited here are pillars, beams, boards and other wooden architectural elements, wooden tools, stone ax, stone awl, bone awl, a reconstructed trunk and railing style building (portion), and a model of a well. Parts of a primitive loom are also displayed, including many things that no longer have contemporary names.

Address: Zhejiang Province, Yuyao City, Hemudu Town
Telephone: 86-574-62963731, 86-574-62963730
Official Website:

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