Exhibition revealing early human civilization opens in Beijing

An exhibition on the 10,000-year-old Shangshan culture opened at the National Museum of China on Nov. 21. “Rice, Origin, Enlightenment: Special Exhibition of Shangshan Culture Archaeological Discoveries in Zhejiang” demonstrates the significance of rice farming society represented by the Shangshan culture to Chinese civilization, as well as its contribution and influence to East Asia and the world.

Rice, Origin, Enlightenment: Special Exhibition of Shangshan Culture Archaeological Discoveries in Zhejiang. At the National Museum of China, from November 21, 2021.

Through nearly 200 artifacts from early, middle, and late Shangshan Culture, with background information, reconstructions, and multimedia, the exhibition aims to reveal production and life in the East Asian rice culture represented by Shangshan Culture.

The exhibition features the earliest carbonized rice, painted pottery in various forms, settlements, surrounding moats and other symbolic remains, vividly illustrating the great contributions made by the Chinese nation to rice farming.

An important part of the exhibition, a seminar on the civilization of China and Zhejiang was also held at the National Museum. It was joined by renowned archaeologists from China and abroad. Discussions were held on the value of the Shangshan culture both in history and present day, as well as the culture’s position in Chinese and human civilization.

Professor Dorian Q Fuller from University College London Institute of Archaeology introduced a global perspective on the value of Shangshan culture and its contribution to the Neolithic transformation. Li Liu, professor at the Stanford Archaeology Center, Stanford University expounded on Shangshan culture and the origin of grain wine.

Located in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River in China, the Shangshan site is the earliest known remains of rice farming in the world. As an origin of rice farming, the Shangshan culture occupies an important position in the formation of Chinese civilization.

Hosted by: The Society for Chinese Archaeology, National Museum of China, and Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism. For opening hours and details, please see http://en.chnmuseum.cn.

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