For History Puffs
Remains of Panlong Ancient City:
Unveiling Mystery of Bronze
Located in Wuhan, on the north bank of the Fu River, a secondary tributary of the Yangtze River, and only 9 kilometers east of the main stream of the Yangtze River, the site of Pan Long City is one of the most clearly laid out and richest relics known in the Yangtze River basin from the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600 B.C.-c. 1046 B.C.), with a history of 3,500 years, is the central city of the southern soil of the Shang Dynasty and the root of Wuhan.
Since it was discovered in the 1950s, archaeological work of the Panlong city site has continued till now, and it is one of the longest and most systematic sites in the Yangtze River Basin. It was discovered in 1954 and was rated as one of China’s top 100 archaeological discoveries in the 20th century.
The site is abundant in contents, including palace ruins, noble tombs and handicraft workshop ruins. More than 3,000 exquisite cultural relics have been excavated, such as big YuGe, bronze circle tripod, bronze tomahawk, turquoise inlaid gold pieces, etc. , have the high historical, scientific and artistic value. It is the physical witness that the Yangtze River and the Yellow River belong to the Chinese civilization, and it is also an important cultural heritage of mankind.
For the first time, the Panlong city site revealed an urban settlement that belongs to the bronze cultural system of the Central Plains along the Yangtze River, which is a strong evidence of the development of the diverse and integrated pattern of Chinese civilization. Its discovery and related research are helpful to understand foreign economic strategy and governance mode in the Xia and Shang Dynasties (about 2070 BC-about 1046 BC), the cultural interaction between the Yellow River Basin and the Yangtze River Basin, and important resources such as metals in the early period. Many important historical topics issues such as circulation in the country and society are groundbreaking.
The archaeological work of Panlongcheng site for nearly 70 years has not only greatly promoted people’s understanding of the bronze culture in the Yangtze River Basin, but also become a microcosm of the development of archaeology in new China.