Dawenkou Culture

A look at the emergence of social complexity in Neolithic China.

This paper discusses how the area of Shandong holds China’s most remarkable archaeological discoveries and, in particular, focuses on the burial assemblages of the Dawenkou site in Shandong Northern China. It revolves around the main idea that these burial sites present convincing evidence of an emerging social complexity. A second focus attempts to provide proof that the Dawenkou culture played a major role in the emerging complexity of the Neolithic Chinese period.
There has been a plethora of evidence accumulated by modern day archaeologists and anthropologists suggesting that the people of the Neolithic era began displaying a completely unique societal complexity as early as 5000 B.C. We may assume that since the Neolithic cultures and their remains are distributed over such an expansive region, distinct regional or local differences and different cultural characters are bound to exist, and that at the same time they are most likely to contain many elements of influence that came from primitive cultures in the heartland of the Northeast and the coastal region of the Southeast; they thus reflect the historical lineage of the region and its characteristic of being a place where many different ethnic groups had gathered and settled. (Guldin)