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Hake Culture -- A New Branch in Inner Mongolia Archaeology
Archaeologists put forward the concept of a new kind of culture at a recently concluded academic seminar on the origins of nomadic tribes in north China, held in Hulun Buir of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. This follows the finds of the “Hongshan Culture” and “Xinglongwa Culture” and is regarded as a great achievement in archaeological research in the autonomous region at the beginning of the 21st century.

The naming of the “Hake Culture” stems from microliths found in ancient ruins and tombs of the Neolithic Age in Hake Town of Hulun Buir City, dating back 4,000-6,000 years ago. Representative articles include exquisite jade ware, microliths, bow and arrows, pottery ware and rich graves. “Hake,” in Mongolian, means “mound on low-lying land.” Archaeologist Zhao Yue from Hulun Buir proposed the term “Hake Culture,” and the name was finally accepted after the discovery of many other archaeologists. “Hake Culture” properly summarized the microlithic culture on the Hulun Buir grassland. It is nearly of the same age as that of “Yangshao” and “Hongshan” cultures.

Wang Dafang, deputy director of cultural relics section under the Inner Mongolian Culture Department, told reporters: “‘Hake Culture’ refers to a primitive culture represented by microliths. At that time, men were changing from a hunting to a nomadic life. The delicate jade ware unearthed here signified that human beings had begun to develop a more colorful spiritual culture, and the appearance of graves demonstrated people’s awareness of their ancestors. Many tomb occupants were accompanied by jade ware and microliths, showing they had entered a clan society with a widening gap between rich and the poor. Stone arrowheads were popular during that period, suggesting man had developed the bow and arrow as a weapon. There were also colorful potteries. The productivity level was also high.”

The Hulun Buir grassland was a birthplace of northern nomadic tribes in ancient China. Such ethnic groups as the Eastern Hu, Xianbei, Wuwan, Shiwei, Khitan, Nuzhen and Mongolian all once lived here. The discovery of the Hake Culture provides precious materials for the study of human history in the area.

(china.org.cn by Li Jinhui, September 6, 2002)

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