Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan Province, boasts over 50 city sites from the age of the Five Lords, legendary rulers of remote antiquity, to the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), archaeologists have discovered.
"We have discovered many famous capitals recorded in historical documents in the city sites group in Zhengzhou region, including the city where Huangdi, legendary ruler and earliest ancestor of the Chinese in remote antiquity, lived, the capitals of the Xia Dynasty (2100-1600 BC) under the reign of the Emperors Yu and Qi respectively, and capitals of the early days of the Shang Dynasty (1,600-1,100 BC)," said Zhang Songlin, director of the local cultural relics and archaeological institute.
As the center of the city sites group, the capital of Tang, first emperor of the Shang Dynasty, is the first imperial capital built with city walls, with remains stretching for 12 kilometers still existing.
Named Bo 3,600 years ago, the capital, where the Shang civilization originated, has an advanced layout and ecological equipment, rivaling Babylon, which dated from the same time, said Zhang.
Moreover, except for large-sized state capitals, within the Zhengzhou region of over 7,000 square kilometers, are dozens of kingdom capitals under the emperors from the Western Zhou Dynasty (1,100-771 BC) to the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period.
The concentration of ancient city sites in Zhouzheng fully proves that before the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), The first feudal dynasty in Chinese history, the Zhengzhou region had been the political, economic, cultural and military center of China.
"It's mainly because of the importance of Zhengzhou's location where the Yellow River, mother river of the Chinese, flows from the Loess highlands into the North China Plain, an ideal place for an ancient Chinese society," said Zhang.
"The city sites group in Zhengzhou will provide materials for research on China's ancient cities and on the origins of Chinese civilization," said Zhu Shiguang, director of the China Ancient City Society and professor of Shaanxi Normal University.
(Xinhua News Agency January 28, 2004)