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An Analysis Of The Pile Dwellings In The Hemudu Site

2161 words - 9 pages

An Analysis of the Pile-Dwellings in the Hemudu Site:
The Natural Reasons of the Appearance and the Classification of the Pile-Dwellings in the Hemudu Site


The pile-dwelling is a special architectural type, mainly popular in Yangtze River valley and the southern area in ancient China. It has been widely considered as the direct development of nest. The origin of this architectural style, in China, might be traced to the Neolithic Age. It can be found in amount of Neolithic sites of the Hemudu culture and the Liangzhu culture, together with other Neolithic sites located in the southwestern part of China, for instant, the Yun Menkou site (Mount Jian, Yunan province). Based on ...view middle of the document...

The natural reasons of the appearance of the pile-dwellings in the Hemudu site
Back to 7000 year age, according to the identifications on animals and plants remains as well as pollen analysis, ancestors in this area lived in the south bank of the lake which located among Zhangting, Erliu city and Hemudu. In this area, only the south was hilly area, other part of this area was plain and swamps. Since upper Pleistocene, this area has experienced three transgressions, which was caused by Asterorotalia, Pseudorotalia and Ammonia beccarii var separately. It is necessary to point out that the third transgression seems especially important to the formation of Ningshao Plain. During this transgression, Ningshao Plain was almost covered by sea water entirely and did not turn back into dry land until 7000---8000 years ago. By analyzing lots of freshwater fish remains and pollen found in the alluvium of Hemudu and the surrounding area within the same period, we could know that the plain near the site was formed after the dry land formed and basically broke away from inundations. What’s more, it lately evolved as low-lying swamp area accompanied by lakes and rivers. To sum up, ancestors in Hemudu lived in an environment abound with swamps and lakes.

Moreover, with the help of pollen analysis, we could deduce that the climate during the formation and development of Hemudu might belong to maritime subtropical monsoon climate. That is to say, the weather then was warm and humid. When summer and autumn came, ancestor would have to face the threat of typical cyclones from the ocean. Under such kind of climate, ancestors need a new construction style to fit in with the environment.

First and foremost is to adjust to the climate, ancestors chose piles together with keels and timber flooring to construct fundamental beds. Above the fundamental beds, the buildings were built for different reasons. Elevated fundamental beds perfectly accommodated to the humid environment and equipped the buildings with the damp proofing function.

Secondly, geographically, ancestors formed a situation in which buildings back on the mountains and front to the water, so that all the pile-dwellings were in northwest—southeast arrangement mode. This was another choice ancestors made to adjust to the nature. As Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces are to the north of the Tropic of Cancer, such kind of arrayal could assure ancestors in Hemudu to acquire the most sunshine in winter and in the mean time, to resist the attacks of tropical cyclone from Pacific Ocean efficiently. From this we could conclude that ancestors do understand the environment as well as landform of their dwelling place, what’s more, they also had already possessed the skill of adjust to and make use of the surroundings.

Thirdly, using of brads enhanced the buildings’ capability of sustaining negative effects from nature. This method not only solved the problems caused by the distortion of mortise-tenon...

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