Liangchengzhen House
Urbanization in the eastern seaboard (Haidai) area of northern China: Perspectives from the late Neolithic site of Liangchengzhen Authors: Anne P.Underhill, Geoffrey E.Cunnar, Fengshi Luan, Gary Crawford, Haiguang Yu, Hui Fang, Fen Wang and Hao Wu Abstract: Limited comparative data from different regions has hampered understanding of variation in the development of urbanism during the late Neolithic period of China. This paper evaluates excavation remains from large, Longshan period sites regarded as cities in the Haidai or eastern seaboard area of northern China, highlighting the site of Liangchengzhen (LCZ). We identify differences in construction features, internal settlement organization, and patterns of expansion. At LCZ, moats were especially important for the organization of space. The Liangchengzhen excavations reveal residential patterns not recognized at other Longshan sites, including shared prepared surfaces between structures and construction features likely designed to enhance privacy. We describe the abundant evidence for production of ground stone tools, including assessment of the wide variety of raw materials (local, extra-local, non-local) represented among the lithic production debris and finished tools. We conclude that there was diversification and intensification of lithic production over time. We infer that a large area at Liangchengzhen was devoted to lithic production, with other economic activities focused elsewhere as the settlement expanded in size. Future research should compare the nature of lithic production and consumption at large and small sites on a regional basis to evaluate our hypothesis that incipient market exchange was a factor in the urbanization process in the LCZ area of southeastern Shandong. Keywords: Diachronic perspective, Regional variation, Residential expansion, Lithic production

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