8 December 2021 The Future is the Product of the Past

5500-year-old pentagon structure found in North China

Archaeologists discovered the remnants of a pentagonal structure going back 5,500 years in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, north China.

According to the Taiyuan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, the remains were discovered at a construction site in Taiyuan, Shanxi’s provincial capital, and are thought to date from the middle and late phases of the Yangshao Culture.

It was stated that the semi-subterranean house discovered in the Neolithic ruins in Taoyuan covers a total area of 90 square meters and the surviving walls have a maximum width of 50 cm.

The walls were painted inside with a mixture of grass and mud, and several holes were also found where wooden pillars were placed to support the house and the walls, the Archaeological Institute said in a statement.

The pentagon house is believed to have been a tribal assembly hall or a leader’s office from 5500 years ago.

ancient wall
A section of ancient wall was discovered at the Neolithic ruins at Taoyuan, a village in the city of Linfen, Shanxi province. Photo: Zheng Yuan

The pentagonal building was rare for that period as the prehistoric people only built structures larger than 80 square meters in the shape.

A total of 98 ash pits, 11 pottery kilns, two houses, and six tombs of Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties were found at the site, among which the most prominent discovery was the pentagonal house covering about 32 square meters, said Pei Jingrong, a researcher with the institute. 

A piece of relic discovered at the Neolithic ruins at Taoyuan, a village in the city of Linfen, Shanxi province. Photo: Zheng Yuan
A piece of relic was discovered at the Neolithic ruins at Taoyuan, a village in the city of Linfen, Shanxi province. Photo: Zheng Yuan


Abundant pottery pieces have been unearthed in the house, including sand-filled pottery kettles, sand-filled grey pottery pots, red pottery pots, and sharp-bottomed bottles, Pei said. 

According to experts, the finding is of considerable academic importance for understanding the cultural traits of the Neolithic Age in Taiyuan Basin and the ancient cultural interactions in Taiyuan and its neighboring areas.

Previously, a dozen prehistoric pentagonal buildings had been found in China, mainly located in Lingbao City, Henan Province.

According to experts, the finding is of great academic importance for understanding the cultural traits of the Neolithic Age in Taiyuan Basin and the ancient cultural interactions in Taiyuan and its neighboring areas.

The Yangshao Culture, which originated in the Yellow River’s middle reaches, is regarded as a major stream of Chinese culture and is well renowned for its superior pottery-making skills.

Cover Photo: A picture displays the location of the pentagonal house in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, north China. /Taiyuan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology

Xinhua News Agency

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