In spring and summer of 2016 and 2017, archaeological excavations at Jiaojia site were carried out by the Department of Archaeology and museology of Shandong University. A total area of around 2,170 square meters were excavated, with a large number of artifacts uncovered, including an enclosed wall and trench, 216 tombs, 116 house remains, a pottery kiln and so on. In addition, among the 974 discovered ash pits, those belonged to the Dawenkou culture account for a large proportion , as well as some ash pits belong to the Longshan culture, Yueshi culture, and Han dynasty were found . Jiaojia site is situated in the plains at the northern side of the Tai and Yimeng Mountain Range. The site was occupied for a long time from Dawenkou culture through to the Han dynasty, while the main remains are attributed to the mid-late Dawenkou culture.
The location of jiaojia site
Distribution map of jiaojia site
(1) There is a clear understanding of the settlement distribution and changes through time for the excavation area. Two excavation areas – north and south, were divided by the road which ran through the site from the east to the west. At different stages of development, the settlement function of the excavation area shows a distinct difference and has experienced three major stages of development: residential period-burial period-residential period. During the burial period, the tombs were arranged in rows and columns. According to the features of the funerary objects, the cemetery was used for a long time, which is about from the late stage of the middle Dawenkou cultural period through to the late Dawenkou cultural period. In the much earlier stage of the occupation, regularly distributed semi-subterranean houses were commonly used.
(2) Remains of the enclosed walls and the trench of the late Dawenkou cultural period were uncovered. Traces of rammed earth walls were found. The trench is located outside the walls. The existing wall has a width of about 10 to 15 meters, a height of approximately 0.5 to 0.9 meters, with the thickness of each rammed layer of about 10 centimetres. The trench has a width of 25 to 30 meters and a depth of about 1.5 to 2 meters. Some tombs of the late Dawenkou cultural period directly broke the wall; therefore, the age of the wall would not be later than the late Dawenkou cultural period. These indications suggest that Jiaojia site should be the earliest walled site discovered in Haidai Region (the lower reaches of the Yellow and Huai Rivers) so far.
Photo shows excavation at the ruin from jiaojia site
(3) Many systematic and rich burial and sacrificial materials of the middle to late Dawenkou culture were obtained.215 tombs of Dawenkou culture were excavated, and all the tombs are earthen shaft pit tombs. Most of the tomb owners were buried in straight and face outwards. On the perspective of the burial furniture, there are