Xiaofangcheng (Chine) : Achievements of Investigation and Preliminary Excavations

Achievements of Investigation and Preliminary Excavations at Xiaofangcheng Site, Shanxi

Chinese Archaeology

Source -  http://www.kaogu.cn/en/detail.asp?ProductID=3222


Xiaofangcheng site was archaeologically investigated and preliminarily excavated from October, 2010 to September, 2011, by Shanxi provincial archaeological institute together with the Department of History, Jinan University. A total of 16 ha have been investigated, and 180 square meters were eventually excavated。


Xiaofangcheng Site is located in Xiping town, Datong county of Shanxi Province, a place between villages Xiaofangcheng and Kangdian. The large-scale exploring and small-scale preliminary excavations conducted on the city of Han Dynasty has confirmed the width of the city walls, existence of the city moat (fortification), location and scale of battlement and city gate, and plan of main streets and primary architectures, and achieved significant phased results. Other collected and excavated objects dating to Han Dynasty included constructing material, i.e., corded tiles and bricks, and pottery sherds of daily use. 


This city appears to have been square with its northern surviving wall 315 meter long, 260 meter to the east, 331 meter to the south, and 131 meter to the west. Periphery of the city measures 435 meter from west to east in length, 437 meter from north to south. The foundations of southern and northern walls have been preserved with the length 12 and 13.6 meter, respectively. The rammed layer has been seen, 0.06~0.1 meter wide, and the walls measure 4~5 meter high. After a full drilling exploration conducted on the city, there revealed a moat (fortification), 15 meter in width. Other surviving constructing material is comprised of five battlements, among which two were found at the northern and southern walls, respectively. In contrast to the walls to the north and south, there is only one battlement found at the eastern wall. There also found a street with east-west direction measures three to four meter wide, going along the central axis, approximately. Otherwise, some of other rammed earth structures and earth pits were found in the city, different from one other in either form or scale. Base on the drilling data, a small-scale excavation of a rammed earth in a larger scale was conducted in the northeast of the city. As a result, fifty-four post- holes well arranged from south to north as well as a group of tracking were detected.


The archaeological work in Shanxi province has provided the evidence of more than seventy cities differing in category, accounting for about ninth of the ancient cities from Han Dynasty found all over the China. The investigation and preliminary excavations conducted on the Xiaofangcheng Site, therefore, could be taken as significant achievement of the studies and discussion of the structure and scale of the local cities from Han Dynasty.     (Translator: Sang Li).