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二里头Erlitou Xia Dynasty,China - City & Palace Reconstruction on 11500 BC

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avatar bjbrown84
Level 44 : Master Architect
Hello Everybody,
a small New Years gift from my side.
Presenting you a project [Xia- China's first Dynasty], which I will rebuild 1:1 in 2017/18 when I feature China intensivly.
For now I reconstruct Erlitou site, which is one of the key sites of Chinese first Dynasty.

I have to fit the site into the much more smaller area of my 11500 BC map, for that reason Palace I is mainly 1:2 reconstruction and Palace II 1:1. and the whole complex is from the size of area it cover c. 1:3 reconstrucion.

The Xia dynasty (c. 2070 – c. 1600 BC) is the first dynasty in traditional Chinese history. It is described in ancient historical chronicles such as the Bamboo Annals, the Classic of History and the Records of the Grand Historian. According to tradition, the dynasty was established by the legendary Yu the Great after Shun, the last of the Five Emperors, gave his throne to him. The Xia was later succeeded by the Shang dynasty(1600–1046 BC).

According to the traditional chronology based upon calculations by Liu Xin, the Xia ruled between 2205 and 1766 BC; according to the chronology based upon the Bamboo Annals, it ruled between 1989 and 1558 BC. The Xia–Shang–Zhou Chronology Projectconcluded that the Xia existed between 2070 and 1600 BC. The tradition of tracing Chinese political history from heroic early emperors to the Xia to succeeding dynasties comes from the idea of the Mandate of Heaven, in which only one legitimate dynasty can exist at any given time, and was promoted by the Confucian school in the Eastern Zhou period, later becoming the basic position of imperial historiography and ideology. Although the Xia is an important element in early Chinese history, reliable information on the history of China before 13th century BC can only come from archaeological evidence since China's first established written system on a durable medium, the oracle bone script, did not exist until then. Thus, the concrete existence of the Xia is yet to be proven, despite efforts by Chinese archaeologists to link the Xia with Bronze Age Erlitou archaeological sites.

Erlitou EN

Erlitou site

Bronze jue (wine vessel)

The Erlitou culture may have evolved from the matrix of Longshan culture. Originally centered around Henan and Shanxi Province, the culture spread to Shaanxi and Hubei Province. After the rise of the Erligang culture, the site at Erlitou diminished in size but remained inhabited.

Discovered in 1959 by Xu Xusheng, Erlitou is the largest site associated with the culture, with palace buildings and bronze smelting workshops. Erlitou monopolized the production of ritual bronze vessels, including the earliest recovered dings. The city is on the Yi River, a tributary of the Luo River, which flows into the Yellow River. The city was 2.4 km by 1.9 km; however, because of flood damage only 3 km2 (1.2 sq mi) are left.


Plan of palace 1 (phase III)

The site is divided into four phases, each of roughly a century.

During Phase I, covering 100 ha (250 acres), Erlitou was a rapidly growing regional center, but not yet an urban civilization.

Urbanization began in Phase II, expanding to 300 ha (740 acres). A palace area of 12 ha (30 acres) was demarcated by four roads. It contained the 150x50 m Palace 3, composed of three courtyards along a 150-meter axis, and Palace 5. A bronze foundry was established to the south of the palatial complex.

The city reached its peak in Phase III, and may have had a population of between 18,000 and 30,000. The palatial complex was surrounded by a 2-meter thick rammed earth wall and Palaces 1, 7, 8, 9 were built. Palaces 3 and 5 were abandoned and replaced by 4200 m2 Palace 2 and Palace 4.

Phase IV was formerly considered a period of decline, but recent excavation has revealed continued building. Palace 6 was built as an extension of Palace 2, and Palaces 10 and 11 were built. Phase IV overlaps with the Lower phase of the Erligang culture (1600–1450 bc). Around 1600 bc, a walled city was built at Yanshi, about 6 km northeast of Erlitou.

Production of bronzes and other elite goods ceased at the end of Phase IV, at the same time as the Erligang city of Zhengzhou was established 85 km (53 mi) to the east. There is no evidence of destruction by fire or war, but during the Upper Erligang phase (1450–1300 bc) all the palaces were abandoned, and Erlitou was reduced to a village of 30 ha (74 acres).
Erlitou DE
Erlitou (chinesisch 二里頭 / 二里头, Pinyin èrlǐtóu) ist eine bronzezeitliche Fundstätte einige Kilometer östlich vonLuoyang in Henan. Nach ihr wird die gleichnamige Erlitou-Phase oder Erlitou-Kultur benannt und einige Forscher vermuten, dass es eine Stadt der Xia-Dynastie gewesen sein kann.

Der Ort war bereits von der vorbronzezeitlichen Longshan-Kultur bewohnt. Radiokarbonmessungen haben für die älteste Phase circa 1900 v. Chr. ergeben, was die These, es wäre ein Xia-Stadt, eventuell eine Hauptstadt gewesen, unterstützt. In der dritten Phase (um 1625 v. Chr.) sind Spuren der Shang-Kultur zu finden, jene die später die Xia stürzen und die Shang-Dynastie gründen werden.

Insgesamt werden die Funde vier Phasen zugeteilt, die den gesamten Raum der Xia-Dynastie und die Anfänge der Shang Dynastie umfassen. Am Anfang war noch die Longshan-Kultur die Basis, und es wird angenommen, dass Erlitou die gesamte Zeit der Bronzeentwicklung bewohnt war. Und damit in der Zeit, in der sich die ersten Städte und Staatssysteme auf chinesischem Boden bildeten.

Im Zentrum befand sich eine aus festgestampfter Erde gebaute Terrasse (100×108 m²) und darauf eine zweite, die den Grund für ein 360 m² großes Gebäude lieferte, welches außen einen Säulenumlauf besaß. Dies könnte ein Palast oder ein Tempel gewesen sein.

Eine zweite solche Anlage, jedoch etwas kleiner (73×58 m²), wurde in der Nähe ausgegraben, ebenso noch kleinere Häuser, die ebenfalls auf Erdpodesten standen, viele Vorratskammern und einige Gräber.

Mauern, die sonst für den chinesischen Raum kennzeichnend sind, wurden bis heute nicht gefunden.

to learn more about what the 11500 BC Project is about, you can have a look here.
Website - more pictures & details about the history of Xia as well as other projects
Visit us on 11500bc.de to get more historic background , links to interesting dokumentations and more (currently only avaiable in german, work on the english webpage started slowly and progress at least when not building)

will be avaiable with the second update
Server + Dynmap:

more details to 11500 BC server you can find here and Dynmap as well


Hope you enjoyed?!

Thanks a lot again for all the support.
If you like ancient history and want see or learn more about it favor, diamond , subscribe or pm me.
I am happy for every comment, so feel free,
if you wish that I feature an ancient culture which did not earn the spotlight so far just let me know.
Progress60% complete

1 Update Logs

Update #1 : 01/08/2016 9:27:36 amJan 8th, 2016

finished up the palace inside and walls execpt the wall to tai shan mountain 
start adding farm houses and bronze workshop

Comments : 18

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1 - 18 of 18

Awesome build and setting! :)
  • Byliss
  • Level 26
  • Expert Button Pusher
  • January 8, 2016, 5:54 am
Super cool!
  • bjbrown84
  • Level 44
  • Master Architect
  • January 8, 2016, 6:19 am
Awesome, always great to see the reference pictures and all your research :D
  • bjbrown84
  • Level 44
  • Master Architect
  • January 8, 2016, 6:17 am
thanks its actually just a shapshot of the references I use, but giving you just some basics is hopefully already valueable.
  • SteamFan
  • Level 2
  • Apprentice Network
  • January 5, 2016, 9:27 am
Great Scott! How on earth, How long did this take?
  • bjbrown84
  • Level 44
  • Master Architect
  • January 5, 2016, 10:35 am
building the whole map took 3 month. Farming resources for this project (yeah I build almost all in survival xD) took 10  hours and research and building so far 15 hours but as it just a small excurse for now and I have to continue in the middle east I will spent proably 20 more on this project and continue then when China is on the Stage xD
  • SteamFan
  • Level 2
  • Apprentice Network
  • January 5, 2016, 10:37 am
You did this is survival!?


Now I look at it and love it more!!!
  • bjbrown84
  • Level 44
  • Master Architect
  • January 5, 2016, 10:40 am
yeah with the latest update i needed to cheat a bit in the desert (this pyramid project ;) )and put me in good mode. As you can not build daytime (too hot) and in night mobs and too cold xD
  • SteamFan
  • Level 2
  • Apprentice Network
  • January 5, 2016, 10:41 am
  • CraftyFoxe
  • Site Moderator
  • Level 72
  • Legendary Fox
  • January 4, 2016, 9:47 am
So much trees!
  • bjbrown84
  • Level 44
  • Master Architect
  • January 4, 2016, 9:56 pm
Yeah i left vegetation on and one of my main task to build this wooden palace and workshops is chopping trees xD

at that time when china was not that crowded there were also a lot more trees in the area where this site is.
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • January 4, 2016, 1:39 am
Your work never ceases to intrigue me.  Keep it up!
  • bjbrown84
  • Level 44
  • Master Architect
  • January 4, 2016, 3:20 am
Guess it your relationship to history,  I just put in bad graphics in front of your eyes. xD
100 more episodes and you might make a special for me.
  • bjbrown84
  • Level 44
  • Master Architect
  • January 8, 2016, 6:20 am
very cool
  • bjbrown84
  • Level 44
  • Master Architect
  • January 3, 2016, 11:42 am
Yeah 4000 year old palaces rock xD

1 - 18 of 18

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