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The Baodun culture (2700 BC – 1700 BC) was a Neolithic culture centered on the Chengdu Plain in Sichuan, China.

Baodun culture
Baodun map.svg
Geographical rangeSichuan Basin
Datesc. 2700 – c. 1700 BC[1]
Type siteBaodun
Major sitesYufu, Mangcheng
Followed bySanxingdui
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese寶墩文化
Simplified Chinese宝墩文化


Archaeologists have divided the culture into four phases (I-IV).[2] The only radiocarbon dates for the Baodun Culture come from Bianduishan.[3] Two dates were calibrated using CalPal software to 2467 ± 347 BC and 1993 ± 335 BC.[4]


Ten settlements from the culture have been found.[1] The first six sites discovered were: the type site at Baodun in Xinjin County, the site at Mangcheng in Dujiangyan City, the site at Yufu in Wenjiang County, the site at Zizhu in Chongzhou, the site at Shuanghe in Chongzhou and the site at Gucheng in Pi County. Yufucun is the second largest site associated with the Baodun culture.

All of the settlements straddle the Min River. The settlement walls were covered with pebbles, a feature unique to the Baodun culture. The pottery from the culture share some similarities with Sanxingdui. The inhabitants lived in wattle and daub houses.[2] The earliest evidence for rice and foxtail millet agriculture in southwest China was discovered at the type site at Baodun.[1]

The site at Yufu is also surrounded by two walls: The inner wall covers and area of around 25 ha (250,000 m2), while the outer wall covers and area of around 40 ha (400,000 m2).[2] The site at Mangcheng is also surrounded by two, pounded earth walls: the inner wall covers an area of around 7.2 ha (72,000 m2), while the outer wall covers an area of around 10.5 ha (105,000 m2).[2] The majority of buildings were made from wattle and daub technology.[5] The site at Gucheng is surrounded by a wall enclosing an area of around 30.4 ha (304,000 m2).[2] The sites at Zizhu and Shuanghe are also surrounded by double walls.[2]


The Baodun type site was discovered in 1950.[2] The type site is the oldest and largest site associated with the Baodun culture. This culture has the largest walled Neolithic area in China.[6] Baodun is surrounded by two walls: the inner wall covers an area of around 66 ha (660,000 m2), while the outer wall covers and area of around 245 ha (2,450,000 m2). Estimates of the labour required to build both walls suggest that they would have taken 100 people over 5 years to build.[7] It is unclear whether the area between the two walls was residential, agricultural, or used for different purposes.[8]

Estimated labor required for the production of walls around the Baodun Culture sites[9]
Site Total wall length (in m) Estimated volume of the wall (in m³) Labor at 1 m³/person/day (in person-years) Labor at 2 m³/person/day (in person-years) Labor at 3 m³/person/day (in person-years)
Baodun 3,200 243,200 666 333 222
Baodun (outer wall) >5,200 c. 130,000 356 178 119
Mangcheng 1,900 47,500 130 65 43
Shuanghe 2,800 108,750 298 149 99
Gucheng 2,220 116,550 319 160 106
Yufu 2,000 45,000 123 62 41


Rice and foxtail millet were both grown at Baodun, with rice dominating.[1] Many weeds associated with paddy rice cultivation were also discovered at Baodun.[1] The remains of Job's tears, Vicia, two types of Vigna, beefsteak plant, and Crataegus were also discovered at Baodun.[1]

Rice has also been found at Mangcheng.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f Guedes 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Flad 2013.
  3. ^ Zhongguo 1991.
  4. ^ Flad & Chen 2013, p. 80.
  5. ^ Flad & Chen 2013.
  7. ^ Flad & Chen 2013, p. 86-87.
  8. ^ Flad & Chen 2013, p. 74.
  9. ^ Hu, Chuan-an. "estimated labor required for the production of walls around the Baodun Culture sites".
  10. ^ Flad & Chen 2013, p. 177.


  • Allan, Sarah (ed), The Formation of Chinese Civilization: An Archaeological Perspective, ISBN 0-300-09382-9
  • Flad, Rowan (2013). "Chapter 7: The Sichuan Basin Neolithic". In Underhill, Anne P. (ed.). A Companion to Chinese Archaeology. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 125–146. ISBN 978-1-4443-3529-3.
  • Flad, Rowan; Chen, Pochan (2013). Ancient Central China: Centers and Peripheries Along the Yangtze River. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-72766-2.
  • d'Alpoim Guedes, Jade; et al. (2013). "Site of Baodun yields earliest evidence for the spread of rice and foxtail millet agriculture to south-west China". Antiquity. 87 (337). doi:10.1017/S0003598X00049449.
  • Zhongguo Shehuikexueyuan Kaogu Yanjiusuo Sichuan Gongzuodui (1991). 中国考古学中碳十四年代报告集1965-1991 [Report of C-14 dates from Chinese archaeology 1965-1991]. Beijing: Wenwu Chubanshe.

Coordinates: 30°27′01″N 103°45′03″E / 30.4502°N 103.7508°E / 30.4502; 103.7508