What is it like to look at a 120 million-year-old bird that has fossilised where it laid to rest?
How does it feel to walk among 5,500-year-old remnants left behind by ancient Chinese?
On a warm winter weekend I got my answers to these questions by traveling to Chaoyang City, in the western part of Northeast China’s Liaoning Province.
After an hour-long drive along the State 101 highway from downtown Chaoyang, I noticed piles of stones in the fields. “Here we are,” said Meng Zhaokai, deputy director of Liaoning Hongshan Culture Research Institute. “This is one of the stone tombs of the Hongshan people,” he said.
Guarded with iron wire fences and no bigger than a football playground, the site looked quiet with wild grass swaying in the wind. In the stone tombs were piles of chipped rocks, either square or round.
“It has remained the way it was 5,500 years ago,” said Meng, pointing at a group of red round rocks in the grass.
I knelt down and touched its rough surface. “What does it feel like?” one of my friends asked. “A bit cold,” I joked. But at that moment I began to imagine that I might be touching the fingerprint of an ancient man.
Not far from the stone tombs stand the ruins of the Temple of Goddess, where archeologists found the head of a “Goddess of Hongshan” on November 2, 1983. The findings, which consist of altars, a temple and tombs, startled the world.
Located on the border of Lingyuan and Jianping counties, the Niuheliang Site belongs to the Neolithic Hongshan Culture, which was created by tribes living in the west of the Liaohe River Valley about 5,000-6,000 years ago.
The Hongshan Culture of the late Neolithic Age existed in today’s Southeastern Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, Western Liaoning and Northern Hebei provinces.
Hongshan Culture was named in 1935 after the first site was discovered in Chifeng City, in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
The Goddess Temple is an important part of this culture. It consists of two groups of earthen and wooden constructions, with painted walls exhibiting triangular geometric patterns in reddish brown, interlaced with yellow and white.
Dozens of fragments of sculpted human busts and hands were unearthed, including a life-sized head, red-painted faces, eyes, hands, shoulders, legs and breasts, which were the earliest goddess statues in China. A large number of animal statues, including jade dragons, resemble pig and bird.
During the past two decades, Chinese archeologists have excavated 16 sites around the 50-square-kilometer-Niuheliang ruins.
According to Meng, the most startling discovery came in 2003: a 3.9 x 3.1-meter stone grave at the No. 16 Site the largest grave ever found. The archeologists unearthed six tombs, collecting 470 relics in an area of 1,575 square meters, including a jade human figurine, a phoenix and a dragon.
The jade articles were found well preserved in a stone coffin.
Experts say the well-preserved skeleton of a male, about 45-50 years old in hard granite, must have been a wealthy man of high social status since he was buried with such fine artefacts.
“The discovery provides important clues into the study of burial customs and religious and sacrificial rituals from 5,500 years ago,” Meng said.
As Meng explained the significance of the ruins, an elderly farmer approached us. Meng introduced him as one of the two guards protecting the No 2 Site.
“I have been a guard for six years at this site,” said Li Kuan, a 57-year-old farmer. Li added that he had been working a total of 20 years here switching between three sites.
He and his partner Dong Jingyu take turns every two days on 24-hour watch of the site.
They share a small house no bigger than 10 square meters at the corner of the site.
Life is a bit boring.
A kang or a brick bed occupied half of the space, leaving a little room for a table and a brick-made stove for both cooking and heating.
There is no electricity and water. Li and his partner have to share 20 candles every month and they have to carry water from the river two kilometers away.
When he is alone Li enjoys playing erhu. “That can kill the time during long winter nights since there is nobody to talk to,” Li said.
Li said there are guards on each of the 16 sites, most of who are local farmers.
To protect the ruins, the local government removed three state-owned iron mines, three factories and 30 private mines. More than 10,000 villagers have moved to settle down away from the reserve.
No wonder Li gets lonely.
Source: China Daily http://history.cultural-china.com/en/54History9392.html
The Himalaya, Mongolia and Maya Connection http://lionfire.co/ancient-skulls
Ancient Neolithic Mongolian Jade Skull
Ancient Semi-Nomadic Goddess Based Shamanic Mongolian Tribes
Oriental Roots: Mongolia and Tibet; 8,000 BCE to 0
~ Late Neolithic Era through the Legendary Period and into Historic Time ~
New archaeological evidence has now proven that the matriarchal, Goddess based, semi-nomadic tribes that roamed the area between Tibet and Mongolia, were possibly the first societies to carve stones and crystals into skulls by approximately 10,000 BCE. These ancient Neolithic people were the first to begin carving stone into objects of both utility and art. Since it is generally accepted by the scientific community that many of the oriental groups migrated to the new world, it can be assumed that they brought much of their culture, ceremonies and art with them, including the making and use of crystal and stone skulls in sacred rituals.
The Chinese civilization spans a vast expanse of time, from before the Three Kings and Five Emperors to the present. It is a miracle of human creativity and civilization. The “Culture of Jade” is closely linked to the development of Central Asia. Confucius said that a gentleman is judged by the quality of his jade. Not only was jade more valuable than gold, but the design of jade wares varied according to social status.
The oldest jade ware discovered dates back to 8000+ years ago. It is a jade dagger excavated at the Relic Pyramid of Hu in Shanxi Province. The largest pieces of stone carving took 10 years for the artists of Yangzhou to complete. Some of these early pieces are on display at the British Museum, London, England.
The Neolithic Culture, from 8,000 to 4,500 BCE, is one of the earliest and most advanced civilizations discovered, to date, in China. This culture was mainly located in the land area between Inner Mongolia and present day Liaoning and Hebei provinces (new evidence reveals possible settlements in the Yangtze River area).
The jade people were “Goddess Based, Matriarchal, Semi-Nomadic, Shamanic Cultures” consisting of several tribal groups located within the western Liaohe river valley to the Dalinghe river valley and the northern bank of the Bohai Bay, south of the Yanshan Mountain. The tribes that pre-date the LiangZhu period have not been officially named and are only referred to as Late Neolithic ~ 8,000 to 4,500 BCE. Many of their ancient sites are just newly discovered, due to a large Chinese government dam and infrastructure project that has now begun to flood these ancient ceremonial centers. These centers were used for over 6,500 years and contain hundreds of thousands of tombs. Archaeologists raced quickly to collect as much information as possible before these sites were destroyed. Artifacts from these tombs and ceremonial areas span many ages and style changes from the oldest (8,000 BCE) to the youngest (Historic era, beginning 0 CE) Archaeological strata.
The Niuheliang site belongs to the late period of LiangZhu culture, 3,500 BCE. Located at the three loess mountain ridges which stretches about 10 km at the valley of Nuluerhu Mountain, where Jianping county and Lingyuan county of Chaoyang city meet. The Goddess Temples, the Sacrificial Altars and the Stone Platform Mound groups are distributed regularly across the rolling hills about 10,000m across from east to west and about 5,000m from north to south. These platform mounds form a large scale pre-historic ceremonial and sacrificial site complex that stands alone, beyond the residential area. Niuheliang is located in the center of a network leading to all the regions of the Hong Shan area, now called the Northeast River District. It is imbued with all the characteristics of a very sacred place ~ a political, trade and ceremonial center. The Ancient Shamanic people were builders of temples, pyramids and cities, who created some of the earliest nephrite jade and stone carvings. Their sophisticated carving techniques employed technologies that exceeded simple explanations.
A Tibetan Magnasite Skull, Late Legendary period; a nice example of mineral staining.
Many of the old jade, obsidian, agate, turquoise and crystal artifacts/skulls and are well persevered due to the fact that this culture utilized slab burial tombs and because of the arid climate of Inner Mongolia. Other materials used, from the LiangZhu into the Late Legendary period, included stained magnasite, lapis lazuli, carnelian and blue-green, gold and red obsidian. Some stones were often dyed and stained using mineral compounds including iron, ochre, cinnabar, copper and silver solutions.
It has recently been discovered that these Late Neolithic artists possessed the knowledge of metallurgy and employed the use of copper and iron metal tools to work their Jade masterpieces. The practice of mineral staining and dyeing stone began about 3,500 BCE once metallurgy was introduced to or discovered by these societies. Even a type of basic brown glass, although rare, was in use much earlier than originally believed. Many artifacts show the use of saw blades and drill instruments, reflecting the fact that they were a highly technologically advanced civilization. Currently, there is no known artifact evidence, from any other Neolithic cultures in the world, shows that metal tools were used to shape jade during this very early Neolithic era. New discoveries have also found that the Chinese did not discover bronze, as was originally thought. Instead, bronze was brought to China by the eastern most Caucasians living in the Mid-Hinterland between Europe and Asia.
Recent finds from a tomb at Niuheliang and two smaller mound tombs excavated in the same area were the discoveries of metal-casting technologies. Small copper rings have been excavated at these sites. The use of kilns to produce highly advanced painted and non painted pottery gave the Shamanic Nomads the power of intense heat to explore metallurgy. The earliest ceramics found in China date to 13,000 BCE. It is of the opinion of Master-Teacher Wong Tien Chung, that these ancient people extracted iron ore and nickel alloys from meteorites to make ritual jade shaping tools.
Chinese archaeologists have recently discovered a Late Neolithic pyramid-shaped building dating back more than 5,500 years in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, in north China. According to renowned Chinese archaeologist Guo Dashun, the “pyramid structure”, located on a mountain ridge one kilometer north of Sijiazi Township in the Aohan Banner county, is a three-storied stepped pyramid building that is 30 meters long and 15 meters wide. It is similar to the much later Maya pyramids of Central America. This discovery sheds light on the fact that the ancient Shamanic Mongolian tribes were one of the first known people to build pyramid structures.
These very early Neolithic people were transient, living in a region that falls between steppe and agricultural climate zones. In the middle period of this culture, it becomes evident that a husbandry and agricultural based society emerges, leading to advancement in social structure. Discoveries from burial sites show that they had class structure and it is interesting that they cultivated millet not rice. Animal husbandry appears to have been highly advanced with the domestication of pigs and ducks. There is artifact evidence that they were one of the earliest people to domestic the horse.
Tzo’La, Leopard Jade; Inner Mongolia, Legendary period
Ancient jade ritual and art objects were created for a period of more than 8,000 years. Contrary to what Western arm chair archaeologist have stated, Neolithic jades have been discovered in large quantities with over 52 different types of jade objects in various shapes and forms, including ceremonial wands and blades, dragons, Goddesses, sexual tools, skulls, spines, full skeletons, totem animals and jewelry. Some of the oldest jade sculpture are very sexual and include couplings of all gender combinations.
The most famous ancient jade icons are the God Face, coiled dragon egg, bats, silk worms, cicadas, hawks and the gryphon. Since this was a Goddess based society, there were many nude Goddess altar statues and phallic items used in ceremonies. Icons such as Kwan Yin and Buddha came in after the society changed to a patriarchic system.
Very remarkable discoveries have been recent, in areas that are much further south of where the first civilization was thought to have been centered. Research indicates (based on artifact evidence and 19 years of study) that the ancient jade carvers employed advanced jade shaping and carving tools that may have been made from meteorite iron. One fascinating study is the evidence of high iron content found in red jades and silver content in black jades that were used for ritual objects by the early Shaman.
Many of these artifacts are magnetic and express the possibility that they were aware of magnetic earth forces. Another fascinating observation through the study of these ceremonial jade artifacts is the abundance of “Alien” like motifs and figurines that are completely unexplainable as they are not found in other Neolithic Cultures. It is obvious from the study of Inner Mongolian sacred sites, that there was a highly sophisticated knowledge of mathematics and astronomy which is evident by the celestial alignments of their pyramids, platform mounds and ceremonial structures.
The extensive employment of ritual jades in China by the Shaman-Priests during its’ late prehistory must certainly demonstrate to the world of archeology that these people were not “Neolithic Age” but rather “Jade Age” people. It is believed that these tribes were actually the Xinglongwa people who migrated into China from Mongolia when global weather conditions turned their rich forested world into desert. New discoveries reveal that the Xinglongwa people had sophisticated jade carving techniques over 8,500 years ago! The lost historic trails of these great people are waiting to be discovered. Perhaps they were descendents from a long lost and advanced civilization.
Ancient jade artifacts are gemstone treasures from the long ago past that have withstood both the test of time and humanity. Most of these ancient gemstone treasures have been buried beneath the earth for centuries, while others may have been buried for millenniums.
The condition of each ancient jade artifact varies upon the age, type of earth the artifact was buried in, and the geological conditions that surrounded the jade artifact. Most ancient jades form a crust of calcification that is deposited in layers upon the gem’s original surface during its burial. When an ancient jade is dug from the earth, it often has its’ original colors hidden by layers of soil, minerals, and encrustations, including calcium, ochre, cinnabar, sulfur and iron. Almost all jades artifacts dug from the earth have these layers of encrustations removed. The reason for this is to reveal the gemstone’s original colors and characteristics or to catalogue any glyphic designs or writing it may possess. These new discoveries have open the door for many of these artifact treasures, stone and crystal skulls and spiritual tools to become available to the public as a way to fund further research.
Meso-American Origins: The Maya, 3,000 BCE to 1500 CE
Ancient Maya Rose Quartz Crystal Skull
Dzibilchaltún, Yucatán, Mexico ~ Considered to be the Mother City of the Yucatec Maya, it is possibly the oldest spiritual city (1000+ BC) in northern Yucatán. This is the sacred city where ITZAMNA, First Father and First Wizard~Shaman, consort to the Great Maya Mother Goddess, IXCHEL, came down from the sky to transmit his wisdom to the Maya people, giving the first Crystal Skulls to the original Clan Mothers.
This city is best known for the Temple of the Seven Dolls, the only Mayan Temple of its’ type, with windows and a tower, not a roof comb. This temple is actually dedicated to the transitions of Death and Life, the Sun, Stars, Moon, Time and the Seasons, and stands on the “White Road to Enlightenment”. This is the anchoring site for the Pleiadean Star Cluster. The Equinox Sun Rise Archaeo-astronomical Event and Ceremonies, here, are magnificent. The Equinox Sunrise bursts into the room of the temple lighting it like a brilliant star. During the time of the Equinoxes this Temple is known as the Temple of the Seven Rays and activates all Chakra Centers and aligns the Spirit bodies in preparation for the use of this Multi-dimensional Gate.
This gate connects the Temple of the Seven Dolls to the Temple of Ra in Egypt through an Inner World Spiritual Serpent Tunnel (Vortex), linking the Transmission of Ra Light to the frequencies of both temples. Dzibilchaltún’s sacred precinct holds the World Tree Axis, a giant stelae mounted on a platform with four stairways, which represents the Four Corners of the World. This Axis Stone is illuminated at dawn on the equinoxes and the focus here is on the balance of light and shadow.
The Temple of the Seven Dolls is a primary site for the rituals of the Mayan Fertility Cults. There is no “Male or Female” here…here, they are One, the same, with an overwhelming feeling of innocence and acceptance. Dzibilchaltún is a major Initiation Center for the Mystery Schools of the World. The focus is on individual consciousness.
This important ancient temple is one of the major crystal skull initiation and channeling sites in the Americas.
The Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull
Labaantun, Belize, C.A.
The famous Michelle-Hedges Crystal Skull was found here. This is the Spiritual Gateway guarded by AH PUCH, the Lord of the Underworld and CIMI, the God of Death. The Initiates of the Death Cult are taught Spirit Vision and the use of inter-dimensional tools like the Crystal Skulls, Sun Stones and Eccentric Flints.
Connections ~ It has long been thought that the artistic styles of some ancient Maya groups mirrors Oriental line language and iconic images. Many of the oriental groups migrated to the new world, bringing much of their culture, ritual and art with them, including the making and use of crystal and stone skulls in ceremony.