Archaeological ruins of Liangzhu City was inscribed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List at the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee. Located in the Yangtze River Basin on the south-eastern coast of the country, the archaeological ruins of Liangzhu (about 3300-2300 BCE) reveal an early regional state with a unified belief system based on rice cultivation in Late Neolithic China.
The property is composed of four areas – the Area of Yaoshan Site, the Area of High-dam at the Mouth of the Valley, the Area of Low-dam on the Plain and the Area of City Site. The city was located in the Yangtze River Basin and life was affected by frequent floods. The community possessed advanced agriculture, including irrigation, paddy rice cultivation and aquaculture.
Houses were often constructed on stilts, on rivers or shorelines. People had developed unique flood control systems. There was also evidence of an artificial flood protection design implemented within the city. Inside the city were artificial earth mounds and natural hills. Outside of the walled area, remains are found for 700 hectares, the residences are said to be built in an urban planning system. 8 kilo meters to the north various dam-like sites were found and are speculated to be an ancient flood protection system. The remains of a wooden pier and an embankment found at the site thought to have been used for protection against floods. Houses were raised on wood also to help against flooding, although houses on higher ground included semi-subterranean houses with thatched roofs.
These ruins are an outstanding example of early urban civilization expressed in earthen monuments, urban planning, a water conservation system and a social hierarchy expressed in differentiated burials in cemeteries within the property. Most of these features are highly relevant even today.