Liao river

The Liao Civilization or Liao River Civilization (Chinese: 遼河文明), named after the Liao River, is an umbrella term for several ancient civilizations that originated in the Liao basin. It is thought to have first formed in 6,200 BC. This civilization was discovered when Ryuzo Torii, a Japanese archaeologist, discovered the Hongshan culture in 1908.


Large-scale pit-type houses, graves and temples with altars were excavated. It is thought that the Liao civilization may have been "a country" of the prehistoric age.[1]

A model of the feng shui were excavated from remains of the Hongshan culture.[2][clarification needed] Ball products such as the jade which made the precursors of Chinese dragon were discovered in remains of Xinglongwa culture.[clarification needed] In addition, the oldest pit-comb ware and Liaoning bronze dagger (biwa form bronze sword) were excavated.

Since it was contemporaneous with the Yellow River civilization and Yangtze civilization, it is thought to have been a part of ancient Chinese culture.


This region was thought to have been desert for the past 1 million years. However, a 2015 study found that the region once featured rich aquatic resources and deep lakes and forests that existed from 12,000 years ago to 4,000 years ago. It was changed into desert by climate change which began approximately 4,200 years ago.[3] Therefore, people of the Hongshan culture may have emigrated to the Yellow River in the south approximately 4,000 years ago and later influenced Chinese culture.[4]


The most ancient populations of the West Liao River valley exhibited a high frequency of Haplogroup N-M231. A study by Yinqiu Cui et al. from 2013 found that 63% of the combined samples from various Hongshan archeological sites belonged to the subclade N1 (xN1a, N1c) of the paternal haplogroup N-M231 and calculated N to have been the predominant haplogroup in the region in the Neolithic period at 89%, its share gradually declining over time. Today, this haplogroup is most common in Finland, the Baltic states, and among northern Siberian ethnicities, such as the Yakuts. Individuals at the Liao civilization were assigned into five different Y sub-haplogroups using diagnostic single nucleotide polymorphisms, namely N1 (xN1a, N1c), N1c, C/C3e, O3a (O3a3) and O3a3c. Ancient samples of the Jinggouzi site situated to the northwest of the Liao civilization were assigned to Haplogroup C-M217. Northern nomads from Jinggouzi might have entered the West Liao River valley, but these Jinggouzi people (closely related to Xianbei and Oroqen)[5] were culturally and genetically distinct from the original people of the West Liao River valley, who carried the characteristic Haplogroup N-M231 lineage. The Haplogroup O-M122 that was observed among Liao individuals is believed to have spread to the Liao civilization from the Yellow River civilization in the southwest. This lineage is most commonly associated with speakers of Sino-Tibetan languages (such as the Han Chinese).[6] However, its frequency only began to rise in the Bronze Age, and the ancient Liao River population was different from the Yellow River population. This means the Liao civilization was occupied by a diverse sequence of human cultures that were originally distinct from both the farming populations of the Yellow River and the nomads of the Eurasian steppe.[7]

The formation and development of the Lower Xiajiadian culture population was likely a complex process affected by admixture of ethnically different people. The Lower Xiajiadian culture of the West Liao River included people carrying haplogroups from northern Asia, but there was genetic evidence of the migration of millet farming people from the Central Plains (Zhongyuan). The climate of the West Liao River valley was warmer at the beginning of the Early Bronze Age, which may be one of the driving forces for the northward migration of the Central Plains farming population. An archaeological study showed that the painted potteries of the Lower Xiajiadian were influenced by the Erlitou culture. The people of the Dadianzi site of Inner Mongolia received the haplogroup O3 from the immigrants of the Central Plains, and a Lower Xiajiadian individual was identified to possess both the maternal lineage of D4 and paternal lineage of O3-M122. Due to a cooling climate, part of the Lower Xiajiadian culture population migrated to the south and influenced the Central Plains. Among the Yin Ruins relics of Shang Dynasty, artefacts with northern cultural influences have been identified.[8]

The Upper Xiajiadian culture and Bronze Age West Liao River farmers (WLR_BA) can be modeled as deriving their ancestry from both Amur hunter-gatherers and Yellow River farmers. This particular ancestral lineage has been associated with Proto-Korean-speakers, and the Upper Xiajiadian culture.[9][10] They displayed primarily subclades of the paternal haplogroups O and C, with a smaller minority of N.[7]

List of cultures

Various Neolithic cultures have been identified in the Xiliao River region. Broomcorn millet and foxtail millet were the main cereal crops, while pigs and dogs were the main domesticated animals found at Neolithic archaeological sites.[11]

Bronze Age cultures of the Xiliao River region are:[11]

See also


  1. ^ University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Regional Lifeways and Cultural Remains in the Northern Corridor: Chifeng International Collaborative Archaeological Research Project. Cited references: Drennan 1995; and Earle 1987, 1997.
  2. ^ [1] Sarah M. Nelson, Rachel A. Matson, Rachel M. Roberts, Chris Rock and Robert E. Stencel: Archaeoastronomical Evidence for Wuism at the Hongshan Site of Niuheliang, 2006.
  3. ^ Yang, Xiaoping; Scuderi, Louis A.; Wang, Xulong; Scuderi, Louis J.; Zhang, Deguo; Li, Hongwei; Forman, Steven; Xu, Qinghai; Wang, Ruichang (20 January 2015). "Groundwater sapping as the cause of irreversible desertification of Hunshandake Sandy Lands, Inner Mongolia, northern China". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112 (3): 702–706. Bibcode:2015PNAS..112..702Y. doi:10.1073/pnas.1418090112. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 4311860. PMID 25561539.
  4. ^ New Thoughts on the Impact of Climate Change in Neolithic China Archaeology誌解説記事
  5. ^ Wang, Haijing; Chen, Lu; Ge, Binwen; Zhang, Ye; Zhu, Hong; Zhou, Hui (2012). "Genetic data suggests that the Jinggouzi people are associated with the Donghu, an ancient nomadic group of North China". Human Biology. 84 (4): 365–378. doi:10.3378/027.084.0402. ISSN 1534-6617. PMID 23249313. S2CID 207907242.
  6. ^ Wang, Chuan-Chao; Yan, Shi; Qin, Zhen-Dong; Lu, Yan; Ding, Qi-Liang; Wei, Lan-Hai; Li, Shi-Lin; Yang, Ya-Jun; Jin, Li; Li, Hui (2013). "Late Neolithic expansion of ancient Chinese revealed by Y chromosome haplogroup O3a1c-002611". Journal of Systematics and Evolution. 51 (3): 280–286. doi:10.1111/j.1759-6831.2012.00244.x. ISSN 1759-6831. S2CID 55081530.
  7. ^ a b Cui, Yinqiu; Li, Hongjie; Ning, Chao; Zhang, Ye; Chen, Lu; Zhao, Xin; Hagelberg, Erika; Zhou, Hui (30 September 2013). "Y Chromosome analysis of prehistoric human populations in the West Liao River Valley, Northeast China". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 13 (1): 216. Bibcode:2013BMCEE..13..216C. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-13-216. ISSN 1471-2148. PMC 3850526. PMID 24079706.
  8. ^ Li, Hongjie; Zhao, Xin; Zhao, Yongbin; Li, Chunxiang; Si, Dayong; Zhou, Hui; Cui, Yinqiu (2011). "Genetic characteristics and migration history of a bronze culture population in the West Liao-River valley revealed by ancient DNA". Journal of Human Genetics. 56 (12): 815–822. doi:10.1038/jhg.2011.102. ISSN 1435-232X. PMID 21938002. S2CID 121894.
  9. ^ Wang, Rui; Wang, Chuan-Chao (August 2022). "Human genetics: The dual origin of Three Kingdoms period Koreans". Current Biology. 32 (15): R844–R847. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2022.06.044. ISSN 0960-9822. PMID 35944486.
  10. ^ Ning, Chao; Li, Tianjiao; Wang, Ke; Zhang, Fan; Li, Tao; Wu, Xiyan; Gao, Shizhu; Zhang, Quanchao; Zhang, Hai; Hudson, Mark J.; Dong, Guanghui; Wu, Sihao; Fang, Yanming; Liu, Chen; Feng, Chunyan (1 June 2020). "Ancient genomes from northern China suggest links between subsistence changes and human migration". Nature Communications. 11 (1): 2700. Bibcode:2020NatCo..11.2700N. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-16557-2. ISSN 2041-1723. PMC 7264253. PMID 32483115.
  11. ^ a b Ning, Chao; Li, Tianjiao; Wang, Ke; Zhang, Fan; Li, Tao (1 June 2020). "Ancient genomes from northern China suggest links between subsistence changes and human migration". Nature Communications. Springer Science and Business Media LLC. 11 (1): 2700. Bibcode:2020NatCo..11.2700N. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-16557-2. ISSN 2041-1723. PMC 7264253. PMID 32483115.