added by archaeologs A modern city in Honan (Henan) province, China, the site of a large Bronze Age city, probably a capital of the Shang dynasty (Ao) belonging to the Erligang Phase. There were also Neolithic settlements in the area. A rammed-earth hangtu foundation of palace buildings is within a walled compound, dated c1500 BC. House foundations have been uncovered within the walled enclosure. Outside the wall are workshops for bronze, ceramics, and bone crafts and tombs with bronze ritual vessels. The nearby site of Erligang gives its name to the bronze vessel style at Zengzhou. The settlement declined sharply in importance after the Erligang phase. The Shang, who continually moved their capital, left Ao, perhaps in the 13th century BC. The site, nevertheless, remained occupied; Chou (post-1050 BC) tombs have also been discovered.
added by archaeologs [Cheng-chou]. A modern city south of the Yellow River in Henan province, China. Zhengzhou is the site of a large Bronze Age city, probably a capital of the Shang dynasty. The major part of the occupation predates the Anyang period and belongs to the Erligang phase (named after a type site near Zhengzhou). A rammed-earth (hangtu) city wall belongs to the earlier of two levels at Erligang, for which a radiocarbon date of cl600 bc has been obtained. The wall is about 20 metres thick at the base and 7100 metres long (as compared with 1000 metres for a similar wall at Panlongcheng). House foundations have been uncovered within the walled enclosure. Outside the wall have been found tombs with bronze ritual vessels, traces of workshops including bronze foundries, and scattered minor sites, some occupied before or after the Erligang phase. The settlement declined sharply in importance after the Erligang phase, when Gaocheng and Anyang were greater centres.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983