Heishuigo: A Transit Hub on the Prehistoric Silk Road

Visiting Research Scholar Lecture

Liangren Zhang (ISAW)

The Heishuiguo site is a Chalcolithic and Bronze Age settlement located near Zhangye, which was an important military outpost and commercial town in the middle of the Hexi Corridor, a crucial section of the Silk Road that has been channeling goods, religions, and technologies between East Asia and the Mediterranean World since the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD). The four-season excavations at Heishuiguo up to 2013 have produced a great quantity of painted pottery, adobe architecture, metalworking remains, crop seeds, and animal bones. Dated to 2100-1600BC, the site thus provides ample evidence to manifest the vibrant transmission of adobe architecture construction technology, domesticated wheat, barley, and sheep and cow from Central Asia, copper metallurgy from the Eurasian steppe, painted pottery technology and domesticated millet from the Yellow River valley, and cowry shell from the south. As a venue of human and
cultural traffic, the Silk Road began to function already in the prehistoric period.

This lecture is sponsored by The Achelis Foundation.

There will be a reception folowing the event.

This is a public event.

To RSVP, please email isaw@nyu.edu.