The Yubeidi Site is located at the south Yingpan Village, Tongdu Sub-district, Dongchuan District of Kunming city, with a total area of about 18,000 square meters. From March to May in 2013, Yunnan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, Kunming Museum, Dongchuan District Heritage Administration conducted a joint initiative excavation to the site, and uncovered an area of nearly 300 square meters. The disclosed remains include house foundations, ash pits, post holes, activities hard-surface, urn burial, etc.; also unearthed pottery, bronzes, stoneware as well as animal bones, mineral slag, carbonized rice, and other important relics. The site could be initially determined as the settlement (including bronze smelting remains) of the Warring States Period and before.
In total, they cleared up 15 house foundations, 49 ash pits and 6 urn burials. House foundations are rounded semi-subterranean or shallow subterranean buildings, which are about 0.1 to 1 meter deep. There distributed post holes around the subterranean building, with a deeper central hole in the central part. The remains next to the postholes seemed to have burned trace, and presumably to be used as the fireplace. The houses are generally 4 meters in diameter, and the larger ones are 5 meters. They all have flat floors and hard surfaces. Grooves and small pits were found at the edges of the living surfaces of some houses, and the grooves are all located in the eastern side of the houses, speculating it could have been used for gathering or draining rainwater. The soil surrounding the subterranean parts is harder, and some might have been used as wall base, speculating that it could be wooden frame earthen walls. Seldom cultural relics were found in the house deposits, so the function of the houses, whether as residences or workshops, needs further study. In addition, they also found a greater number of postholes in the square unit, but most of them have no arrangement rules to follow. The bottom of some postholes was padded with gravels, pottery fragments, slates, and red burned earth, etc. The fillings inside the postholes mostly are fine sand, which is looser; however, the bottoms and side walls are relatively hard, which are obviously rammed.
house foundation F4
There are 49 ash pits, most of them are round, and a small number of them are irregularly shaped and rectangular. Some of the pits are shaped well, with carbonized rice and other relics found in the filling. Several pits wall were plastered with red clay, speculating it might have been used as cellars.
ash pit H31
There are 6 urn-burials, and some of them are well preserved. Archaeologists cleared out skeletons from many urns, also they found agate, turquoise and other ornaments in W6. Through the position of the cultural layers, these urn burials were used as a cemetery after the settlements was abandoned.
slag unearthed from ash pit H33
There are a large number of unearthed objects, including pottery, bronzes, stoneware and bone objects. The vast majority of pottery is gray sandy pottery, which are fired at high temperature. Most of them are plain, and some surfaces were polished, with few patterns, such as, incised, poked stamping, nipple protrusion pattern, etc. At the bottom, the vein pattern was mostly used. Those identified vessel shapes are pots, bowls, stem bowls (dou), etc. Pots are divided into three categories, binaural pots, wide flared mouth pots, and vertical belly pots. Bowls are short ringed-foot, and stem bowls (dou) have short stem; in addition to a variety of pottery spinning wheels. Bronzes include arrowheads, needles, hooks, awls, cuts and other small pieces; stoneware include knives with arc-back (two or multi perforated-holes), arrowheads, residual jade bracelets, etc.; bone objects include needles, awls, arrowheads and etc.
carbonized rice and plant seeds unearthed from ash pit H33
Meanwhile, archaeologists excavated a large number of copper ore, slag and copper blocks in the cultural strata, ash pits and other remains. In ash pits and hard surfaces of the house they also found a slag deposit layer, and a large amount of ash was accumulated in the cultural layer and other remains, speculating that this place could be a bronze smelting site. Due to the limited excavation area, the archaeologists haven’t found any remains relating to smelting furnace yet.
parts of the vessel unearthed from Yubeidi site
Through the sieve and filter to the deposit soil sample from the cultural layer and other remains in the square unit, the archaeologists found out a large number of animal bones, carbonized rice and plant seeds, which needs further analysis and identification. These materials will be used for providing material information to restore the flora and fauna environment and subsistence economy at that time. (Translator: Wang Jue)