Yumin Site is located in Wulanchabu, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, spreading over the eastern part of the hillside fields among mountains. The site is about 80 meters long in north-south direction, about 60 meters wide in east-west direction, and in an area of about 5000 square meters.
From July to November in 2015, Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, Inner Mongolia, Wulanchabu Municipal Museum, Huade County Administration of Cultural Relics formed an archaeological team to conduct an excavation to this site, with an area of 700 square meters.
There were 9 house foundations, 1 ash ditch, and 1 tomb found inside the site.
The house foundations were in the shape of round and semi-subterranean, with a round hearth standing in the middle, without the traces of gateway and obvious posthole. The wall was made of yellow sandy clay, badly preserved, even some of the houses had only floor left, which was made of grey sandy clay (without process trace). The dwellings were distributed along to the slope, in different sizes, whose diameters was between 280 and 400 centimeters. F4 was a round semi-subterranean dwelling, 370 centimeters in diameter, 90 centimeters in depth remained, and the diameter of the standing hearth in the middle was 72 centimeters. The walls were very rough, and contained a posthole in every 60 centimeters.
The aerial photo of the excavation area at Yumin site
The ash ditch was at the southwest of the excavation area, in the direction of southeast and northwest. The width of the opening and bottom of the ditch was from 350 to 400 centimeters and from 150 to 200 centimeters respectively, and the depth was 240 centimeters.
The tomb was under the floor of F1, an earthen shaft pit tomb, flexed and squat burial, with completely preserved human bones, without burial furniture and grave goods.
The number of the cultural relics unearthed in Yumin Site was relatively less, in total of about 1500 pieces, most of them are stone tools, and some pottery and bone tools. Besides that, many fragments of animal bones were unearthed. The stone tools were made of grey and black mudstone (the major), sandstone (second major), flint, quartzite and etc. The shapes of the stone tools vary from semicircular shovel, flake choppers, spear-shaped tools, stone core, stone ball and etc. Few of the pottery could be restored, and most of which were small pottery shard, including sand inclusion yellow and brown, black and brown pottery, made in the way of using mud-piece pasting technique. The shapes of the pottery included round-bottom and barrel shaped jar, sharp and round-bottom Fu (caldron), flake object, flared-mouth jar, etc.
Thanks to the excavation, archaeologists preliminarily understood the culture period and connotation of the Yumin Site.
House remains F6
Yumin Site was located at the hilly region, at the altitude of 1465 meters. The residents were living in the highland area, and the opening of the house remains was under the gray and black soil, which was the layer of heilu soil, formed at the warmest period of the Holocene, also the period of high lake level. That indicated the people of primitive culture in Yumin Site were living in the early stage of the warmest period of the Holocene. According to the Environmental research on Daihai Sea, Huangqihai Sea, Khorchin Sand-land and Maowusu Sand-land area, the period of this site could be inferred to no later than 8000 years ago from now on. Results of C14 analyses confirm that the human bones found in the tomb were about 8400 years old, and the animal bones found in the cultural layer were about 7800 to 8200 years old.
The stone blades and Scrapers unearthed from the site
Cores unearthed from the site
The cylindrical pot unearthed from the site
This site was a small-scale village site, inside of which, the houses were round in shape, and distributed along to the slope. No ash pit was found, indicating less abundance of the means of livelihood. All the implements of production were chipped stone tools, showing the fabrication technique had improved to a mature phase. A number of rejected stone flakes were found in the site, demonstrating stone tools processing was one of the common producing activities. The daily-used pottery was in simple shapes and low density, reflecting the primitiveness of the pottery making. From the large number of animal bones and implements of production unearthed in the site, it could be confirmed that hunting and gathering was the major living mode in this site.
The cultural identity of the Neolithic Age of this site was not fully reflected, but was the earliest Neolithic culture found in the Mid-South area of Inner Mongolia, providing important materials for studying the cultural feature of the early period of the Neolithic Age in the north of China and grassland area. (Translator: Wang Jue)