Archaeological research shows thatabout 5300 years ago, there was a highly developed Liangzhu culture in eastern China. She built a city very developed by the standards of the last stages of the Stone Age, which had no equal in the whole world. It was located on the Yangtze River Delta and, judging by the surviving ruins, was equipped with a large number of dams, reservoirs and other types of hydraulic engineering. Because of all this, scientists even nicknamed the found city neolithic "Venice of the East"... However, the existence of a technologically advancedcivilization lasted only one millennium - about 4300 years ago there was a collapse that forced people to leave the city. Recently, scientists have finally been able to uncover the secret of the disappearance of the Liangzhu culture.
"Venice of the East" Is a term for water-borneChinese cities. These are important sights of China, which are rich in ancient buildings, bridges and picturesque canals. If the city of Liangzhu had not disappeared, it would definitely have entered this list. Neolithic revolution - this is the transition of mankind from hunting and gathering to agriculture and animal husbandry.
The reason for the disappearance of the Liangzhu civilization
According to the scientific publication Science Alert, previouslyscientists have already assumed that the collapse of civilization occurred due to a catastrophic flood. This is one of the most plausible assumptions, because the city located in the river delta constantly interacted with water. According to Austrian geologist Christoph Spotl, the most obvious hint of flooding is the presence of a thin layer of clay on the ruins.
However, it was impossible to draw unambiguous conclusions about the cause of the death of civilization, based on the presence of a layer of dirt on the ruins, - the scientist justly noted.
Severe flooding in ancient China
As part of a new scientific work, Christoph Spetl andhis colleagues decided to investigate mineral formations in local underwater caves. The fact is that by studying the chemical composition of stalagmites and other structures, you can learn a lot about ancient climatic conditions.
It turned out that during the period of the disappearance of civilizationLiangzhu 5,300 years ago, there were frequent torrential rains at the site of the city for decades. Most likely, this was due to El Niño, a natural phenomenon that consists in fluctuations in the surface temperature of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, combined with changes in atmospheric circulation above it. This phenomenon has a great impact on climatic conditions in many parts of our planet.
Heavy monsoon rains likely led tosuch a strong flooding of the Yangtze and its branches that even complex dams and canals could no longer withstand these masses of water, destroying the city of Liangzhu and forcing people to flee, the scientists concluded.
According to scientists, hydraulic engineering in the city wasbuilt about 4-5 thousand years ago. The dams could not cope with the flooding because at the same time the locals could meet with a dry period. Because of this, they could well have stopped improving structures and over time they lost their reliability. And then suddenly there was a flood, for which the representatives of the Liangzhu people were simply not ready. The rains and floods not only destroyed homes, but also led to famine, destroying rice crops.
See also: A new, previously unknown part was found near the Wall of China
The Yangtze River Danger
Chances are the Yangtze River territory in itselfis not the best place to build cities. The settlements based on these lands could hardly hope for a long existence. It is possible that before the Liangzhu civilization, other peoples lived on this territory, but they also sunk into oblivion due to floods. After the devastating flood, some peoples could also live in this territory, but they clearly did not last long. And in 2070 BC, the Xi dynasty arose, which is considered the first of its kind. The Great Yu is considered the founder of this dynasty - it existed for three and a half centuries and replaced seven rulers.
Video about the ruins of the Liangzhu civilization
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The history of China is full of mysteries.I recently talked about how, in the 1990s, scientists found an ancient cemetery with mummies in the Tarim Basin. According to archaeologists, the buried people had long noses and dark hair, and were also dressed in luxurious clothes. Some researchers believe that these were immigrants from Russia, but recently a new theory has emerged.