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Ancient City of Lu State at Qufu

 

The Ancient City of Lu State is located in Qufu City and its surrounding areas in Shandong Province.

As the capital of the Lu State of the Zhou Dynasty (11thcentury - 256BC), the city served as a capital for the longest period among capitals of various states. During early Western Zhou, King Wu enfeoffed the Lu State to Duke Zhou, known as Duke Lu. The son of Duke Zhou set up a capital there during King Cheng's reign. The city remained the capital till the end of the Lu State, lasting 34 generations for 873 years.

The city remained the enfeoffment of the Lu State during the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) for over 300 years. The ancient city underwent 8 large-scale renovations through the Western Zhou to the Han, and later became the seat of a county government. After the seat of the government was moved to Shouqiu in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the city was destroyed and abandoned. A Japanese team surveyed the site and carried out a small-scale excavation in 1940. Shandong provincial museum conducted comprehensive excavations at the site during 1977-1978, and revealed the arrangement of the city.

With a perimeter of 11.9 kilometers, the ancient city wall was 3.7 kilometers long from east to west, and 2.7 kilometers wide from south to north. Surrounded by a moat, the city had 3 gates open on the east, west and north walls each, and 2 gates open in the south wall. The gate was 7-15 meters wide. The present Qufu City is located in the southwest corner of the Ancient City of Lu State, occupying about 1/7 of the total area of the ancient city.

Built in the southwest corner of the ancient city, the inner city occupied 1/4 of the total area of the big city. In the center of the inner city was a highland where stood the palace and the royal ancestral temple. The Duke Zhou Temple, built in the Song Dynasty, still exists today. Official bureaus, markets and residences scattered around the highland.

Densely arranged workshops for smelting copper and iron and making bone and pottery wares were built in the north and west of the city. A burial ground was also discovered in the west part of the city. Over 100 tombs of the Zhou Dynasty were unearthed, together with wares made of bronze, pottery, bone, and mussel. These burial objects, with the common features of the Shang and Zhou cultures, proved that the Lu culture integrated with the two cultures.

Rich cultural relics were unearthed in the city site. Over 36 sites have been recognized as key protection areas that provide valuable data for the historical study of the Zhou Dynasty.

 
 
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