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By Wang Fangzi and Nebojsa Tomasevic

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Gansu, one should not 30 *m~-*x was the starting and finishing point of what was to become the Silk Route and the contacts with western Asia certainly pre-date the opening up of this route. Chinese forget, scholars, to whom ture, very rarely a sinocentric outlook mention the striking is often second na- similarities between the decorative motifs of pottery found in Lanzhou, Jiuquan and Gansu and those of in other sites in made tionally the pottery tradi- in sites near the Caspian Sea. Likewise, cannot help but note the similarities one between the motifs and forms of the Neolithic pottery unearthed in the north- ern zones of Inner Mongolia and Manchuria and those of the Siberian cultures.

The Zhou tribe, originally from the loess plateaux between the Jingshui and Weishui rivers, was forced to move into Sha'anxi under the pressure of northern tribes of the Rong and fertile Once Zhouyuan, a highly area well suited to agriculture between the modern districts the Di. established in of Qishan and Fufeng, they began to expand Feng and then at Hao on the river Fengshui. In about 1027 bc King Wu led a punitive expedition against the -Shang kingdom to the east and, after the decisive battle of Muye, which marked the subsequently establishing their capital The archaeological discoveries of recent years have shown the historical east, at reality of the Shang dynasty, who were regard- ed as legendary only a few decades ago.

The discovery of oracle bones and the foundations of a temple of the ancestors in the area around the modern vil- Fengchu has confirmed the site of the capital of the first Western Zhou dynasty, Qiyi. In the vicinity of the village of Yuntang, Fufeng district, workshops for the carving of bone, the casting of copper and pottery, as well as the lage of remains of the dwellings of the common people have been found. Densely scattered tombs and pits for chariots are also found Qiyi lost in the village Hejia, in the district of Qishan.

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