Yelang culture

Last updated by chinatravel at 2014/5/3

The mysterious Yelang Kingdom was a local regime that flourished during the time of the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), the Warring States Period (475-221 BC) and Han Dynasty (206 BC-220). It is said that Yelang Regime governed the mid-western part of the present Guizhou, the northern part of present Guangxi, the eastern part of Yunnan Province and southern part of Sichuan Province. Kele is believed to have being a center of Yelang culture, and the relic excavated here is called the “Yinxu of Yelang Culture” [Yinxu, a relic of the capital of Shang Dynasty (16th century BC-11th century BC), was excavated in Anyang City, Hennan Province. The construction of the ancient city, the precious bronze ware and the inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells form the typical Yinxu Culture, which is believed to be a representative of the ancient Chinese civilization.

Kele Township is a place with enchanting sight of the Wumeng plateau (Wumeng Plateau is located in the eastern Yunnan and northwestern Guizhou provinces), rich resources in herb, ores, agriculture and forestry, gorgeous national conditions and customs, abundant treasure of history and culture. Kele is called a perfect place for archaeological researches in Guizhou.

Kele is surrounded by hills and mountains. There is a flatland in the middle. Masai River, the north upper branch of Wujiang River and Kele River converge here and flow eastwards. Around the flatland are gentle slopes and hilly ground (1,788-1,890 meters in elevation) that extend to distant mountains. On the ground, there are thousands of ancient tombs built from the Spring and Autumn Period to Han Dynasty (770BC-220AD). They are entrenched on the mountains, making up 14 groups according to the topography and distributing within the range of 3 sq. km. Generally speaking, the grave group excavated in Kele is the biggest one and has the longest history in Guizhou, even in southwestern China.

The implements buried in Yelang graves are bronze drums, erect ear copper kettles, drum copper kettles, copper buckle decorations, copper hoe and copper dagger-axe, swords, etc. The weapons have distinct and unique local cultural style, such as the bronze sword with cloud thunder line handle, iron sword with cirrus line copper handle, bronze sword with snake-head-shape handle, non-moustache copper dagger-axe, which is a typical characteristic of Yelang bronze culture. The copper kettle, copper buckle, gallipot, iron sword unearthed from Yelang graves are similar with those made by Han Nationality people. This must have been a result of the intercommunication between Han and Yelang cultures in late Western Han Dynasty (206BC-25AD).

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Take a bus at Bijie Bus Station to Hezhang and transfer the bus to Kele Township.

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