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The Visitor Center in Peinan site (showing the specially designed tempered glass suspension bridge)
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::: Home > Peinan Cultural Park > The Peinan Site > Settlements of the Prehistoric Times

As proven by Carbon-14 Dating, the time of the Peinan Site was approximately 5,300 to 2,300 years ago. The culture is believed to have reached its prime time about 3,500~2,300 year ago. The residential houses of the Peinan Tribes were positioned axially to the south-north direction, and faced Tulan Mt. Every residential house faced east, looking straight at the rivers and the ocean. The main body of the residential house was shaped like a flat rectangle, 11.5m in length on the east and west sides, and 5.5m on the north and south sides. The footing of walls was made of slate, large floating stones, and wood. The roof was made of bamboo sticks and hays. In front of the house was a square yard tiled with slates. In the back, there was an oval shaped stone circle, where foods and large pottery jugs were stored. There were also silos scattered over the residential area, with rat-expelling boards installed on the mainstays. People of the Peinan Culture mainly relied on hunting and farming for subsistence. They hunted wild boars in the forests, and caught spotted dears in hills and on the plains. Their main crops were rice and millets, and they cultivated fields by "burning the hill fields". There were a large number of farming tools excavated, mostly stone hoes, stone axes, stone knives for harvesting, stone sickles and stone pestles for pounding rice. The hunting tools were mainly stone spears and stone arrowheads. Although the residential area was located near the bank of Peinan River, the townsmen were not skilled at fishing. Fish was only a supplementary source of food.

The long-term settlement motivated the tribesmen to develop craft skills. Apart from stone-made farming tools and hunting tools, pottery was the most commonly used tool in their everyday life, for containing water, storing things and cooking. The potteries were often handmade, occasionally used turntables and burned with low heat. The exterior of the pottery products was often of plain orange color, seldom decorated with pattern designs. The main types of tools were containers such as jugs, bowls and jars, as well as pottery spinning wheels, hammers and spoons. The refined jade objects were the best expression of the aesthetic sense and craft skills of the tribesmen. The crafts included headdresses, earrings, necklaces, brooches, bracelets, armbands, and weapons or instruments of no practical use made with jade or jade-like materials. The styles and forms were of a wide variety. In terms of styles, loop-shaped earrings were of the greatest variation. Amongst the styles, the man-animal loop style was regarded the most representative one and chosen to be the logo of the NMP. In terms of the craft skills, the exquisiteness and the hollow penetration skills of the little jade bells are most breathtaking. These jade objects were the everyday ornaments of the tribesmen, and used as funerary goods for the owners.

The tribesmen gave significant thoughts to one's death. The main burial instrument was a rectangular slate coffin. The slate coffins were positioned to face the north-south direction, Tulan Mt., similar to the residential houses. The corpses were buried in lying position with their toes pointed to Tulan Mt., as if it was the destination of the soul. Although one corpse per coffin was the norm, there were cases when more than one body was buried in the same coffin. Artifacts were buried with mostly adults, but also a few infants. The artifacts included jade and stone ornaments, weapons, tools, pottery spinning wheels and containers. The coffins of those in higher social status tended to be bigger, sometimes even with stone ramparts functioned as the exterior layer of the coffins, and the artifacts buried with the deceased were more refined and larger in quantity. Family members who passed away were often buried inside or nearby the house, to accompany those who were still alive. The close attachment between the residential houses on the earth surface and the burials underneath is one of the major characteristics of the Peinan Site.



 
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