Topic ID #30381 - posted 12/17/2013 3:04 PM

China- Yangguanzhai Field School




Dates: June 22 - July 26, 2014

Project Description: The prehistoric village of Yangguanzhai (YGZ) dates to the Middle to Late Yangshao period (4,000-3,000 BCE) and it is one of the largest of its kind.  The site is located in the Jing River Valley, approximately 25 kilometers north of the ancient city of Xi’an in northwest China.  YGZ has a moat, a row of cave dwellings, subterranean houses, child urn-burials, and extensive pottery kilns.  During the 2014 season, the project will continue working in the northeast corner of the site. We will attempt to complete the excavation of the Neolithic refuse pits found in these units. We will investigate the depositional processes that created the pits, and we will sieve the contents and extract botanical remains through flotation. Furthermore, we will conduct ceramic analysis to learn more about the exploitation of local clay sources and the pottery production at the site.  In addition, students will engage in experimental archaeology, making pottery knives as they were found in great number at the site. To gain a better understanding of the overall settlement system of the region, we will also conduct survey work at the nearby Neolithic sites of Manan and Huiduipo.


Academic Credits: Attending students will be awarded 8 semester credit units (equivalent to 12 quarter units) through Connecticut College.

Total Cost: $ 5,050

Accommodations: During the first week of the field school, students will live in a student dormitory at Xibei University in the city of Xi’an. While in the field, students will reside at the Wufulinmen Hotel near the site.

Meals: Food is provided Monday- Saturday (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Students are responsible for their own meals on Sundays. All meals will be communal events and will provide plenty of nutritious but basic food in the tradition of local cuisine. The daily diet in north China is heavily based on rice, noodles and vegetables. Specialized diets (vegan, kosher, etc.) are difficult to maintain in this location. Vegetarians may attend but will find options fairly limited.

Please let us know when you apply for this program if you have special dietary needs, as well as any medical or physical conditions. We will advise you accordingly. 

Travel Information: Students will be met by project staff at the Xi’an-Xianyang international airport (XIY) or at the Xi’an train station on June 22. They will then be transferred to the Cuiyuan Hotel, located on the campus of the Xibei University (city of X’ian).  This project will conclude on July 25 (Friday) afternoon.  Students should plan onward travel or return home for any time on July 26 (Saturday).  Please note that international travelers will have difficulties to order train tickets from abroad.

If you missed your connection or your flight is delayed, please call, text or email to the project director.  Local cell phone number and other emergency contact information will be provided to all enrolled students.

Visa Requirements: Non-Chinese participants are required to secure a visa to China prior to arrival.  For general instructions from the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles, click here.  All students apply for Tourist visa (L) for 60 days, unless you plan to stay in China longer.  Instructions on how to complete the application are provided in the course syllabus.  For more information on travel in China, please visit the US State Department Travel Advice page.

Health: For specific information regarding travel health issues pertinent to travel in China, consult with the Centers for Disease Control website.

Project Directors and Contact Information: Dr. Ye Wa, UCLA (; Dr. Zhouyong Sun, Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, China (; Prof. Lothar von Falkenhausen, UCLA (

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