The Banpo Museum is located in the eastern outskirt of Xian City, Shaanxi Province. As the first museum at the prehistoric site, it was built on the ruins of Banpo Village in 1957.
The Banpo Site is a typical Neolithic matriarchal community of the Yangshao Culture dating back about 6,000 years. At that time, the Banpo people used tools made primarily of wood and stone. Women, the crucial labor force, were responsible for making pottery, spinning, and raising the family, while men fished. The site of the Banpo ruins covers an area of about 50,000 square meters. About 10,000 square meters have been excavated.
In the Banpo Museum there are the foundations of 45 houses, 2 livestock’s pens, 6 pottery kilns, more than 200 storing cellars, 174 tombs of adults, 73 tombs of children buried in pottery jars and nearly 10,000 daily use objects and production tools. The design on the painted pottery pot, with the combination of a human face and fish patterns, is a typical drawing on painted pottery objects unearthed at Banpo. A vase with a tapered base is one of the pottery objects with the most outstanding features of the pottery objects unearthed at Banpo.
The exhibition area of 4,500 square meters in the Banpo Museum is divided into three sections: the Exhibition Hall of Archaeological Finds, the Hall of the Ruins and the Supplementary Hall.
The Exhibition Hall of Archaeological Finds with Exhibition Rooms No. 1 and No. 2 mainly displays primitive production tools and tools for daily use including axes, chisels, sickles, and stone and pottery knives, from which we can have a general picture of the production activities of the Banpo people thousands of years ago. In addition, artwork and adornments here reflect the social life, culture, art and inventions of the period.
The Hall of the Ruins occupies an area of about 3,000 square meters (about 0.7 acre). Built to shelter the original site of Banpo Village, it houses cave dwellings, a pottery kiln and some tombs. All these present us an outlook of the aboriginal village and the hard situations of the forefathers in pursuing the civilization, reflecting the production level and the social systems at that period of time.
The Supplementary Exhibition Hall with Exhibition Rooms No. 3 and No. 4 is used to hold exhibitions related to ethnology, folklore, and history of arts related to the prehistoric culture.
The Open-air Banpo Matriarchal Clan Community Village is an extension of the museum based on archeological findings. With an area of 33,000 square meters, the restored primitive village has thatched huts and a pottery kiln in imitation of those from the time when ancients were living in Banpo. Local performers in Banpo Village dress themselves up to reenact the life of their ancestors, play xun (egg-shapped ancient wind instrument made of clay with one to six holes), dance primitive dances, imitate fighting among primitive clans and hold a sacrificial ceremony with 100 participants.
ADD: No. 155 Banpo Road, Xi’an.
Dec.1 – the end of Feb.: 08:00 – 17:30 (tickets avaialbe before 17:00)
Mar. 1- Nov. 30: 08:00 – 18:00 (tickets available before 17:30)
Transport: You can take public bus No. 11, 42 or 231, and get off at the stop of Banpo.