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Archaeology > What is Archaeology? | Archaeological Work in Hong Kong | Middle Neolithic | Late Neolithic | Bronze Age | Recent Archaeological Discoveries | Hong Kong Archaeological Archive System | List of Sites of Archaeological Interest in Hong Kong

Bronze Age

Bronze Age (1500B.C. - 211 B.C.)

The Bronze Age in Hong Kong is equivalent to a period spaning from the middle of the Shang dynasty to the Qin dynasty. Bronze Age archaeological remains have been excavated at Sham Wan, Tai Wan, Yung Shue Wan and Lo So Shing on Lamma Island, Hai Dei Wan, Tung Wan, Man Kok Tsui and Sha Lo Wan on Lantau Island, Tung Wan Tsai on Ma Wan and Kwo Lo Wan on Chek Lap Kok.

These sites yielded only a small number of bronze artefacts, such as axes, spearheads, hooks, knives and so on. However, stone moulds for casting bronze tools prove that the indigenous people had already mastered bronze casting techniques. Furthermore, advancements in kiln-firing techniques led to the production of high-fired hard pottery ware. These were decorated with geometric patterns such as double-Fs, spirals and lozenges. The techniques in producing stone ornaments were also improved, as best illustrated by sets of highly polished quartz rings that have been unearthed in Hai Dei Wan on Lantau Island.

Historical documents state that around 3,000 years ago, South China was inhabited by the Bai Yue tribes. Accordingly, Bronze Age artefacts unearthed in Hong Kong were probably produced by the ancient Yue people. In South China, almost 1,000 Bronze Age burials have been unearthed. Pottery kiln sites for the production of geometric hard pottery have also been discovered in the Boluo county of Guangdong. Some of the hard geometric wares found in Hong Kong were probably the products of the kilns in Boluo and reveal the existence of trade and exchange networks in the Pearl River Delta area.

Large hard pottery urn with double-F pattern
Bronze Age
Excavated from Hai Dei Wan, Lantau Island
Height: 54cm Body diameter: 49cm

Stone mould for casting bronze axe
Bronze Age
Excavated from Sha Po Tsuen, Lamma Island
Length: 10.6cm Width: 7.3cm

Stone yazhang and stone ornaments
Bronze Age
Excavated from Tai Wan, Lamma Island
Length of yazhang : 21.7cm Width: 4.6cm

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