A Potential Archeological Site of Shiwufen

描述: 疑似十五份遺址

Jingmei Sports Park, located at the end of Jingfeng Street, is where Yee Fong Chemical Corporation was previously based. After the firm relocated, part of its former site was expropriated to build the park. On the left of a hill, what appears to be the archeological site of Shiwufen from the Yuanshan Culture of the late Neolithic age or the Botanical Garden Culture of the early Neolithic age (dating back to 2000–2500 years ago) has been discovered. Stone implements excavated in this site include six Patu-shaped stone axes and 19 net sinkers. These artifacts were unearthed on Arbor Day of 1986, when local residents were planting trees behind a house. For various reasons and through his personal connections, Cheng Ching-lung, a long-time student of Wenshan Community College, was given a stone implement by his friend, and he sent a photo of the artifact in October 2006 to Prof. Liu Yi-Chang of the Institute of History and Philology of Academia Sinica. After examining the photo, Prof. Liu inferred that the artifact is part of the archeological site of Shiwufen from the Botanical Garden Culture of the early Neolithic age more than 2000 years ago. Later on, the college applied to the Department of Cultural Affairs of Taipei City Government to have the digs recognized. On September 7, 2007, a group of archeologists and government officials commissioned by the department inspected the site, but could not date it exactly because the precise location where it was excavated could not be ascertained and no potsherd evidence was available. As a result, it was recognized as a “potential archeological site of Shiwufen” and has yet been registered as a heritage site or assigned any grade for this.

The archeological site of Shiwufen was first discovered in 1928 (the 3rd year of the Showa era), when earth was excavated from Shiwufen Village to fill the land of the newly established Taihoku Imperial University (nowadays National Taiwan University). The stone implements dug out from the site were then studied by Prof. Nenozo Utsurikawa, an ethnologist, who concluded that they were the Patu-shaped stone tools used by the Maori in New Zealand. These artifacts were the first find of Patu-shaped stone tools in Taiwan. Prof. Utsurikawa would present a research paper in 1934 to discuss the artifacts, thereby ushering in the cultural exchange between Austronesian-speaking peoples in the pan-Pacific region. After Japanese left Taiwan at the end of World War II, the exact location of the archeological site was nowhere to be found. However, through many years of hard work from the public in general, the local cultural authorities erected a “monument for artifacts from the potential archeological site of Shiwufen” in May 2015. Near the monument you can see an inscription carved out of ceramics and a 162 cm-tall Patu replica fired from clay. Jingmei Sports Park is also expected to be renamed “Shiwufen Archeological Site Park,” so that many more can get to know this piece of heritage.

※ 感謝鄭之瑜(Kat Chamberlain)老師協助本文翻譯校閱。
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何文賢 / He Wen-hsien

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