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Title: Xiadu  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Historical urban community sizes, Yan (state), Buildings and structures in Hebei, Knife money, Yi County, Hebei
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Xiadu (Chinese: 下都; pinyin: Xiàdū) was the lower capital of Yan during the Warring States period. Xiadu may have been the largest city in the world from 400 B.C. to 300 B.C., with a purported peak population over 300,000.[1]

The remains of the city are located in Yixian County, Baoding City, Hebei, China. At 30 km², Xiadu is the largest excavated city from the Warring States Period. Xiadu was surrounded by a moat and rammed earth wall; the base of the city walls measured 40 m at its widest. A portion of the old city wall, measuring up to 6.8 m high, still remains today. The ruins were first excavated in 1929 by an archaeological expedition from Beijing University.

The city was built in the Taihang Mountains, flanked by the Beiyi River to its north and by the Zhongyi River to its south. The difficult topography made it easy to defend from attack. The city was square, with a wall and canal running north-south through its center, dividing the city into eastern and western halves. Large workshops for casting iron, casting bronze, minting coins, making weapons, making pottery and making bone objects were all found in the eastern city. The palace and royal cemeteries were also located in the eastern city. Two cemeteries were discovered; 13 and 10 tombs were found in each. All the tombs were covered by a tumulus. A museum about the objects found was in Beijing.[2]


  1. ^ George Modelski, World Cities: –3000 to 2000, Washington DC: FAROS 2000, 2003. ISBN 0-9676230-1-4.
  2. ^ 西周燕都遗址博物馆
  • Allan, Sarah (ed), The Formation of Chinese Civilization: An Archaeological Perspective, ISBN 0-300-09382-9
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