Zhengzhou is the capital city of
Henan Province, and an important
railway hub on the
rail lines. It is home to the national grain wholesale market and a
new high-tech science park. Along with its modern economic position,
Zhengzhou played a key role in China’s early civilization as the
site of an early Shang dynasty walled city some 3,500 years ago.
Here and at nearby
Anyang China’s early bronze
industry developed for military and ritual use, and remains of the
ancient Shang city foundations and wall are still visible on the
outskirts of town.
Situated south of the Yellow River and east of the Songshan River,
Zhengzhou was one of China’s earliest cities, thought to have been
the second capital of the Shang dynasty some 3,500 years ago.
Archaeological sites around Zhengzhou have yielded abundant
Neolithic pottery and technologically early forms of the bronze
ritual vessels and weaponry that were defining elements of Shang
Zhengzhou’s status as a transport and economic center has roots as
far back as the Sui and Tang periods (late 6th to early 10th
century), when canals connected Zhengzhou’s grain markets to the
Yellow River. Zhengzhou’s importance declined along with nearby
Luoyang after the Song established
their capital at
Kaifeng to the east. Zhengzhou
emerged as a transportation hub again in the 20th century with the
building of railroad lines. It played an important role in the
railroad “Strike of February 7” in 1923, and has become one of
Asia’s most important freight transfer hubs.