The rock paintings in Cangyuan, Yunnan



Cangyuan rock paintings found in Cangyuan County, Yunnan province, China are cultural relics of more than 3,000 years ago in the late Neolithic Age. 


These paintings were first discovered in January 1965 by professor Wang Ningsheng of the Institute of History, Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences. They distribute in 15 sites of Cangyuan county, covering an area of about 500 square meters, with subtropical monsoon climate and being between 1000 meters to 2000 meters above sea level. The top of the pictures is about 1 to 8 meters from the ground. Most of them were painted on the smooth surfaces of the vertical cliffs in red color. Spectrum analysis suggests that the red pigment was made from hematite or similar ores and ethnographic data indicates that the binder for mixing the pigment was probably ox blood. The paintings include the images of animals, architectures, trees, boats, heavenly bodies like the sun or the moon, mountains and many abstract symbols etc. The total number of recognizable images is about 1,100, of which the figure accounts for 74% and the other 26%. 



Nowadays the paintings have already been designated as the key historical relic protection unit at the national level and a patriotism education base. 

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(Editors: Alison, Rachel)

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