Yuanshan Shell Mound
Leftover Dump of Prehistoric People in Taiwan
The Yuanshan Culture of Taipei is a regional culture emerged in the northern side of Taipei Basin following Tapenkeng Culture. The main archaeological site is distributed over both banks of Tamshui River and lower-stream terrace of Hsindian River, and possibly into the coastal plains near Keelung harbor alongside the Keelung river valley.
The Yuanshan Culture dates back to around 4500 years ago and has disappeared or transformed 2000 years ago. It belonged to the middle to late Neolithic Age and had lasted more than 2000 years, yet its culture had changed minimally. The shell mound is a dumping site for the prehistoric people living by the coast or the river bank after eating the shellfish. It is a very important prehistoric site because the residents had also discarded animal bones, fragments of food wares and other stuffs along with shells. Since the location of the shell mound was adjacent to the habitation, the understanding of both the wares, earthen or stone, and the living styles at that time could be attained through further investigation.