In China's Henan province, there are about 100 known sites from the ancient Peiligang culture from about 7000 to 5000 BCE. Their arrangement suggests political decentralization, and Peiligang culture was "in general, an egalitarian society" according to archaeologist Li Liu. People of the Peiligang culture farmed millet and rice and domesticated pigs, dogs, and possibly chicken.
At the Jiahu and Shuiquan sites, the differences in grave goods were not large enough to indicate long-term economic privilege. The more prestigious graves were not spatially separated from other graves, and there is no clear pattern of men getting more grave goods than women or vice versa. Most grave goods were not gender-specific, in contrast to burials in the stratified Dawenkou and Longshan cultures where most grave goods were gender-specific.
Houses were grouped into clusters, probably based on kinship. Since burials occurred right next to houses, it is likely that ancestors played an important role in everyday life.
- Li Liu, The Chinese Neolithic: Trajectories to Early States (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 163.
- Liu, The Chinese Neolithic, 25.
- Liu, The Chinese Neolithic, 128-9.
- Liu, The Chinese Neolithic, 36.
- Liu, The Chinese Neolithic, 75.