The Archaeoastronomical Study of the East Gate of the Outer Wall of Shimao site
【Abstract】 The Shimao walled town that was constructed 4,300 years ago was a milestone in the development and origin of Chinese civilization. The east gate was the most important feature that has been systematically excavated during the first stage of the project. The layout and orientation of the gateway, patterns of sacrificial pits that were associated with the construction process, the using of human sacrifice victims, and sacrificial rituals collectively illustrate the characteristics and mysterious nature that has not been known before. This study attempts to combine archaeological, archaeoastronomical,palaeographic, and textual analytical approaches to shed new light on the function and design of the east gate. Through random measuring, statistical analysis, and scientific calculation and measurements, the authors explore the deep and significant cultural meaning of the east gate, as well as the cosmological concepts and belief among Shimao people.