:: Prehistoric Cultural Relics
Thanks to Taitung's later development and its location by the Central Mountain Range, many prehistoric cultural relics remain in this area. These ancient remains, some dating back thousands of years, come from the Changbin Culture in the Paleolithic Age; the Dapenkeng (T.P.K.), Beinan and Cilin cultures of the Neolithic Period; and Jingpu's Amis Culture from the Iron Age. The following paragraphs explain a little bit about each of these cultures and an overview of the artifacts that that they left behind.
Changbin Culture (15,000-5,000 years ago): The Changbin people were hunters and fishermen. Archaeologists believe they were a pre-ceramic society, as no pottery connected with them has ever been found. Their artifacts were left in Changbin Township's Basian Caves (which include Chaoyin, Hailei, Cianyuan and Kunlun caves).
Dapenkeng (T.P.K.) Culture (5,000-4,500 years ago): The pots and ceramics belonging to the T.P.K. Culture are scattered around areas like Beinan, Jhihtian, Changguang and Chengzaipu. People have discovered remarkably little from this culture, leading them to believe that the T.P.K did not flourish too long in the area.
Fushan Culture (4,500-3,500 years ago): In the past, slate coffins were found in Beinan Township's Fushan, so this culture was also referred to as the Beinan Culture. Ancient slate artifacts have mostly been discovered in the Central Mountain Range, suggesting that the Fushan people had a tendency of moving inland, toward the mountains.
Beinan Culture (3,500-2,000 years ago): Found mostly on the eastern side of the Coastal Mountain Range and near rivers and the sea in southern valleys, artifacts left behind by the Beinan people contain a great range of useful items and a large number of slate coffins.
Cilin Culture (3,500-2,000 years ago): This culture flourished at almost the same time as Beinan Culture. Its remains are mostly scattered on the periphery of the eastern Coastal Mountain Range and include tall stone pillars, stone statues and stone wheels, which is why this culture is also referred to megalithic (stone builders).
Jingpu Culture (2,000-500 years ago): The artifacts left behind in Jingpu mostly consist of pots and ceramics. Because the artifacts look very similar to the pots and ceramics that the people from the Amis tribe uses today, this period of time is also labeled as "Taiwan's Iron Age" and is believed to be a precursor to the Amis culture.
Currently, the National Museum of Prehistory (Address: 1, Bowuguan (Museum) Rd, Taitung City; tel: 089-381-166; website: http://www.nmp.gov.tw/) showcases resources and information regarding these cultural remains, as well as a good amount of information on the cultures themselves. The biggest emphasis is placed on introducing the Beinan Culture.