a city in North China and the capital of Honan Province. Population, 1 million (1974). A transportation junction and important industrial center, Chengchou has enterprises of the cotton, food-processing, chemical, textile, and machine-building industries. The city has a university.
Chengchou, an ancient Chinese city, was for many centuries a district capital. It grew rapidly after the construction of the Peking-Hank’ou railroad was completed in 1906, and it experienced particularly intense growth in the 1950’s. In 1953 it became the capital of Honan Province. In 1952, remains dating from the Shang (Yin) period were uncovered near Chengchou (seeSHANG). Archaeologists discovered a fortified settlement surrounded by a pisé wall (2 km by 1.7 km), numerous burials, and workshops in which artisans produced bronze castings, inscribed bones, and pottery.
The site at Chengchou is divided stratigraphically into four periods, the latest of which is contemporary with the Shang capital in the 13th to 11th centuries B.C. near Hsiaot’un (seeANYANG). Chengchou has tentatively been identified in its earlier period with Ao, the capital of the Shang ruler Chung Ting. Finds at the site, such as crucibles and ceramic molds, have made it possible to reconstruct the main features of metallurgical production in the middle Shang. It has been established that bronze tools were used extensively to inscribe bones. The lower strata of the Chengchou site seem to correspond to the period when the Shang ethnopolitical community first emerged in the basin of the Huang Ho; some researchers, however, link these strata with the culture of the Hsia tribe.