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National Museum of Prehistory

Taitung CountyMuseums
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  • National Museum of Prehistory
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Located on the terraces of the Beinan River, the Beinan site attracted the attention of Japanese scholars as far back as 100 years ago due to the multitude of imposing giant schist columns found there. However, it wasn't until the end of 1944 to the beginning of 1945 that Takeo Kanaseki and Naoichi Kokubu embarked on the first small scale excavation of the site. Despite the fact that they covered a relatively small area this time around, the importance of the Beinan site was already abundantly clear to them.

The second phase of excavation took place in the decade between 1980 and 1990. A considerable number of prehistoric relics were unearthed during the construction of the Taitung New Railway station, inspiring scholars to start the largest yet archaeological dig at the site.

The archaeological team of the Anthropology department of National Taiwan University, under the leadership of professors Sung Wen-Xun and Lien Chao-mei spent a total of 436 days excavating over 1500 stone coffins and more than 20,000 stone and pottery artifacts. This all confirmed that the Beinan site was an important representative of Neolithic culture, and indicated that the whole site possibly covered an area tens of hectares in size.

The Beinan site is both the largest and most representative of the Beinan culture, as well as the most complete prehistoric archaeological site in Taiwan. In addition, being the largest of all archaeological sites of the stone coffin cultures of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim, it is of considerable interest to archaeologists. For this reason the government has not only proclaimed the moon-shaped stone pillars found on the site to be relics, but it has also established the Taiwan Museum of Prehistory there. However, in an attempt to minimize damage to the site as a result of the museum's construction, it was decided to allocate the area to the side of Kangle railway station as the location of the museum, whilst the area surrounding the site itself was turned into the Beinan Site Park.

The galleries of the museum itself are concerned with Taiwan's natural history, prehistory, and the development and culture of Taiwan's indigenous peoples. The Beinan Site Park, on the other hand, is both an ongoing archaeological excavation as well as an open-air exhibition of the site. The park is also home to varied and rich fauna and flora, recreating the environment of the past. The area of the park is set to expand in the future, further enriching the experience of visiting the Beinan site.

Travel Information

(Traffic information is subject to change. Please check with the transportation station before departure.)

Nat'l Hwy 5 → Exit at the Su'ao Interchange → Prov. Hwy 9 → Museum Rd.

  1. Take airplane to Taitung Airport.
  2. Take TRA to Kangle Station, and walk for 6 minutes.

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Last update time: 2022-08-04
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