The culture is named after Hongshanhou , a site in Hongshan District, Hongshan District, Chifeng. The Hongshanhou site was discovered by the Japanese archaeologist Torii Ryūzō in 1908 and extensively excavated in 1935 by Hamada Kosaku and Mizuno Seiichi.
Existence of an early culture in the North undermines the Chinese nationalistic concept of cultural homogenity pushed for political ends.
Hongshan grave goods include some of the earliest known examples of Chinese jade working; the Hongshan culture is known for its jade pig dragons. Clay figurines, including figurines of pregnant women, are also found throughout Hongshan sites.
Small copper rings were excavated.
The archaeological site at Niuheliang is a unique ritual complex associated with the Hongshan culture.
Excavators have discovered an underground temple complex -- which included an altar -- and also cairns in Niuheliang. The temple was constructed of stone platforms, with painted walls. Included on its walls are mural paintings.
The existence of complex trading networks and monumental architecture point to the existence of a "chiefdom" in these communies.
Painted pottery was also discovered within the temple.
Cairns were discovered atop two nearby two hills, with either round or square stepped tombs, made of piled limestone. Tombed inside were sculptures of s and tortoises. The presence of both round and square shapes at Hongshan culture ceremonial centers suggests an early presence of the gaitian cosmography .
Early Feng shui relied on astronomy to find correlations between humans and the universe.