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Ancient History of Peng Chau

Neolithic Era of Peng Chau

Peng Chau has a history that is long and glorious and great biological diversity. Peng Chau was shaped like a dumb-bell. (After government reclamation work it now looks more like a horseshore.) Because of the shelter from hills on almost four sides and two natural sheltered bays, the island has long provided a work and rest spot for travelers. Unexpectedly the island has an extremely rich fresh water source, so it's been inhabited since the neolithic period. Because it is close to the fresh water - salt water border between the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, the sea surrounding Peng Chau has provided a high quality marine ecology for marine life. Therefore the marine produce is extremely rich, which resulted in Peng Chau becoming a highly developed fishing port as early as the Qing Dynasty. During its heyday as a trade center, more than 200 fishing boats worked in the neighbourhood.

Tang - Song Dynasties in Peng Chau

tablet.jpgThe Hong Kong government does not have any record of Peng Chau history, so the present narration is mainly from some books, cultural relics and the residents' oral history. According to some historical records, Peng Chau as early as Song Moi was registered for an aristocrat, in addition the archaelogical evidence provides support that by the Tang Song time some people had settled down on Peng Chau. And the oral history of residents extends back in to the Qing Dynasty and shows that Peng Chau was an extremely prosperous trade market.

Qing Dynasty History of Peng Chau

kiln.jpg During the Qing Dynasty, Peng Chau already was a hub of development, and became the principal supply station for neighbouring islands and a prominent supply stopover spot for trading ships. At that time Peng Chau had 11 lime ash kiln factories, the employment offered to residents could either be directly as labour in the ash kiln factory or going to sea to collect the coral and shellfish and gastropods and so on for converting to lime in the furnaces for many many uses. Many island residents also were engaged in commercial trade and agriculture.

 

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