This work address the question of the emergence of social complexity in the Yangshao culture (ca. 4900-3000 BC) in Central China based on analysis of settlement patterns and faunal remains from Lingbao, western Henan. A total of 31 Neolithic sites have been found along two rivers during a regional survey in 1999. Analyses of regional settlement patterns reveal the emergence of social complexity in the middle Yangshao period (ca. 4000-3500 BC), indicated by dramatic population growth, increases in site number and occupation area, and the appearance of settlement hierarchies.