The city of Jiaxing is a prefecture-level city in northeastern Zhejiang Province, located roughly midway between Hangzhou Bay, lying to the southeast of Jiaxing, and Lake Tai, lying to the northwest of the city. Jiaxing is also located roughly midway between the two mega-metropolises, Hangzhou and Shanghai. Put slighty differently, the area of the prefecture-level city of Jiaxing is nestled between the Lake Tai Basin and the Hangjia Hu Plain, both being part of the North Zhejiang Plain that lies southeast to northeast of the city of Hangzhou, including Jiaxing and the rest of the peninsular area between Hangzhou and Shanghai, also famously known as the heart of 'the land of fish and rice'.
Not surprisingly, the city proper of Jiaxing is situated along the Hangzhou-Shanghai Railway, and it is also situated on the banks of the Grand Canal which, since ancient times, has linked Hangzhou with Beijing, though the Grand Canal has long since ceased to play a prominent role as a transportation artery.
The city's terrain is generally flat and low-lying, though it slopes slightly downward from south to north, being, as indicated, a part of the North Zhejiang Plain that lies along the southern banks of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River , meaning that it is part of the Yangtze River Delta (note that the Yangtze River empties into the sea just north of Shanghai, where Hangzhou Bay meets the East China Sea).
The area of present-day Jiaxing is the site of an important Neolithic Age culture, the Majiabang Culture (BCE 5000-3000), as the next section illustrates.
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