Xia Dynasty city found
Posted 27 March 2005 - 08:46 PM
Erlitou culture has been known of for quite some time, as a bronze culture before Shang.
''I don't think anyone doubts that there were ancient communities in existence prior to the Shang Dynasty'' said Ban Pou. This is correct.
Shang society must have built on earlier knowledge but the problem is that Erlitou sites are not called 'Xia' in any real academic references, but often are in newspaper articles. I have quoted a number of texts on this problem on another forum, and it included both Chinese and Western scholars of ancient bronze and ancient dynasties. Just some points from this will do here, but Xia is till unconfirmed in any substantial way.
As of yet there is NO evidence for a ''Xia dynasty'' as was outlined in Shang history. The dynastic line of XIa is not confirmed by any writting or inscription and nothing of Erlitou identifies it as such. It is a huge leap of logic to take a settlement from before Shang as evidence ''Aha! there was a Xia dynasty, and this is it!''.
There is no scrap of bamboo or writting found at Erlitou sites to justify this. Erlitou is a complex bronze culture before Shang, but it is not evidence for the Xia kings in itself.
The earliest 'characters' I am aware of are on the early neolithic pottery vessels of the Banpo, but it is not proven to have real meaning yet.
Long SHan neolithic culture seems to have had possible writting on bone of which I have seen pictures but it is very rough, and not even as visably linked to 'modern' CHinese characters as is the Shang script.
I see no reason that the Erlitou culture wouldnt have writting too, but before some King is named on a pottery piece, bone or preserved bamboo slip then any site from 21-18th century BC is not evidence for Xia, and it is better to see the Erlitou culture is a whole earlier culture in itself.
There is no need to marry ancient history to these archeological discoveries just for a too easy and pleasing answer to the Xia riddle.
It sells newspapers though.
It may also be Erlitou IS the Xia, but as there are other advanced bronze cultures outside of Shang cultural areas but at the same date (such as in Sichuan) the question as to the time period, and even the location of Xia sites, means there is no final answer as to even where to look to find them.
Posted 10 April 2005 - 05:01 PM
The key to the Xia Dynasty is Lien Shan, the 1th edition of the Book of Changes. It's a simple tidetable calendar. 64 numbers called kuas. You can count them both the natural way and reversed. The 3 lines below show the 8 phases of the moon, while the 3 lines above show 8 phases (3 hours) of the day. Every moonphase the time of tide move backwards 3 hour in time of the day.
She counted years so: first 50 yarrowstalks, removed one, and then she counted 49; each stalk was a phase of the moon and a year was 50+49 stalks (phases) and every 19 year -1phase is -8 secs astronomical correct.
Her invention made a BOOM in those time. A functional tidetable and calendar in a neolithic big river society. She lived 8.5 km north of Hua Shan. Writing was invented: women painted feminine divination signs on pottery. Society was matriarchal and the men were analphabets
Posted 10 April 2005 - 09:22 PM
Posted 11 April 2005 - 08:17 AM
I've never studied the history of the Zhou people, but from this little I know, they came from west of Xi'an while I'm sure, the the Xia Dynasty was east of Xi'an. Ta-yŁ tamed the Yellow river, travelled upstream, so the Xia Dynasty west border was about Hua Shan, where Wei and Yellow river meet. How long east downstream Yellow river from this point is a question, that the archaeologist may answer. The mountains put a natural border towards south. Towards north upstream Yellow river is an interesting question. To me the Banshan pottery look like being "the original Xia pottery"
Posted 18 April 2005 - 07:47 PM
If we are to take the notion of Xia as outlined by histories written nearly 2,000 years after them as having a basis in fact then the Banpo neolithic (Yangshao STONE AGE culture) is from around 5,000BC, while Xia is roughly 22-21st century BC through to the founding of Shang (of which there are slightly different dates again based on which source is accepted.)
Do not mistake the earlier culture heroes stories who domesticated animals or discovered writting as proof of the 'Xia' either, as these are by all accounts are mythical characters.
Every culture has a person who set the sun in the sky on its present course and the person whose footsteps who created lakes, that is folk history and can not be married to academic history...even if somebody can point to the cave they lived in, or the rock that took a nap on.
Of course the person who first learnt to bake bread, or brew wine, or grew the first crops, invented writting or found which foods are safe to eat does not have to be taken as literally meaning a single person, as these are mythical characters.
The key to the Xia Dynasty is Lien Shan, the 1th edition of the Book of Changes
Also your text refered to is NOT Xia at all, NO writting or text has survived or yet been discovered attributed to the Xia, or even a later copy from an original.
Don't mistake a book written long long after the time and attributed to Xia wisdom as meaning the book is relevant to the real 21st century BC.
The earliest Chinese characters are simple & neolithic, but there is a break in the record and the oracle bones represent the earliest Chinese script found to date, and date from after whatever the Xia were (of which the Erlitou BRONZE culture are much better contenders if you must choose one).
Your speculation on the locality the Xia lived is curious, as these are conclusions no informed Chinese academic or archeaologist, or any Western scholar have been able to make.
I have come across many references to the Xia, and the reality is still not confirmed in any cultures identity, precise time period or regional locality. There is no agreement because no confirmed trace of them has been discovered. Those are the facts to date.
You wouldn't take a book said to be inspired by knowledge from Atlantis as anything other than an later attempt to create a pedigree for a book which isnt justified, & it isn't quite proof that Atlantis has been found (what you call a 'key')....No more than the book of Genesis confirms a real garden of Eden existed, many of the earliest stories are metaphorical.
When you say '3950 years ago so & so lived 8.5kms from such and such a spot' you again are sliding into folklore stated as real history, as even the recorded early dynasties can often not provide such specifics even for the location of all SHang & Zhou capital cities!
This sub-forum is titled 'academic research and archeaological news'.
The same old fables are not quite the same thing.
Posted 18 April 2005 - 08:06 PM
According to radiocarbon dating, Banshan ware is generally considered to be from between 2650 and 2350 BC (or earlier according to others which put later phases like Machang at 3rd millenium BC)
Still neolithic, & so still seems to be rather early....their area is around Gansu province.
Here is a typical large vessel, but earlier Banshan is said to be bolder than this in decoration.
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