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#1 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 01:40 AM

Many historians could not confirm the existence of the legendary Xia dynasty because there was no archaeology evidence to prove its existence. But they could be wrong now. A new achaeology discovery of "Xinzhai Ruins" prove the existence of a Xia Dynasty city .

source: http://www.chinapage...nzhai-ruin.html

Xinzhai Ruins Confirmed as Xia Dynasty City

Two years of archaeological research at the Xinzhai Ruins of Xinmi City, in central China's Henan Province, has borne fruit. Scientists have basically confirmed this was a large city with three moats and grand buildings in the early part of the Xia Dynasty (c.2100 BC - c.1600 BC). It is the first time that a walled city dating from the Xia Dynasty has been found, providing new materials for research on the period.

Researcher Zhao Chunqing of the Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, is in charge of the dig. He says that the city at the Xinzhai Ruins was a typical community of the later period of primitive society and that it served as a link between the Longshan and Xia Dynasty cultures.

The city covered a total area of 1 million square meters, with three layers of defense works: the outer moat, city wall and inner moat. The central part was lined with large buildings. The east and north city walls were built against a natural gully using fill and rammed earth, while the river running outside the west wall was manmade. About 220 meters beyond the north city wall was a natural ditch. Enhanced by manpower, it became the outer moat, extending 1,500 meters from east to west. It was 6 to 14 meters wide and 3 to 4 meters deep. Only the west, north and east sides of the inner moat, which once encircled the city, still exist.

In the central part of the city, archaeologists found a large building foundation, over 50 meters from east to west and 14.5 meters from north to south. Sections of rammed-earth walls, pillar holes and baked earth were excavated. Other articles found include bronze utensil fragments, a vessel lid with designs similar to those on the bronze plates of the Erlitou culture and the foot of an earthen utensil bearing patterns resembling dragons. The quality and style of the artifacts indicate that aristocrats once inhabited the building.

Last year, Chinese archaeologists found a large building foundation in the Erlitou Ruins at Yanshi, also in Henan Province, which they have dated to the latter part of the Xia Dynasty.

Since the discovery of Xinzhai, archaeologists have unearthed another Xia city site at Dashigu, a suburb of Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan. Because of its strategic location, archaeologists believe that it may have been a garrison city or capital of a subordinate kingdom of the Xia Dynasty.

The excavation of the Xinzhai ruins is an important component of the Preliminary Studies for Tracing the Source of Ancient Chinese Civilization, a key scientific project of the 10th Five-Year Plan (2001 - 2005).

The project focuses on 11 topics pertaining to the source, formation and early development of Chinese civilization. One of them is research on social structure as reflected by the settlement of western Henan Province and southern Shanxi Province from the period of the Longshan culture to the early Xia Dynasty. Archaeologists working on this segment of the project are studying the Guchengzhai ruins and Xinzhai ruins of Xinmi City and the Wangchenggang ruins of Dengfeng City, all in Henan Province; and the Taosi ruins of Shanxi Province.

(China.org.cn by Li Jinhui, March 29, 2004)


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4,000 year-old City Excavated in Zhengzhou

Archaeologists have confirmed that the Dashigu cultural relics of the Xia Dynasty (21 century B.C-16 century B.C.) in the suburb of Zhengzhou, capital of Central China's Henan Province, date to a large city site of the middle and later Erlitou Culture, part of the Bronze Age from 21 century B.C. to 17 century B.C.

Covering an area of 510,000 square meters, the Dashigu city site lies near Mangshan Mountain and the Yellow River.

"The position of the ancient city is of great strategic importance, so we infer that it may be a military city or capital of a subordinate kingdom of the Xia Dynasty," said Wang Wenhua, a research member with the Zhengzhou cultural relics archaeological research institute.

From March 2002 to December 2003, Zhengzhou cultural relics archaeological research institute excavated the Dashigu city site, during which an area of 540 square meters was unearthed.

The flat rectangular city site consists of two parts: the city wall and the moat.

Most parts of the city wall were discovered nearly one meter below the earth's surface.

"Relics of the city wall were composed of several soil layers, showing that the wall had been renewed or restored many times before," said Wang.

The two moats of 2-2.8 meters deep were located parallel with each other.

Foundation remains, tombs, ash pits and ash ditches and a large amount of other remains were discovered inside the city site, mainly of the second, the third and the early fourth phase of the Erlitou Culture.

Archaeologists discovered a large number of fragments of earthen drainpipes in the ash ditches. "It shows that larger construction foundations must exist in the middle of the city site, which is to be further excavated," said Wang.

Another important discovery is a ring moat of the early Shang Dynasty (16 century B.C.-11 century B.C.), which lies between the city wall and the moats of the Xia Dynasty, and in parallel with the Xia moats.

Abundant remains of the Early Shang Dynasty were discovered inside the ring moat, "It shows that in the early Shang Dynasty, the city site remained an important residential settlement," said Wang.


"The Dashigu city site of the Xia Dynasty is the only city sitewhich can be surely defined as the Erlitou culture type discovered so far in China, filling the archaeological blanks in discoveries of city sites of the Xia Dynasty," Wang said.

"As abundant historical remains of the Xia and Shang dynasties were discovered in the city site, this discovery will be of great significance to the research on the relations between the Xia and the Shang dynasties, which is still unclear," said Wang.

(Xinhua News Agency March 22, 2004)
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"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#2 thirdgumi

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Posted 05 June 2004 - 10:55 AM

Did they really find Xia ruins?
When archeologist founf Shang dynasty ruins, they found characters for "Shang" on tutle shells.
Did they found character for "Xia" written? That would be a solid evidence.
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Therefor, its existence is a crime, and the punishment is death - thirdgumi

#3 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 05 June 2004 - 07:59 PM

I don't know whether there is 'Xia' character.. but from the relics found in those site and timeline tracing back to history, they could determine it was from Xia era.
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"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#4 Sephodwyrm

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Posted 05 June 2004 - 10:58 PM

This would change some views about the exact age of Chinese civilization. If they can find any evidence of some form of written records in the ruins, or some forms of latter records that describes this city, it would be more substantiable. Most people I know talking about Chinese history were convinced that the Xia dynasty doesn't exist. I have to tell them that Chinese archaeologists were making new finds all the time.

I personally feel that the Chinese government step up on the study of Chinese history and make it a global enterprise (in English and put a lot of effort into the translation of the chronicles) of some sort. That way the overseas Chinese can also read about their mother culture and feel proud of it. I was actually quite surprised that there's no complete translation of Sima Qian's Shi Ji in English. I also feel strongly that an accurate translation would have to come from a Chinese scholar.
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#5 thirdgumi

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 07:35 AM

Yes, most western historians disagreed about the existence of Xia dynasty, prescisely because there is no writing found on those ruins. If there would be some sort of writing, like the "Shang" character found on the tutle shells, it would be a solid evidence.

I was actually quite surprised that there's no complete translation of Sima Qian's Shi Ji in English.

Yes, that's a shame. It would be interersting if we could take an iniciative on our own.
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Therefor, its existence is a crime, and the punishment is death - thirdgumi

#6 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 09:42 AM

It is to be noted that 1st chinese writing only existed from Shang dynasty onwards. In Xia dynasty, chinese writing didn't exist at all since it wasn't invented yet. Therefore, it would be difficult for archaeologist to find any form of writings that has character of "Xia". I would say that the word 'Xia' has been passed down through generations verbally and thus came forth in history.
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One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#7 RollingWave

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 10:31 AM

It is to be noted that 1st chinese writing only existed from Shang dynasty onwards. In Xia dynasty, chinese writing didn't exist at all since it wasn't invented yet. Therefore, it would be difficult for archaeologist to find any form of writings that has character of "Xia". I would say that the word 'Xia' has been passed down through generations verbally and thus came forth in history.


Acturally... we only knew there was writing in the Shang era by the last few years of the 19th centry thx to the hard work of 2 of the great scholar of their time (Liu er and Wang Gou Wei, Liu is the author of the very famous Ching dynasty novel "the travelings of the old crippled man") ... before that western archologist didn't think that writing existed in the Shang dynasty (or that the Shang dynasty even existed in itself) so it wouldn't be that surprising if they find Xia era writing too.... espically considering that fact that if the Xia really existed ... and was able to build and run such a city and some sort of a league of clans with some sort of efficency... it was very likely they needed writing to achieve that.

Personally... I think from the details and quantity of meantioning of the Xia in the Zhoul/Han era, it is very hard to imagin that it is a fabricated myth.... the way history in Shi Ji and meantioning in the the Zhou era is far too realistic compare to tales of "three Huang five Di"
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#8 Guest_Tyler_*

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 12:28 PM

You may already know this but some pottery has been found and dated back to the Xia Dynasty age.

#9 Yihesan

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 01:51 PM

I actually saw some Xia script ;)

#10 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 09:43 PM

The theory that Xia has writing could one day be proven by archaeological findings..it might topple the historical fact that 'Shang dynasty has the 1st chinese writing"

Personally... I think from the details and quantity of meantioning of the Xia in the Zhoul/Han era, it is very hard to imagin that it is a fabricated myth.... the way history in Shi Ji and meantioning in the the Zhou era is far too realistic compare to tales of "three Huang five Di"



Many of the writings of Shiji by Sima Qian, especially those from Xia and Shang dynasty, were gathered from 'oral interview' of the local population. That is to say, Sima Qian went to those villages, and investigate the history behind those places, as well as interview people who passed down the myth and legend as well as stories of history. Those myths and legend would then need to be checked for its historical truth and so on.. I think, those history were accurate, it just needs to be verified by archaeological proof.
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"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#11 thirdgumi

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 01:58 AM

I actually saw some Xia script

Yes, I saw those too, but those are too few to form any kind of phrases. No one knows if those are merely symbols or some kind of writting.
Human is evil by nature - Xun Zi

Therefor, its existence is a crime, and the punishment is death - thirdgumi

#12 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 12:20 AM

What does the Xia script looks like? Is there any similar to the oracle (Jiagu) script of Shang?
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"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#13 thirdgumi

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 01:16 AM

There was a post in AE which showed the Xia writing, but I couldn't found it. :(
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#14 Yihesan

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 10:19 AM

And AE doesn't exist anymore :(

#15 Guest_ah xiang_*

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 12:01 AM

TO General Zhao Yun

In ancient China, history chronicles were the assets of the royal house. Lao-zi and Kong-zi visited 'imperial' libraries for their writings. Zhou Dynasty kings and relatively independent Chu-guo Principality kings often held discourse with scholars about ancient so-called SHANG SHU, i.e., remotely ancient history. Zhou Kings and Chu-guo kings had specifically mentioned half a dozen ancient books in their discourse.

Kong-zi, Confucius, still had access to those books, and adopted passages in his writings. Hence, some records survived due to the Hundred School Thought movements as well as the privitization of education in Spring & Autumn time period of Zhou Dynasty.

Should you ask where the ancient textbooks went, they were all burnt down by 1) Qi Shihuangdi's book burning; and 2) Xiang Yu's arson of palace.

Qin Shihuangdi ordered that only one copy of books from Zhou court and vassal kingdoms be kept in imperial library. They were lost when Xiang Yu burnt the palace.

Personally speaking, I believe in 95-98% of the things in ancient writings. Ancient people were morally strong. They did not know perjury. Trust in your ancestors.




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