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Yin ruins: root of Chinese culture


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#1 DaMo

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Posted 28 June 2004 - 05:44 PM

http://news.xinhuane...ent_1523114.htm

Yin ruins: root of Chinese culture

www.chinaview.cn 2004-06-13 16:39:29

   ZHENGZHOU, June 13 (Xinhuanet) -- Since 1898, the Yin ruins have provided the world with over 150,000 oracle items.

   Recording harvest, astronomical phenomena, worship and wars of the ancient Shang Dynasty (1600-1100 B.C., also called the Yin Dynasty), the inscriptions on tortoise shells and animal bones from the Yin ruins are scattered throughout the world.

   The oracles were regarded as one of the earliest written languages of the human being, which is respected as the forefather of Chinese characters today, and they had already aroused the interests of many of the world's scholars, said Yang Xizhang, an archaeologist with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

   They were the most convincing proof and the precious treasure of human civilization, and also the greatest contribution of the Yin ruins to the world, said Yang.

   Located in Anyang, central China's Henan Province, the Yin ruins were the earliest remains of an ancient capital city, which had been excavated with written materials, said the archaeologist,and it topped the 100 greatest archaeological discoveries of China in the past century.

   Covering an area of 30 square kilometers, there was a grand and well-equipped capital with palaces, a tomb district, a civil residence, a bronze casting workshop and worship sites on the ruins, Yang said.

   Apart from the large amount of oracles, over 10,000 bronze wares, together with 54 ruins of palaces were excavated here.

   Simuwu Ding, a four-legged bronze cauldron, 133 cm high and weighing 875 kg, was the biggest bronze ware ever discovered in the world.

   Besides, the tomb of China's first female general, Fuhao, wife of one emperor of the Yin Dynasty, was also discovered in the ruins.

...


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#2 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 28 June 2004 - 09:08 PM

Just curious, may I verify if Yin (殷) was the capital of Shang dynasty? I'm not an expert on Shang history, but I do know that Yin was an important city during Shang dynasty.
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#3 DaMo

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Posted 28 June 2004 - 10:38 PM

Just curious, may I verify if Yin (殷) was the capital of Shang dynasty? I'm not an expert on Shang history, but I do know that Yin was an important city during Shang dynasty.

Yin was the capital of the later Shang dynasty, which is also known as the Yin dynasty.
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#4 Yun

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Posted 28 June 2004 - 11:43 PM

Was it King Pan Geng of the Shang who moved the capital to Yin?
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#5 thirdgumi

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 12:46 AM

Was it King Pan Geng of the Shang who moved the capital to Yin?

Yes, acording to “Shi Ji - Yin Ben Ji - Zheng Yi” (史记·殷本记·正义):
竹書紀年自盤庚徙殷至紂之滅二百五十三年,更不徙都,--- From Zhu Shu Ji Nian (a historical record) Since Pan Geng (king Pan Geng) moved to Yin until the fall of Zhou (king Zhou), for 253 years didn't change the capital.

Also, archeologists found 11 royal tombs of Shang dyansty near the Shang Ruin of An Yang (安阳), according to "Shi Ji", there were 12 kings after Pan Geng moved the capital to Yin (including PAn Geng himself). So, archeologists believe that the Shang ruin of An Yang was the capital Yin, and the missing tomb would be either the tomb of King Pan Geng or the tomb of King Zhou who was overthrowed. I don't know why they think King Pan Geng wasn't burried there, I'm more inclined to King Zhou.
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#6 snowybeagle

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:00 PM

I am currently reading THE IMPERIAL CAPITALS OF CHINA: A Dynastic History of the Celestial Empire, by Arthur Cotterell (ISBN 1-59020-007-1).

In the first chapter, The Cosmology of the Chinese Capital, he mentioned that the absence of walls from archaeological findings is the only doubt to Yin being a capital city, suggesting either the ruins of the walls remains to be found, or the garrison at Yin was sufficient protection.

page 21. para 2:

Only the conspicuous absence of a surrounding wall has caused doubt about Anyang as a capital. Was it rather a Chinese Delphi, whose purpose was principally oracle-taking? We still cannot be sure, as excavation is still patchy outside the royal cemetery and palace. It is possible that the last royal seat of government was so large and its garrison forces so concentrated that a rampart was thought to be unnecessary. On the other hand, the destruction of Great Shang in 1027 BC could have been made easier by Anyang's apparently sprawling layout. That year the city was razed to the ground.


However, there were only a list references cited at the end of the book without specifying where he got this information from. Anyone else familar can confirm if the archaeologists are trying to find walls at Anyang ruins? Or should we consider there were no stone walls at that time, only wooden pallisades perhaps?

The mention of the garrison also reminded me of the supposed creation of the first standing professional military - known as the Six Armies (六军). Some other book I read mentioned it was first created during Xia/Shang era, but again, no references made.

As far as traditional sources, I could only find it mentioned in Book of Han chapter 23 《汉书卷二十三·刑法志第三》

夏有甘扈之誓,殷、周以兵定天下矣。天下既定,戢臧干戈,教以文德,而犹立司马之官,设六军之众,因井田而制军赋。

PS: can anyone help translate this? Which dynasty was the 2nd sentence referring to?

and Rites of Zhou。《周礼.夏官.序官》

凡制军万有二千五百人为军。王六军大国三军次国二军小国一军。


and Zuozhuan 《左传.襄公十四年》

周为六军,诸侯之大者,三军可也。


Was there any evidence that the "Six Armies", or something similar, were created during Shang?

Edited by snowybeagle, 14 August 2008 - 12:26 AM.





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