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Yin Ruins & The Worlds Oldest Writing

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Another amazing day in the life of eddakath!

Just like many days of my life, today was another one of 'those’ days that when I kick back and try to write about the place I visited yet I simply am lost for words. So to try to make it simple, ask yourself these two questions without re-thinking your answer.

Where do the earliest remains of an ancient capital city in written record come from and where does the world’s oldest writing come from?

Anyang City lies in the northernmost section of Henan Province and is separated from Shanxi Province by the Taihang Mountains in the west and from Hebei Province by the Zhanghe River in the north. Anyang was the first of the eight great ancient capitals of ancient China (Shang Dynasty 16th - 11th century BC), making it an important focal point of Chinese culture.

Around 2000 BC the legendary sage kings Zhuanxu and Emperor Ku are said to have established their capitals in the area around Anyang from where they ruled their kingdom.

At the beginning of the 14th century (BCE 1700 - 1100) King Pangeng of the Shang Dynasty established his capital two kilometers north of the modern city on the banks of the Huan River. The city, known as Yin, was the first stable capital in Chinese history and from that point on the dynasty that founded it would also become known as the Yin Dynasty. Lasting for some two hundred and fifty five years, their reign saw a succession of twelve kings over eight generations ending with the cruel and decadent King Zhou, whose perjorative posthumous name ‘Zhou’ refers to the part of a saddle or harness which wraps around the horse's tail which would lead it to be soiled first

Yin Xu has proved to be the earliest remains of an ancient capital city in written record.

Xiaomintun Village, two kilometers northwest of Anyang, is where archeological excavations uncovered the ruins of the Shang Dynasty (BCE1700-1100) capital. Excavations between 1928 and 1937 and more recent work by the Academia Sinica show that occupation starts in the 13th century BC. In 1899 Wang Yiron, director of the Imperial College of China, was proscribed dragon bones for his malaria and upon examining these curious artifacts he concluded that the script on them was a prototypical form of Chinese script. The bones were eventually traced back to the site in Anyang and China’s earliest archaeological excavations followed.

Further investigation proved the writing to be a much earlier form of Chinese writing and far more pictographic than its modern progeny.

Later excavations north of Anyang turned up more of these ‘Oracle Bones’ and also uncovered the Yin Ruins also referred to as the Yinxu Ruins. Yin was the final capital of China's Bronze Age Shang Dynasty. Covering a grand area of twenty four square kilometers, Yin Xu had a palace district, civil residences, tombs and workshops and was divided into two parts by the Heng River. The city was found to preserve a great number of bronze, stone, bone and jade articles along with the eighty seven kilogram Simuwu Ding, a four legged bronze cooking vessel which is the is the largest and heaviest bronze ware to be found in the world.

Much of what is known about the dynasty comes from the oracle bone inscriptions.

Made from items such as turtle shells and cattle skulls, the oracle bones were touched with hot metal so they would crack and divinations were made based on the cracks. Writings on the shells and bones detail the questions posed and answers received, providing insight into the Shang Dynasty, which had previously, like the city of Troy had been considered legend rather than history.

Also providing details into the ancient dynasty is the remarkably intact Tomb of Fu Hao.

The wife of Shang King Wu Ding, Fu Hao was also a military leader in her own right and entrusted to ceremonial duties by her husband. Fu's tomb held funerary objects as well as the remains of the human slaves buried with her. The distinctive Anyang style of bronze working with prominent designs suggests a strong interest in death and ancestor worship.

Its oracle bones provide important information on early social organisation.

Perhaps the most important finds from the city relate to the cemeteries, which included over a dozen royal tombs. Each consists of a large square pit fourteen meters across and four meters deep entered by either two or four ramps. At the centre an inner pit contained the body of the king set in a large wooden coffin. A small pit below the coffin held the bones of a dog and other animals. Around the central burial pit and on the ramps there were placed many grave goods and the bodies of the king's retinue (men and horses believed to be buried alive). Around the tomb, excavations have revealed numerous smaller pit graves and these seem to represent the accumulation of burials over a long period after the central prestige grave had been completed.

<u>The Museum of Yin Ruins</u>

Here amongst the eighty rammed earth foundation sites for palaces, shrines, tombs and workshops you can see the informative new Yinxu Museum home to the Simuwu Square Ding amongst other artifacts which include the Exhibition Hall of Chariot Pits that contains the excavated remains of six horse drawn chariots, the remains of an ancient road, the Oracle Bone Pit (source of the original dragon bones) along with the magnificently preserved Tomb of Fu Hao.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Placebo The album was &#8216;Without You, I’m Nothing’ ____________________________________________________________

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

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Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

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Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary


Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Yin Ruins &#38;amp; Royal Cemetary

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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