(Acta Archaeologica Sinica)
No. 3, 2016
Liu Qingzhu and Han Guohe,
The Archaeological Observation on the Evolution of the History and Culture in the Central Plains Area ………………………………………………………………(239)
Tang Jigen et al,
The Road and Water Networks of the Huanbei Shang City and Yinxu Sites …………………………………………………………………………… (319)
A Preliminary Discussion on the Personator Sacrificial Rituals Seen in the Oracle Bone Inscriptions ……………………………………………………………… (343)
A New Examination of the Fangmatan Wooden Board Maps Unearthed in Tianshui …………………………………………………………………………(365)
Xinjiang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology,
The Excavation of the Sengim Grottoes in Turpan, Xinjiang ………………………………………………………………………… (385)
The Restoration of the Leather Armors Unearthed from the Jiuliandun Tomb No. 1 in Zaoyang, Hubei ……………………………………………………………… (417)
THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL OBSERVATION ON THE EVOLUTION OF THE HISTORY AND CULTUTE IN THE CENTRAL PLAINS AREA
Liu Qingzhu and Han Guohe
The “Central” of the “Central Plain” comes from the idea of the ancient sovereigns to choose a place in the center of their realm in order to easily rule the four directions -- the east, west, south and north, and therefore, the “Central Plain” in the ancient times became the synonym of “the land under Heaven” and “the center of the realm”; moreover, relative to the “four directions” and the “Four Barbarians” attributed to them, the “central” embodied the concepts of “impartial”, “even-handed” and “moderate”. The archaeological discoveries revealed that the regional features and natural geographic environment of the Central Plains concentrated the pluralistic cultures which emerged in the originating and forming stages of the Chinese Civilization into this area, and the Yangshao and Longshan Cultures originating locally had strong cohesion and attraction letting the early Chinese Civilization form here and the early state appear and mature here, and further, the dynastic period come into being here and settle the capitals here, and making them last down to the middle ancient period. Meanwhile, the capitals were the centers of the political ruling, culture, ritual and economy, all of which made the historic culture of the Central Plains the “social dominating culture” and the “national principal culture” from the Three-Dynasties Period through the Tang and Song Dynasties. The Northern Song Dynasty is the last dynasty setting its capital in the Central Plains in the history of ancient China; along with the founding of the Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties and the northward transferring of the political center, the genes of the historic cultures of Chinese people which formed in the Central Plains area are inherited by the following periods, and the historic culture of the Central Plains continued to be the “root culture” of the Chinese people passed down by the dynasties after the middle ancient period and became the only uninterrupted civilization in the world lasting for 5000 years. These facts fully reflected the common commitment to the historic culture of the Central Plains as the “social dominating culture” and the “national principal culture” by the regimes founded by different ethnic groups in different regions in the history of China.
THE ROAD AND WATER NETWORKS OF THE HUANBEI SHANG CITY AND YINXU SITES
Tang Jigen Jing Zhichun Yue Hongbin
He Yuling Niu Shishan Yue Zhanwei
The Yinxu Site is the capital of the later Shang Dynasty, the excavation to which lasted for the longest time and the archaeological materials about which are accumulated abundantly. The research on its planning has been one of the foci of the academic field since the very beginning. However, the researches on the planning of the Yinxu Site in the past were mostly focused on the palaces and temples, mausoleum precinct, workshops, settlements and cemeteries, but neglected the artificial remains such as the road and water networks, or not paid enough attention to the chronological factors behind the layouts of the remains but limited the studies to describing the spatial relationships among these remains as still objects. Since 2009, the Major Research Project and Innovation Program of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences have been supporting the research on the planning of the Yinxu Site for seven years, and this paper is the result of the collective effort on solving the problem of the planning of the Yinxu Site by several scholars. Through the comprehensive trimming of the old and new archaeological materials, this paper puts forward new understandings to the planning of Yinxu Site. The Huanbei Shang City and Yinxu Sites belonged to two different periods of the Shang Dynasty. During the Huanbei Shang City period, the palace and ancestral temple zones were in the city to the north of Huan River, and the Royal Mausoleum Precinct might have been started to use. In the Yinxu period, the Shang people moved the palace and ancestral temple zones to the south of Huan River, and built the arterial road network consisting of at least two longitudinal and three transverse lines to link the palace zone and the other residential zones. Since Phase II of Yinxu period, the Shang people dug a canal about 2000 m in length and in northwest-southeast orientation to the south of Huan River, and then opened many branch canals to its south and linked to it, forming a dendritic artificial water reticulation system. Flanking this dendritic water system (mainly to its south), bronze-casting, bone-processing and pottery-making and other handicraft workshop remains were scattered. The areas with densely distributed workshop remains were also the ones with convenient traffic condition. The discovery and confirmation of the road and water networks are helpful to the identification of the Yinxu Site as the capital of the late Shang Dynasty (the Great City Shang) and to the in-depth understanding to the social organization of the Shang Dynasty.
A PRELIMINARY DISCUSSION ON THE PERSONATOR SACRIFICIAL RITUALS SEEN IN THE ORACLE BONE INSCRIPTIONS
On the complicated sacrificial rituals of the Shang Dynasty, the personators of the deceased ancestors, just as the memorial tablets of the deceased ancestors, were the receivers of the sacrificial offerings and worshipping, and also the carriers of the souls of the ancestors and deities. There are many records about the personator sacrificial rituals in the oracle bone inscriptions of the Shang Dynasty, from which some situations about the personator sacrificial rituals of the Shang Dynasty can be restored. Oracle bone inscriptions showed that in the Shang Dynasty, the selection of the personators should be decided by divinations, the inviting and guiding of the personators were also assigned to special persons to be in charge of, and the roles of the assistants of the personators on the rituals were all played by aristocrats. Based on these understandings, we reexamined the meanings of the oracle bone inscriptions of the “wang bin” subject. The meaning of “wang (the king)” “bin (a verb)” certain ancestor is that this king personally played the role of the assistant of the personator of this royal ancestor. Through studies on the personator sacrificial rituals, it is revealed that the inscription of the famous No. 1402 of Jiaguwen Heji (Collection of the Oracle Bone Inscriptions) is actually the issue of the order of the personators of the ancestors and deities on the sacrificial ritual, which should be decided by divination. The procedures of the personator sacrificial rituals of the Zhou Dynasty noted in the historic literature were very complicated; in the Shang Dynasty, the situation might be similar but somewhat simpler, and the procedures of “jian shi (having an audience with the personator)”, “yan shi (engaging the personator)”, “xiangru shi (feasting the personator)” and so on seen in the oracle bone inscriptions would be corresponding to that on the personator sacrificial rituals of the Zhou Dynasty.
A NEW EXAMINATION OF THE FANGMATAN WOODEN BOARD MAPS UNEARTHED IN TIANSHUI
The Fangmatan Wooden Board Maps are unearthed in 1986 in Tianshui, Gansu. In spite of the researches by many scholars, there have still been many controversial points about them in the academic field. Referring to the newest infrared photos, this paper identified the two characters “beifang (the north direction)” in the labels of Fangmatan Wooden Board Maps, by which the orientation of the maps (the top is the south and the bottom is the north) was confirmed, consistent with that of the bronze plate Zhaoyu tu (Plan of the mausoleum yard) of the Zhongshan State in the Warring-States Period and the silk map of the Han Dynasty found at Mawangdui but opposite to that of the modern maps. Following the confirmation of the orientation of the maps, the areas represented by the maps were also identified, which were the watersheds of three rivers -- the present-day Huamiao River, Dongke River and Yongchuan River, the scope covered by which was about 40 km from east to west and about 50 km from north to south. Referring to the bamboo slips of the “Di cheng ye yushi shu (letter submitted by the vice magistrate of Di District to the Censor)”, the date of the making of the maps was inferred to be around 300 BC. These wooden board maps were the documents used by the tomb occupant when he was alive, and the changes of the regions reflected on them might be related to that of the regions governed by the tomb occupant in his official career. The reason why the tomb occupant ordered to bury these maps with him might be that he wished to enjoy the power he held when he was alive in the afterworld. That the occupant arranged his grave in the center of the maps reflected his intention to set his afterlife dwelling in the center of the “world of the map”.
THE EXCAVATION OF THE SENGIM GROTTOES IN TURPAN, XINJIANG
Xinjiang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology
The Sengim Grottoes located about 2 km to the north of the Badam Village in Erpu Township, Turpan City, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region are opened on the cliffs along with the terrain into a step-shaped arrangement, from the top to the bottom of which the grottoes can be divided into three stories. Most of the plasters of the walls have been fallen away and the traces of weathering and water eroding are seen. In 2009 and 2012, Xinjiang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology conducted two terms of archaeological excavations to the rescue-and-reinforcement area outside the grottoes, and revealed that this area could be divided into the north, middle and south zones, each of which was independent but not isolated from the other two; the south and north zones were two large-scale monasteries built in multi-story structure with corridors, passages, steps and other facilities, and the main types of the grottoes of them were vihara (monk dorms) and meditation cells. The middle zone was the living zone, the houses of which were scattered freely and linked to each other. Most of the houses were built with adobes and a few of them were built with rammed-earth method. Most of the houses were single-roomed, and some of them were multi-roomed dwellings, some of which had hearths, kang (heatable brick or adobe bed), wall recesses and other remains preserved. The unearthed artifacts were mainly pottery wares, iron objects, implements made of wood, stone, horn and antler, textiles, plant remains, clay objects, mural and clay sculpture fragments, fragmentary manuscripts, etc. The Turpan Basin has a long history, the Sengim Grottoes located on the south side of the Flame Mountain in which were used for a rather long time, during which the rebuilding and extending constructions were conducted; referring to the grotto structures and the motifs and styles of the murals, the grottoes were estimated to be opened in the 5th century AD, flourished in the Tang Dynasty and Qoco Uyghur Kingdom Period and abandoned in the end of the Qoco Uyghur Kingdom Period, before the flourishing of Islam in the Turpan area. The Buddhist and Manichaean remains preserved in the grottoes were the evidences of the convergence of different religions and cultures. The valuable artifacts unearthed in the excavations provided important physical materials for the in-depth researches on the origin and development of the Sengim Grottoes, the diffusion of the religions and the cultural integration.
THE RESTORATION OF THE LEATHER ARMORS UNEARTHED FROM THE JIULIANDUN TOMB NO. 1 IN ZAOYANG, HUBEI
In September through December 2002, Hubei Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology excavated the tombs of the Chu State at Jiuliandun in Zaoyang, Hubei. From the Tomb No. 1, large amount of leather armors were unearthed. By trimming and restoration, these leather armors are identified as belonging to 30 sets of personal armors and three sets of horse armors. The leather bases of these armors have all rotten away, and only the inner and outer lacquer peels were preserved. This paper explores the restoration of these leathers. The 28 sets of large-piece leather personal armors consisted of the helmet, cuirass, brassards and skirt of tasses. The helmet was in a hemispherical shape and consisting of the top ridge piece, the forehead piece and the hanging side pieces; the cuirass was in the shape of a vest and consisting of the breastplate, the back plate, the rib pieces, the shoulder pieces and the collar pieces sewn together. Each set of personal armor had two brassards, the left and right, the size and structures of which were completely the same in the shape of a tube with the proximal end thicker than the distal end, and the seam was on the medial side without sewn together. The entire skirt of tasses was in the shape of a fan composed with four or five rows of tasses from top to bottom. The armor pieces at the same places differed occasionally in shape, perforation, overlapping and lacing methods. Two sets of lamellar armors were composed of the helmet, the torso armor, the shoulder armor and the sleeve armors. The helmet consisted of the crown piece and the side pieces; the torso armor consisted of the front and back panels, each of which had the upper part and lower part, separated by the joining line of the rib pieces and the waist. The shoulder armor was severely damaged and only one row with eight lamellae of the margins of each of the left and right shoulders were preserved. Each sleeve armor consisted of 13 rows of lamellae, and each row had seven. A set of horse armor was composed of the head armor, neck-and-chest armor and body armor. The head armor was composed of the frontal ridge piece, facial side pieces and nose side pieces; the neck-and-chest armor was composed of the central piece and left and right side panels; the body armor consisted of the front central panel, front medial panels, front lateral panels, rear central panel, rear medial panels and rear lateral panels. The restored situation showed that in the Eastern Zhou Period, the leather armor manufacturing technique included the steps of mold making, leather choosing, mold forming, tailoring, perforating, lacquering, lacing, tying, etc.