(Acta Archaeologica Sinica)
No. 2, 2018
Studies on the Remains of the Neolithic Age in Houtaomuga Site and Relevant Issues ……………………………………………………………………………(141)
On the Divination and Witchcraft Implements of the Yinxu Period ……………………………………………………………………………(165)
The Animal Sacrifice Burial Custom of the North System Bronze Cultures of China ……………………………………………………………………………(183)
On the Figures of Yinghuo (Mars) of the Eastern Han Dynasty …………………………………………………………………………(201)
Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology et al.,
The Excavation of the Tomb M2002 at the Dahekou Cemetery of the Western Zhou Dynasty in Yicheng, Shanxi ……………………………………………………(223)
An Appraisal of Gordon Willey's Prehistoric Settlement Patterns in the Verú Valley, Peru ………………………………………………………………………………(263)
STUDIES ON THE REMAINS OF THE NEOLITHIC AGE IN HOUTAOMUGA SITE AND RELEVANT ISSUES
The Houtaomuga (Hou Tomog) Site in Da'an City, Jilin Province is an important site on the right bank of the lower reach of the Nenjiang River containing the remains of the Neolithic Age, Bronze Age, the Liao and Jin Dynasties, and so on. The five-year continuing archaeological excavation to this site in 2011-2015 obtained significant results. The four kinds of cultures of the Neolithic Age found in this site made up some missing links in the chronological sequence of the prehistoric archaeological cultures in the middle and lower reaches of the Nenjiang River, and enriched the understandings to the connotations and genealogical relationships of the prehistoric cultures in this region. Of these remains, the Phases I and III are two new archaeological cultures identified for the first time in the middle and lower reaches of the Nenjiang River, especially the remains of Phase I, which is the earliest Neolithic culture found to date in Northeast China, the date of which is 13-11 ka BP. The discovery of the remains of Phase II confirmed that the previously suggested “Huangjia Weizi Type” is also an independent archaeological culture which should be isolated from the generally called “Ang'angxi Culture” in the past. The discovery of the remains of Phase IV enriched the connotations of the Hamin Mangha Culture in some sense. Referring to the relevant archaeological discoveries nearby the Houtaomuga Site, this paper tries to establish the chronological sequence of the Neolithic cultures in the middle and lower reaches of the Nenjiang River as the following: Houtaomuga Phase I Culture – Changtuozi Type A – Shuangta Phase I Culture – Huangjia Weizi Culture – Houtaomuga Phase III Culture – Hamin Mangha Culture – Ang'angxi Culture, which laid chronological foundation for the comprehensive studies on the Neolithic cultures in this region.
ON THE DIVINATION AND WITCHCRAFT IMPLEMENTS OF THE YINXU PERIOD
Through the examination to the inscriptions on the bronzes unearthed from burials M103 and M94 at Wangyukou Locus South of Yinxu Site in Anyang, Henan, this paper inferred that the occupants of these two burials were the members of the “ ” family of diviner in Phases II and III of the Yinxu Period. Among the grave goods unearthed from these burials, in addition to the bronze ritual vessels and weapons representing the social statuses of the occupants, there were also large amounts of implements. Comprehensive examination showed that these implements were closely related to the professional statuses of these burial occupants. These implements included oracle bone divining implements, such as engraving knives, adzes, chisels, whetstones, etc.; witchcraft implements, such as jade human figure with high crown, bone hairpin with exquisite cap, bronze staff, jade staff, etc.; and pebbles which might be used as implements of yarrow divination. The coexistence of these implements reflected that during the Yinxu Period, the divination and witchcraft were the same profession and the diviners were doing both oracle bone divination and yarrow stalk divination. However, along with the time went by, the significances of oracle bone and yarrow stalk divinations and witchcraft were continuing to change: in the early stage of the Yinxu Period, the diviner-witch group had strong power and numerous members, and held high social positions. Down to the later stage of the Yinxu Period, their importance and social positions were lowered; in the transitional period between the Shang and Western Zhou Dynasties, the diviner-witch group was aloof from the political center and no longer had the power equal to or even higher than the royalty. The close and careful trimming of the grave goods revealed that just those artifacts which are easy to be neglected by the researchers thoroughly reflected the occupations of the burial occupants when they were alive. This also enlightened us to equally treat even pay more attention to those “trivial” artifacts so as to completely and correctly reveal the statuses of the burial occupants and really “see humans through materials”.
THE ANIMAL SACRIFICE BURIAL CUSTOM OF THE NORTH SYSTEM BRONZE CULTURES OF CHINA
This paper explores the animal sacrifice burial custom of the North System bronze cultures. Through the observations to the animal sacrifice custom with horses, cattle, sheep, etc. in the burials of the North System bronze cultures in Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, middle and western Inner Mongolia, and the Yanshan Mountain region, especially the case study on the Wangdahu Cemetery, this paper reveals the relationship between the numbers of the sacrificed animals and burial occupant, which was that the kinds and numbers of the animals were the signs of the status and wealth of the burial occupant. In addition, seen from the animal sacrifice custom, the nomads treated the children and adults roughly in the equal way, the offerings and rites for the former were not coarse and simple because of their young ages. The headings of the sacrificed animals were corresponding to that of the burial occupants; the designing of cemeteries of the ethnic groups in the north was related to the sun worship; the statistics showed that most of the burials were in the orientations between 30° and 50°. In the funeral activities, there was an orientation system; in this orientation system taking the superior position, the east or northeast were the most orientations used by these people. The orientation system of preferring the east took the superiority in the north ethnic groups, and had profound influence through effective inheritance. This tradition had formed in the Spring-and-Autumn to the Warring-States Periods, and was associated by perfect animal sacrifice pattern. The orientation of each burial might represent the sunrise direction in certain season. The people of the north ethnic groups had the custom of slaughtering animals to feast guests after the funeral of the dead: the relatives of the dead brought animals in different numbers according to their distances of kinship with the dead to the funeral; when these animals were slaughtered, the people of the clan would hold sacrificial feast to offer the dead. In the conclusion, the author puts forward his own opinions.
ON THE FIGURES OF YINGHUO (MARS) OF THE EASTERN HAN DYNASTY
On the que-towers, pictorial stones of the burials and shrines, there is a double-headed monster figure with human face. This special-shaped motif is distributed in present-day Shandong, Jiangsu, Anhui, Henan, Shanxi and so on, 18 cases of which have been found to date. Among them, the one seen in the Shrine No. 1 at Hanwang Township in Xuzhou, had two men seated on the back; in the past, scholars have interpreted its name in the inscription as “Rongcheng荣成” and explained this monster figure as the archaic legendary character “Rongcheng容成”, which was widely accepted by the academic field. However, the author of this paper believes that this inscription should be interpreted as “Yinghuo荧或”, and this monster figure would be that of “Yinghuo荧惑 (glimmering mysterious [star])” – the planet Mars. The posture of the two heads back-to-back just reflected the unsteady and fluttering characteristics of Mars; this type of figure also appeared in the celestial map of the ceiling stone of a pictorial stone tomb of the Eastern Han Dynasty in Nanyang, which matches the context for the Mars to exist. Furthermore, this paper pointed out that the Yinghuo-monster with a boy standing on the back coincides with the “Yinghuo Hypothesis” about the origination of the children's folk rhymes of China. In ancient times, there was the legend that Fengbo (Earl of Wind), the spirit of Yinghuo – Mars, taught the children to sing the children's folk rhymes as a game. The spreading of this legend would be related to the popularity of the “Wuxing (Five Elements)” thought in the Han Dynasty.
THE EXCAVATION OF THE TOMB M2002 AT THE DAHEKOU CEMETERY OF THE WESTERN ZHOU DYNASTY IN YICHENG, SHANXI
Joint Archaeological Team of Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, Linfen Municipal Bureau of Cultural Relics, Yicheng County Bureau of Cultural Relics and Tourism and Research Center for Northern Chinese Archaeology of Shanxi University
The tomb M2002 is located in the southwest of the Dahekou Cemetery of the Western Zhou Dynasty in Yicheng County, Shanxi Province. It is accompanied by a chariot-and-horse pit in east-west orientation to its east. The grave of M2002 is a rectangular vertical earthen pit with the bottom smaller than the opening, the orientation of which is 292°. The grave is 2.75 m long and 1.72 m wide at the opening and 9.91 m deep, the fill of which has been rammed firm. The burial receptacles of this tomb consist of one wooden coffin chamber and one wooden coffin. The occupant (estimated to be a male in 35-39 years old) is interred in extended supine position with the head to the west, underneath whom is a waist pit burying a dog. This tomb yields 536 pieces (sets) of grave goods made of bronze, tin, pottery, jade, stone, shell (cowry), bone, etc. Bronzes take the most number, including ritual vessels, weapons, chariot and horse fittings, tools, ornamental fittings, etc. The ritual vessels are three ding-tripods, two li-cauldrons, one yan-steamer, three gui-tureens, two spoons, one pan-basin, and one bird-shaped he-pitcher. Weapons are one wo-ax and six ge-dagger axes. Chariot and horse fittings include one guan輨-hub cap, one chun䡅-hub curb, two qi軝-axle ends, six linchpins, eight chariot bells, four danglu-frontlets of horse bridle, 20 cheekpieces of bit, six mouthpieces of bit, one set of bridle, nine jieyue-strap-crossings, two horse bells and seven bubble-shaped ornaments. Tools are one ax and one adze. Bronze ornamental fittings are two rings, one gui-tureen handle, three triangular bronze pieces, and five other shaped ones. One tin object and one pottery li-cauldron are also unearthed. Jades are one jade fish and four ornaments. Stone implements are one knife, one ornament and one dou-stemmed bowl-shaped object. Shell (cowry) objects are seven shell pieces and 413 cowries. Bone implements are five arrowheads and one bow tip. Most of the bronze ritual vessels are set between the coffin and coffin chamber at the west end in front of the head of the tomb occupant. On the bronze vessels, inscriptions of “Ba Zhong霸仲” and “Ge Zhong格仲” are seen, showing that the tomb occupant was Ba Zhong (or Ge Zhong), the younger brother of the lord of the Ba State. The date of this tomb is the around the reigns of Kings Mu and Gong in the mid Western Zhou Dynasty.
AN APPRAISAL OF GORDON WILLEY'S PREHISTORIC SETTLEMENT PATTERNS IN THE VIRÚ VALLEY, PERU
The translation and publication of G. R. Willey's Prehistoric Settlement Patterns in the Virú Valley, Peru provides Chinese archaeologists with a classical example to conduct settlement archaeology in China. Since K. C. Chang introduced the concept of settlement archaeology into China in the 1980s, very few works have reached the “strategic starting point for the functional interpretation of archaeological cultures” defined by Willey, due to lacking functional and processual perspective. This work describes the concept of settlement pattern in detail which is quite different from our understanding to its original term translated into Chinese. Then the paper outlines Willey's practice of settlement research and social reconstruction in the Virú Valley and its consequent impact on American archaeology and worldwide as well. The present paper suggests that Chinese archaeology should shift its orientation from culture-historic paradigm to function-processual approach, refer to Willey's experience and make its effort to study societal relationship using archaeological data.