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What four great discoveries have been made in the course of Chinese civilization?
April 13th, 2009 | Tags: chinese civilization
In Chinese history, there have been extraordinary breakthrough discoveries that have shed light on the customs and ways of life of later dynasties. Below are four great discoveries that have greatly influenced the historical understanding of Chinese civilization.
The first discovery occurred towards the end of the period of Emperor Wu Di of the Han Dynasty(?武帝)^c.92 BC?.During this time, many Confucina classics were uncovered, including The Classic of History(?S书经?<),The Analects(?S论语?<)OThe Classic of Rites(?S礼记?<),The Classic of Filial Duty(?S孝经?<),among other important books. These works were written in an ancient pre-Qin-script, and they are called ?othe Old Script?texts.
The second discovery took place in the beginning of the Western Jin Dynasty(265?"317)when a large amount of bamboo annals were unearthed in the tomb of King Xiang Wang of the State of Wei(魏"Z<). There were 75 volumes in total. These annals are commonly referred as The Bamboo Books of Ji?Ts Tomb.
The third discovery are ancient inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells known as the ?oTortoise Shell Characters(Y板-?-).? These inscriptions were used for divination during the Shang and Zhou dynasties(1600 BC ?"256 BC). Toward the end of the Qing Dynasty(c. 1911),peasants continually found fragments of these bones and shells while ploughing their fields, thinking that these artifacts were in fact ?odragon bones? which could be used for medical treatment. Through careful study,scholars came to realize that the symbols engraved on the bones were scipts used before the Qin Dynasty(221 BC ?"2006 BC), leading to insight into the socio-political, economical,and cultural aspects of the Shang and Zhou dynasties.
The fourth discovery came about in 1899 with the unearthing of the Dunhuang precious deposits(..O宝-), previously hidden in the unknown caves of the Dunhuang Grottos, The books totaled 20,000 bound volumes, mostly Buddhist and Daoist scriptures, and also many other kinds of works of history, poetry, folk literature, local chronicles, medicine and almanac recordings, Unfortunately foreign thieves made off with most of these works causing great loss to China?Ts cultural heritage.