The First Inscriptions

With a rich civilization of five thousand years, there is no doubt China has many cultural artifacts. These art works represent priceless treasures for Chinese people. They are witnesses to their development and evolution over the ages. In different regions in China, the past Chinese evidence were found and are now a precious heritage. Whether tools, jade and bronze objects, or even parts of walls or buildings, these remain a part of Chinese civilization through various dynasties and even before.

A treasure of Shang

The earliest traces of inscriptions were found on tortoise shells and animal bones dating back to the Shang dynasty, at more than 1,000 years ago BC. It is the capital of this dynasty, Yinxu, Henan, these jiaguwen were discovered. Considered one of the most important discoveries of the twentieth century in the field of Chinese archeology, these inscriptions were the oldest and most valuable Chinese cultural artifact.

Time-consuming Research

It took a long time for archaeologists to understand what they had in front of them. It was not until 1899, long after the discovery of the archaeological site noticed that they had taken dragon bones with inscriptions from another era. After more than 100 years of research, there are now 150,000 items of inscriptions which were discovered on the site. Archaeologists identify that 4,500 primitive characters with over 1,000 that are similar to existing characters. 
These fragments of writing give a glimpse into the daily life of the time but in the economy, politics and culture of the Chinese people in fifteenth century BC.



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