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HomePublicationJournalsKaoguxuebao (Acta Archaeological Sinica)
Kaoguxuebao 2016-4
From:Chinese Archaeology  Writer:  Date:2016-10-20
KAOGU XUEBAO
(Acta Archaeologica Sinica)
No. 4, 2016

 
Contents
Feng Shi,
Natural Colors and Philosophical Colors -- A Study on the Origin of the Cardinal Direction-Color Theory in China   ………………………………………………(417)
Liu Xinglin, The Archaeological Study on the Distribution and Assemblage of the Crops of the Pre-Qin Period and the Han Dynasty ……………………………………( 467 )
Mao Bo,
A Preliminary Study on the Bronze Swords of the Wu-Yue System   …………(467)
Yungang Grottoes Research Institute et al.,
The Remains of the Buddhist Monastery of the Northern Wei Dynasty in the
Western Zone of the Top of the Yungang Grottoes ……………………………(505)
Joint Ye City Archaeological Team of the Institute of Archaeology, CASS and Research Institute of Cultural Relics of Hebei Province,
The Excavation of the  Architectural Foundation No. 1 at Hetao Yuan in the Ye City Site at Linzhang County,Hebei ………………………………………………………(535)

Abstract
NATURAL COLORS AND PHILOSOPHICAL COLORS -- A STUDY ON THE ORIGIN OF THE CARDINAL DIRECTION-COLOR THEORY IN CHINA
by
Feng Shi

 
In traditional Chinese culture, color is not only a natural existence applied to decorate various utensils and artworks, but a unique association of other concepts such as space, time, celestial bodies and phenomena, “wu xing (the five elements, i.e. the water, metal, fire, wood and earth)” and yin-yang, etc., and forms a cardinal direction-color theory with special characteristics. To be specific, wu se (the five colors), which are blue, red, white, black and yellow can be used to represent wu fang (the five cardinal directions) when referring to space, which are the east, south, west, north and the center; and through the relationship of traditional temporal and spatial views with the concepts of timekeeping, astronomy and philosophy, the colors are developed to symbolize si shi (the four seasons), which are the spring, summer, autumn and winter, when referring to time; and are used to depict the si xiang (the four symbols), which are the Blue Dragon, the Scarlet Bird, the White Tiger and the Somber Warrior (the combination of a turtle and a snake) formed by the “Twenty-eight Mansions” scattered along the celestial equator when referring to the celestial bodies and phenomena; they also represent the “five elements” and yin-yang concepts when referring to Chinese philosophy. By setting up the internal relationship with the system of time and space, the cardinal direction-color theory not only integrates various elements of traditional Chinese culture but also directly leads to the establishment of traditional institutions of politics and sacrifice, thus it bears great significance. Archaeological discoveries have provided sufficient physical evidences in solving the problem about the origin of the traditional theory of relationships between directions and colors. When mutual verification between these textual materials and physical materials is enough to construct the recognition background of the Chinese ancients, the conclusion we have drawn on the origin of the traditional cardinal direction-color theory in China is of actual significance. Evidences available to date show that the traditional cardinal direction-color theory in China appeared no later than the Neolithic Age in the third millennium BC. At that time, the Chinese ancients' comprehension of colors and directions was not restricted by the concepts themselves but began to link them with views of astronomy and philosophy, which means that there must have been more primitive recognition of directions and colors that is really simple and its formation must have been earlier than the era our research has traced back to.

THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDY ON THE DISTRIBUTION AND ASSEMBLAGE OF THE CROPS OF THE PRE-QIN PERIOD AND THE HAN DYNASTY
by
Liu Xinglin

The temporal and spatial distributions of the main crops in the pre-Qin period and the Western and Eastern Han Dynasty, namely the millet, broomcorn, rice, wheat, soybean, hemp, sorghum, etc., showed the following obvious rules: the first, the cultivating areas were constantly expanding main crops as time went by; second, each crop had its own central distribution zone and clear diffusion and evolution procedures; third, in the original areas, the crops have sharply more chances to be found than in the areas where they were introduced in; fourth, the distributions of the crops were highly matching that of the populations. The crops usually unearthed together in a certain area formed a relatively constant assemblage; according the principle of “ubiquity priority” and referring to the frequencies and quantities of discovery, these crops could be arranged into an order by cultivating statuses in the assemblage. The evolutions of the crop assemblages of Shaanxi and Henan are the same, which were the millet, wheat, broomcorn, rice and soybean in the Three-Dynasties through the Warring-States Periods to the millet, broomcorn, wheat, hemp, rice, soybean and sorghum in the Han Dynasty. For Shandong in the lower reach of the Yellow River, wheat was somewhat rare in the Xia through the Western Zhou Dynasties, but the crop assemblage was the same as that of the middle reach of the Yellow River during the Spring-and-Autumn and Warring-States Periods. The middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River can be seen as a single large crop distribution area. In the upper reach of the Yellow River represented by Gansu, the crop assemblage was similar to that in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River but the internal pattern differed somehow, and more barley appeared. In the Huai River valley, the staple crop was constantly the rice, and at latest in the Warring-States Period, the crop assemblage of rice, wheat and millet was formed. In Chengdu Plain, the staple crop was always millet, plus rice and a little broomcorn and barley, showing the coexistence of dryland farming and paddy-field farming. In Yunnan, the staple crop was rice, while millet and wheat also took a little proportion. Rice was the staple crop in most of the areas to the south of the Yangtze River and dryland farming also had a position. Referring to both the crop assemblages inferred from the archaeological data and the records in the historic literature, it can be confirmed that in the Yellow River valley, the “Five Grains” were millet, wheat, broomcorn, rice and soybean during the Spring-and-Autumn and Warring-States Periods; in the Han Dynasty, the “Five Grains” were millet, broomcorn, wheat, rice, plus soybean or hemp.

A PRELIMINARY STUDY ON THE BRONZE SWORDS OF THE WU-YUE SYSTEM
by
Mao Bo

 
This paper comprehensively gathered and trimmed the data of the bronze swords of the Wu-Yue System available to date, and classified these bronze swords into three types, which are Type A, the swords with a pair of flange ears on the hilt, Type B, the swords with thick hand guard and Type C, the swords with thin hand guard. Moreover, by their evolution rules, the swords of these three types were again divided into eight, nine and four subtypes, respectively, and a rather complete developing and evolving sequence of the bronze swords of the Wu-Yue System. And then, using some scientifically unearthed bronze swords with reliable dates as milestones, the chronological framework of this evolving sequence was established. The swords of Types A and B might emerge at the end of the Shang Dynasty, and developed simultaneously. Since the late Western Zhou Dynasty, Type A declined. Roughly during the early Spring-and-Autumn Period, the earliest form of Type C derived from Type A, and the earliest bronze swords of Type C all somehow bore the features of that of Type A. Around the later stage of the late Spring-and-Autumn Period, Type A vanished. However, Type B developed bloomingly since the beginning of the Spring-and-Autumn Period. Down to the late Spring-and-Autumn Period, the two mainstreams of the bronze swords of the later stage of the Wu-Yue System -- Types B and C -- finally maturely formed. The form of the bronze swords of Type B was generally thick hand guard, two curbing rings on the hilt and trumpet-shaped pommel, and that of the bronze swords of Type C was generally thin hand guard, hollow or half-hollow cylindrical hilt and ring-shaped pommel. Around the mid Spring-and-Autumn Period, the swords of the Wu-Yue System began to diffuse to the surrounding regions, and became one of the most popular forms of the bronze swords in the Warring-States Period. At the end, this paper discussed the practicality of the early forms of the bronze swords of the Wu-Yue System, the decors and types of the curbing rings on the hilt and their influences on the bronze swords of Yuhuangmiao Culture and other relevant issues.

THE REMAINS OF THE BUDDHIST MONASTERY OF THE NORTHERN WEI DYNASTY IN THE WESTERN ZONE OF THE TOP OF THE YUNGANG GROTTOES
by
Yungang Grottoes Research Institute
Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology
Datong Municipal Institute of Archaeology

 
To coordinate with the seepage control project of the top of the Yungang Grottoes, the joint archaeological team organized by Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, Yungang Grottoes Research Institute, Datong Municipal Institute of Archaeology conducted archaeological survey and excavation to the Zone I of the top of the Yungang Grottoes in April through October 2010. The survey and excavation found and recovered the remains of a Buddhist monastery of the Northern Wei to the Liao and Jin Dynasties. This was a well preserved monastery site, consisting of the northern corridor house, eastern corridor house, middle corridor house, southern corridor house, pagoda base, brick and tile kilns, etc. The northern corridor house 61.5 m in length consisted of 15 bays built into suites and single rooms in the form of open porches in the front and enclosed rooms in the rear. The middle corridor house 13.5 m in full length consisted of two bays, in front of which stone column bases were found. The eastern corridor house about 18 m in length consisted of three bays. The pagoda base located between the eastern and western corridor houses and slightly to the south was roughly in a square plan, which was about 14 m long from north to south and 14.3 m wide from east to west, and the remaining height was about 0.35-0.7 m. No crypt or hoard was found in the pagoda base. The remains of the brick and tile kilns were in the southwest of the architectural complex remains, from which two kilns were recovered. The artifacts unearthed from them were mainly the architectural components of the Northern Wei Dynasty, most of which were the fragments of roof tiles, followed by tile-ends with characters “chuan zuo wuqiong ([may] the imperial continuity be endless)”, the tile-ends with “Buddha transformed from lotus flower” figure, glazed flat tiles, etc. and pottery ware sherds of the Northern Wei Dynasty, as well as some fragments of stone Buddha statues and figures of sponsors. The nature, date and values of this site have been made clear that it was the site of a Buddhist monastery of the Northern Wei Dynasty, which was one of the earliest Buddhist monastery sites found to date and important part of the Yungang Cave Temple of the Northern Wei Dynasty. It preserved the early “pagoda cloister” layout of Buddhist monasteries centered by the pagoda, the discovery of which is helpful for understanding the planning and scale of the Yungang Cave Temple.

THE EXCAVATION OF THE ARCHITECTURAL FOUNDATION NO. 1 AT HETAO YUAN IN THE YE CITY SITE AT LINZHANG COUNTY, HEBEI
by
Joint Ye City Archaeological Team of the Institute of Archaeology, CASS and Research Institute of Cultural Relics of Hebei Province

 
The Hetao Yuan (Walnut Orchard) architectural complex site located on the eastern side of the boulevard outside the Zhuming Gate, which was the central axis of the Ye City Site, the capital of the Eastern Wei and Northern Qi Dynasties, had five large-scale architectural foundations arranged along the same symmetrical axis. Among them, the Architectural Foundation No. 1 about 1200 m to the south of the south wall of the Southern Ye City Site was confirmed by excavation as the remains of a large-scale wooden pagoda built in the Northern Qi Dynasty. The pagoda remains consisted of the rammed-earth base above the ground, the surrounding architectural remains and the underground rammed-earth foundation pit. In the middle of the four sides of the pagoda base, steps were set, the surrounding architectural remains included the grooves for the lining walls of the pagoda base, the brick-paved ground, bluestone remains, brick- and stone-paved paths, etc. The unearthed artifacts were mainly gray pottery bricks, flat tiles, semi-cylindrical tiles and tile-ends with lotus flower design, and so on. The underground rammed-earth foundation pit was in a square plan, on the four walls of which six construction ramps were found. Exactly underneath the geometric center of the rammed-earth pagoda base, on the interface between the rammed-earth body and the pebble layer, which was 1.87 m below the ground of the Northern Dynasties, a stone casket and celadon jars related to the sarira burying were unearthed. On the stone casket, inscription of “Sanbao (Triratna, Three Jewels of Buddhism) XX” was found. In the stone casket and the celadon jars at its four corners, large amount of bronze “Changping wuzhu” coins and tubular and globular beads and pendants made of various materials, stone ornaments made into various shapes, metal decorative fittings, bronze seals and fragments of glass wares were unearthed, in a well-preserved long-necked glass vase among which, mercury was still remaining. In addition, at due front of the stone casket, arrowhead-shaped design laid with pebbles was found, and in the pebble layer, coins and objects were unearthed at regular intervals, showing that they were intentionally buried and arranged at the construction of this pagoda. The discovery of the Hetao Yuan architectural complex site and the excavation of the pagoda base of the Architectural Foundation No. 1 are significantly meaningful for the understandings to the construction technique and the Buddhist sarira burying institution in the late Northern Dynasties and the exploration of the structure and range of the outer enclosure wall of the Southern Ye City Site, the nature of the Hetao Yuan architectural complex and the distribution of the ritual architectural complex in the southern suburb of the Ye City.


 
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