Building peace in the minds of men and women

Scapula-bone inscription kept in Shanghai Museum, published in the book Shanghai Bowuguan Cang Jiagu Wenzi as No. 8103. © Institute of History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Chinese Oracle-Bone Inscriptions

Registration year: 2017
Submission year: 
2016
Collection ID: 
2016-79

Oracle-bone inscriptions were excavated from Yin Ruins in Anyang City, Henan Province, China. They were records of making divination and praying to gods by late Shang people from 1400 B.C.-1100 B.C.. The materials used for divination were mainly cattle scapulas and tortoise shells, as well as other animal bones. Omens were deciphered from the cracks made by burning bones. The divination involves all aspects of Shang dynasty, such as sacrifices, praying, king’s affairs, weather, harvest, military affairs, coming and going, etc.. Oracle bone inscriptions can be divided into several periods according to their forms and contents, based on which we could reconstruct the real royal genealogy of Shang dynasty, and make research on the important events of royal families and how people lived in Shang time. Oracle bone inscriptions are also the important materials to study the original configuration of Chinese characters and the earliest state of Chinese language grammar.

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Scapula-bone inscription kept in Shanghai Museum, published in the book Shanghai Bowuguan Cang Jiagu Wenzi as No. 8103. © Institute of History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Scapula-bone inscription kept in Shanghai Museum, published in the book Shanghai Bowuguan Cang Jiagu Wenzi as No. 8103.
© Institute of History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

chinese_oracle_bone_2.jpg

Scapula-bone inscription kept in Institute of Archaeology, CASS, published in the book Xiaotun Nandi Jiagu as No.751.  © Institute of History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Scapula-bone inscription kept in Institute of Archaeology, CASS, published in the book Xiaotun Nandi Jiagu as No.751.
© Institute of History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

chinese_oracle_bone_8.jpg

Turtle-shell inscription kept in Lvshun Museum published in the book Lvshun Bowaguan Suocang Jiagu as No.1949. © Institute of History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Turtle-shell inscription kept in Lvshun Museum published in the book Lvshun Bowaguan Suocang Jiagu as No.1949.
© Institute of History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
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