The Tomb of Fu Hao (simplified Chinese :妇好墓; traditional Chinese :婦好墓; pinyin :Fù Hǎo Mù) is an archaeological site at Yinxu, the ruins of the ancient Shang dynasty capital Yin, within the modern city of Anyang in Henan Province, China. Discovered in 1976 by Zheng Zhenxiang, it was identified as the final resting place of the queen and military general Fu Hao, who died about 1200 BCE and was likely the Lady Hao inscribed on oracle bones by king Wu Ding and one of his many wives.
It is to date the only Shang royal tomb found intact with its contents and excavated by archaeologists.The excavation was conducted by the Anyang Working Team of the Archaeological Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and after extensive restoration the tomb was opened to the public in 1999.
In 1976 Zheng Zhenxiang and her archaeological team were probing the area around Yinxu with a long shovel, called a Luoyang shovel, and recovered some samples of red lacquer.The burial pit uncovered, officially titled tomb number 5, is a single pit, 5.6 metres by 4 m, just outside the main royal cemetery. The tomb has been dated to around BCE 1200 and identified, from inscriptions on ritual bronzes, to be that of Fu Hao.
Her tomb, one of the smaller tombs, is one of the best-preserved Shang dynasty royal tombs and the only one not to have been looted before excavation.Inside the pit was evidence of a wooden chamber 5 meters long, 3.5 m wide and 1.3 m high containing a lacquered wooden coffin that has since completely rotted away.
The floor level housed the royal corpse and most of the utensils and implements buried with her. Rare Jade artifacts, such as those of the Liangzhu culture, were probably collected by Fu Hao as antiques and while some of the bronze artifacts were probably used by the lady and her household others inscribed with her posthumous name of Mu Xin were undoubtedly cast as grave goods.The artifacts unearthed within the grave consisted of:
Below the corpse was a small pit holding the remains of six sacrificial dogs, and along the edge lay the skeletons of 16 human slaves, evidence of human sacrifice.
There is also evidence above ground of a structure built over the tomb that probably served as an ancestral hall for holding memorial ceremonies; this has since been restored.
By connecting the jade artifact in the tomb of Fu Hao to much earlier artifact through stylistic and technical analysis, the archaeological context has identified an early collector, a woman who gathered about her artifacts of a much earlier period.
The Shang dynasty, also historically known as the Yin dynasty, was a Chinese dynasty that ruled in the middle and lower Yellow River valley in the second millennium BC, succeeding the Xia dynasty and followed by the Zhou dynasty. The classic account of the Shang comes from texts such as the Book of Documents, Bamboo Annals and Records of the Grand Historian. According to the traditional chronology based on calculations made approximately 2,000 years ago by Liu Xin, the Shang ruled from 1766 to 1122 BC, but according to the chronology based upon the "current text" of Bamboo Annals, they ruled from 1556 to 1046 BC. The Xia–Shang–Zhou Chronology Project dated them from c. 1600 to 1046 BC based on the carbon 14 dates of the Erligang site.
Oracle bones are pieces of ox scapula or turtle plastron, which were used for pyromancy – a form of divination – in ancient China, mainly during the late Shang dynasty. Scapulimancy is the correct term if ox scapulae were used for the divination, plastromancy if turtle plastrons were used.
Yinxu is the site of one of the ancient and major historical capitals of China. It is the source of the archeological discovery of oracle bones and oracle bone script, which resulted in the identification of the earliest known Chinese writing. The archeological remnants known as Yinxu represent the ancient city of Yin, the last capital of China's Shang dynasty which existed through eight generations for 255 years, and through the reign of 12 kings. Yinxu was discovered, or rediscovered, in 1899. It is now one of China's oldest and largest archeological sites, and has been selected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Yinxu is located in northernmost Henan province near the modern city of Anyang, and near the Hebei and Shanxi province borders. Public access to the site is permitted.
Anyang is a prefecture-level city in Henan province, China. The northernmost city in Henan, Anyang borders Puyang to the east, Hebi and Xinxiang to the south, and the provinces of Shanxi and Hebei to its west and north respectively.
Pán Gēng, personal name Zi Xun, was a Shang dynasty King of China. He is best known for having moved the capital of the Shang dynasty to its final location at Yīn.
Wu Ding, personal name Zǐ Zhāo, was a king of the Shang dynasty in ancient China, whose reign lasted approximately 1250–1192 BC. According to the traditional chronology, his reign was 1324–1266 BC.
Fu Hao or Lady Hao, posthumous temple name Mu Xin (母辛), was one of the many wives of King Wu Ding of the Shang dynasty and also served as a military general and high priestess. Minimal evidence detailing Fu Hao's life and military achievements survived the Shang Dynasty, as it preceded the invention of paper, and the records may have perished over the course of time.
Sanxingdui is the name of an archaeological site and a major Bronze Age culture in modern Guanghan, Sichuan, China. Largely discovered in 1986, following a preliminary finding in 1929, archaeologists excavated remarkable artifacts that radiocarbon dating placed in the 12th–11th centuries BCE. The type site for the Sanxingdui culture that produced these artifacts, archeologists have identified the locale with the ancient kingdom of Shu. The artifacts are displayed in the Sanxingdui Museum located near the city of Guanghan.
The Dayangzhou Chengjia site is an archaeological site located on the Gan River in Dayangzhou Town, Xingan County, Jiangxi, China. The site was excavated in 1989, and it dates to around 1200 BCE. The rich offerings of bronze and jade objects made it the second richest burial site known after the Fu Hao's tomb.
The National Museum of China flanks the eastern side of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. The museum's mission is to educate about the arts and history of China. It is directed by the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China.
Chinese jade refers to the jade mined or carved in China from the Neolithic onward. It is the primary hardstone of Chinese sculpture. Although deep and bright green jadeite is better known in Europe, for most of China's history, jade has come in a variety of colors and white "mutton-fat" nephrite was the most highly praised and prized. Native sources in Henan and along the Yangtze were exploited since prehistoric times and have largely been exhausted; most Chinese jade today is extracted from the northwestern province of Xinjiang.
Since the second half of the 20th century, inscriptions have been found on pottery in a variety of locations in China, such as Banpo near Xi'an, as well as on bone and bone marrows at Hualouzi, Chang'an County near Xi'an. These simple, often geometric, marks have been frequently compared to some of the earliest known Chinese characters appearing on the oracle bones, and some have taken them to mean that the history of Chinese writing extends back over six millennia. However, only isolated instances of these symbols have been found, and they show no indication of representing speech or of the non-pictorial processes that a writing system requires.
Shang archaeology is concerned with the archaeological evidence for the Shang dynasty. Choice of excavation sites and interpretation of finds have been heavily influenced by the textual historical record.
A jia is a ritual vessel type found in both pottery and bronze forms; it was used to hold libations of wine for the veneration of ancestors. It was made either with four legs or in the form of a tripod and included two pillar-like protrusions on the rim that were possibly used to suspend the vessel over heat. The earliest evidence of the Jia vessel type appears during the Neolithic Period. It was a prominent form during the Shang and early Western Zhou dynasties, but had disappeared by the mid-Western Zhou.
A gu is type of ancient Chinese ritual bronze vessel from the Shang and Zhou dynasties. It was used to drink wine or to offer ritual libations.
Subutun or Sufutun is the largest known Shang dynasty archaeological site outside Anyang, located in Qingzhou City, Shandong.
The Houmuwu ding, formerly called Simuwu ding, is a rectangular bronze ding of the ancient Chinese Shang dynasty. It is the heaviest piece of bronzeware to survive from anywhere in the ancient world. It was unearthed in Wuguan Village, Anyang, Henan in 1939.
The Institute of Archaeology is a constituent institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), based in Beijing, China. It was founded on 1 August 1950, as part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Its original 20 or so researchers came from the Beiping Research Academy and the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica of the Republic of China. In 1977, the institute became part of the newly established CASS.
Zheng Zhenxiang is a Chinese archaeologist most famous for excavating the Bronze Age tomb of Fuhao at Anyang. She has been referred to as the 'First Lady of Chinese Archaeology'.
In 2001, the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences organized a poll for China's 100 major archaeological discoveries in the 20th century. The participants included eight national-level institutions for archaeology and cultural relics, provincial-level archaeological institutes from 28 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions, as well as from Hong Kong, the archaeological departments of 11 major national universities, and many other scholars in Beijing. After three months and three rounds of voting, the results were announced on 29 March 2001 and were published in the journal Kaogu (Archaeology). In 2002, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Press published the book China's 100 Major Archaeological Discoveries in the 20th Century (二十世纪中国百项考古大发现), with more than 500 pages and 1,512 pictures.
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Lady Hao's Tomb was a tomb of the royal family of the Yin Dynasty, which was excavated by Anyang Working Team of the Archaeological Institute of the Chinese Social Science Academy in 1976. There was a house foundation remained from the Yin Dynasty on the tomb, which was restored to be the Memorial Hall for Lady Hao during the construction of the garden museum. The coffin chamber of the tomb under the house foundation was in the shape of a small shaft with many kinds of funerary objects buried in 7 layers. There were over 1,900 pieces of objects unearthed from the tomb, including bronze vessels, jade objects, gem objects, bone implements, potteries and so on. In addition, there were over 6,880 cowry-shells as well. The coffin chamber of Lady Hao's tomb was restored in 1999. According to the epigraphs on the bronze vessels and the shapes of the objects and referring to the records concerned in the oracular inscriptions, the occupant of the tomb should be the concubine Lady Hao if the King Wuding of the Yin Dynasty. Lady Hao was the earliest woman general in China, died in the period of Wuding and was given a name of temple as Xin after her death. The discovery of Lady Hao's tomb is of important value to the research of politics, economy, culture and art, small states around, rural system, dating of the bronze vessels, ancient science and technology and so on of the Yin dynasty.