New Honors to Chengdu Archaeological Discoveries —Chengdu Laoguanshan Western Han Tombs Winning the “National Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries” 2013
At 16:30 on Apr. 9, 2014, Chengdu Laoguanshan Western Han Tombs won the “National Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries” following the Chengdu Jinsha Site of Shang and Zhou Dynasties in 2001 and Tangsong Street Site of Jiangnan Hall, Chengdu, Sichuan in 2008.
Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries, the “Hundred Flowers Award” in Archaeology
At present, the major archaeological discoveries are increasingly concerned by the society, so is the “Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries” held by China Cultural Relics Press and Society for Chinese Archaeology annually under the leadership of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage. The event has turned out to be a famous brand in cultural heritage, museology and archaeology as important as to the “Hundred Flowers Award”. These new discoveries fully demonstrated the long history and rich connotations of Chinese history and culture, and the great contribution made by the Chinese nation to the progress of human civilization, which greatly stimulated the patriotism and cultural relics of the people of all ethnic groups and produced a huge and far-reaching impact.
On the afternoon of Apr. 9, the list of National Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries 2013 was announced, including: Chengdu Laoguanshan Western Han Tombs, Sichuan Shiqu Stone Carvings of Tubo Dynasty, Shigushan Shang & Zhou Tombs of Baoji, Shaanxi, the Eastern Zhou Tomb of Marquis Zeng at Wenfeng Tower, Suizhou, Hubei, the Tomb of the Spring-and-Autumn Period at Jiwang Gu in Yishui, Shandong, Yiyang Site in Tuzi Mountain, the Han Hangu Pass Site in Xin’an, Luoyang, the Western Han Wei Bridge Site of Chang’an City in Xi’an, Yangzhou Caozhuang Sui & Tang Tombs (the Tombs of Emperor Yang of Sui) and the Tang Site of the Southern Kiln in Jingde Town.
Laoguanshan Han Tombs, “Four First Titles, To Their Real Owner”
That Chengdu Laoguanshan Han Tombs in Tianhui Town was listed shall attribute to its four first titles that it was the place where the first world known loom model of Shu brocade was unearthed; it was the place where some medical books of Bian Que, recorded on bamboo slips, were found with outstanding contributions to the medical medicine in China; it was the place where a complete lacquered medical portrait with meridians was excavated and proved to be an object of the Western Han Dynasty; it was the place where a large number of Chengdu lacquered objects of the Western Han Dynasty returned to the world.
With approval from the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, from July 2012 to August 2013, a joint archaeological team was formed by Chengdu Cultural Relics and Archeology Research Institute and Jingzhou Cultural Heritage Protection Center for rescuing excavation of a graveyard of the Western Han Dynasty discovered at the construction site of Chengdu Metro Line 3 in Tianhui Town, Jinniu District, Chengdu City, from where, 4 wooden tombs were cleaned and large number of lacquer wares, potteries, bronze wares and iron wares were unearthed, including over 50 inscribed wooden tablets from M1, 4 bamboo loom models from M2, over 920 (according to number) bamboo slips and a lacquered medical portrait with meridians from M3.
The bamboo slips of the Western Han Dynasty unearthed at the site were their first show in Sichuan area, which made Chengdu another important discovery site of Han bamboo slips and made up a gap in this field. From the content of the 9 medical books, some of them are of great possibility the lost classical of Bian Que, a famous TCM physician. Such a complete and systematical discovery of medical bamboo lips was also the first in China and had a key position in the research on the history of Chinese medicine development. The lacquered portrait of meridians topped China for its long history and intactness. In correspondence to the medical books, it unveiled the origin and development of meridian and acupuncture theory in TCM. The 4 Jacquard loom models unearthed also created the first example in China and stood as substantial support with those abstract pictures and data records. Since last century, a large number of Shu brocades of Han Dynasty were discovered along the Silk Road, representing the highest textile weaving technology. Amongst them, the one reading “Wu Xing Chu Dong Fang Li Zhong Guo” unearthed at Turpan was the most famous one. Yang Xiong from the Western Han Dynasty once praised the Shu Brocade and its weaving technology in his book An Ode to the Shu Capital. The discovery of Shu brocade jacquard loom witnessed the five capitals of the Han Dynasty and the world capital of textile, and played a key role in the research of the origin and development of the silk weaving technology in China and even in the world.
By report, the Cultural Relics Protection and Restoration Center of Chengdu Museum performed a detailed disease investigation on the wooden lacquer ware unearthed with other bamboo slips, lacquered portrait with meridians and loom models, with technical support from the key research base of wooden lacquer ware protection under the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (Jinzhou Cultural Heritage Protection Center), according to which, a protecting restoration program was formed, approved and won capital support. Now the program was to be ended in order. Meanwhile, the Cultural Heritage Protection and Restoration Center measured the loom models and colored figurines of weavers to lay a foundation for further restoration and reproduction.
Those precious cultural relics, once repaired, will be exhibited in the new Chengdu Museum.
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Loom Modes, Lacquered Portrait of Meridians and Medical Bamboo Slips Unearthed at Chengdu “Laoguanshan” Han Tombs
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