jump to the content

Yin Xu

Yin Xu

The archaeological site of Yin Xu, close to Anyang City, some 500 km south of Beijing, is an ancient capital city of the late Shang Dynasty (1300 - 1046 BC). It testifies to the golden age of early Chinese culture, crafts and sciences, a time of great prosperity of the Chinese Bronze Age. A number of royal tombs and palaces, prototypes of later Chinese architecture, have been unearthed on the site, including the Palace and Royal Ancestral Shrines Area, with more than 80 house foundations, and the only tomb of a member of the royal family of the Shang Dynasty to have remained intact, the Tomb of Fu Hao. The large number and superb craftsmanship of the burial accessories found there bear testimony to the advanced level of Shang crafts industry. Inscriptions on oracle bones found in Yin Xu bear invaluable testimony to the development of one of the world’s oldest writing systems, ancient beliefs and social systems.

Yin Xu

Le site archéologique de Yin Xu, proche de la ville d'Anyang, à quelque 500 km au sud de Beijing, fut la dernière capitale de l'ancienne dynastie Shang (1300-1046 av. J.-C.). Il témoigne de l'âge d'or de la culture, de l'artisanat et des sciences de la Chine antique, une période de grande prospérité de l'âge du bronze chinois. Beaucoup de tombes et palais royaux, prototypes de l'architecture chinoise postérieure, ont été mis à jour sur le site dont l'aire du Palais et les sanctuaires ancestraux royaux, où sont rassemblées plus de 80 fondations de maisons et la seule tombe d'un membre de la famille royale de la dynastie Shang encore intacte, le tombeau de Fu Hao. Un grand nombre de superbes objets funéraires y porte le témoignage du niveau avancé de l'artisanat Shang. Les inscriptions sur les ossements trouvés à Yin Xu et utilisés pour les oracles ont une valeur testimoniale immense sur le développement du plus ancien langage systématique écrit, sur les croyances et le système social anciens.

يين كزو

يقع موقع يين كزو الأثري على مسافةٍ قريبةٍ من مدينة أنيانغ على بعد 500 كيلومتر جنوب بيجينغ وهو العاصمة الأخيرة لسلالة شانغ القديمة (1300-1046 ق.م). والموقع شهادة عن العصر الذهبي لثقافة الصين القديمة وصناعتها الحرفيّة وعلومها، وهي حقبة عرف فيها الزمن الصيني البرونزي ازدهاراً كبيراً. وكثيرة هي المقابر والقصور الملكيّة وهي مثال الهندسة الصينيّة للعصر اللاحق التي جرى تحديثها في موقع تواجدها ومنها حرم القصر والمعابد الملكيّة القديمة حيث أساسات أكثر من80 منزلا ومقبرة فو هاو وهي المقبرة الوحيدة لفرد من الأسرة الملكيّة من سلالة شانغ التي ظلّت سليمة المعالم. وفي العديد من الأغراض الجنائزيّة الرائعة شهادة على المستوى المتقدّم من فنّ شانغ الحرفي. وتتمتع الكتابات المحفورة على العظام والموجودة في يين كزو والتي يستخدمها الوسطاء الروحيّون بقيمة عظيمة لجهة تطوّر اللغة المكتوبة الأقدم والمعتقدات والنظام الاجتماعي القديم.

source: UNESCO/ERI

殷墟

殷墟考古遗址靠近安阳市,位于北京以南约500公里处,是商代晚期(公元前1300至1046年)的古代都城,代表了中国早期文化、工艺和科学的黄金时代,是中国青铜器时代最繁荣的时期。在殷墟遗址出土了大量王室陵墓、宫殿以及中国后期建筑的原型。遗址中的宫殿宗庙区(1000米×650米)拥有80处房屋地基,还有唯一一座保存完好的商代王室成员大墓“妇好墓”。殷墟出土的大量工艺精美的陪葬品证明了商代手工业的先进水平,现在它们是中国的国宝之一。在殷墟发现了大量甲骨窖穴。甲骨上的文字对于证明中国古代信仰、社会体系以及汉字这一世界上最古老的书写体系之一的发展有着不可估量的价值。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Древний город Иньсюй

Археологический памятник Иньсюй вблизи города Аньян, в 500 км южнее Пекина – это древняя столица последнего периода правления династии Шан (1300-1046 гг. до н.э.). Он свидетельствует о высоком расцвете ранней китайской культуры, ремесел и наук на протяжении Китайского Бронзового века. Множество гробниц и дворцов властителей, послуживших образцами для дальнейшего развития китайской архитектуры, было обнаружено на этом месте. Объект включает территорию дворца и святилищ предков правителей (1000х650 м), с остатками оснований более чем 80 построек, и единственную гробницу члена правящей семьи династии Шан, оставшуюся неразграбленной – гробницу Фу Хао. Большое количество и великолепное мастерство изготовления найденных здесь погребальных предметов свидетельствуют о высоком уровне ремесленного производства в государстве Шан. Эти находки признаны ныне одним из национальных сокровищ Китая. При раскопках в Иньсюе было обнаружено множество лопаток домашнего скота и черепаховых панцирей, покрытых надписями. Эти «гадальные кости» представляют собой неоценимое свидетельство развития одной из древнейших в мире систем письменности, древних верований и социального устройства тех времен.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Yin Xu

El sitio arqueológico de Yin Xu, situado cerca de la ciudad de Anyang, a unos 500 km al sur de Beijing, contiene los vestigios de una antigua capital de las postrimerí­as de la dinastí­a de los Shang (1300-1046 a.C.). Yin Xu es un testimonio de apogeo alcanzado por la cultura, la artesaní­a y las ciencias de la China antigua en un periodo de gran prosperidad de la Edad del Bronce. Durante las excavaciones se han desenterrado algunas tumbas y palacios prototí­picos de la arquitectura china de épocas posteriores. El sitio comprende el Palacio y el í¡rea de los templos ancestrales reales, en los que se han encontrado mí¡s de 80 cimientos de edificios y la Tumba de Fu Hao, que es la única sepultura hallada intacta, hasta ahora, de un miembro de la familia de uno de los monarcas de la dinastí­a Shang. La abundancia y la magní­fica factura de los objetos funerarios encontrados atestiguan el grado de adelanto alcanzado por la industria artesanal en la época de los Shang. Las inscripciones que figuran en los restos óseos encontrados en Yin Xu, utilizados para los orí¡culos, aportan un inestimable testimonio sobre uno de los sistemas de escritura mí¡s antiguos del mundo, así­ como sobre las creencias y sistemas sociales de la época.

source: UNESCO/ERI

殷墟

source: NFUAJ

Yin Xu

De archeologische vindplaats Yin Xu ligt in de buurt van de stad Anyang, 500 kilometer ten zuiden van Beijing. Het is een oude hoofdstad uit de late Shang dynastie (1300 - 1046 voor Christus), opgericht tijdens de bloeiperiode van de Chinese bronstijd. Een groot aantal graven en paleizen zijn opgegraven. Daaronder vallen het paleis en de koninklijke voorouderlijke altaren, met meer dan 80 fundamenten en het enige graf van het koninklijke familielid van de Shang dynastie dat nog intact is gebleven: het graf van Fu Hao. Het grote aantal en de uitstekende kwaliteit van de gevonden grafcomponenten illustreren het hoge ambachtsniveau binnen de Shang dynastie.

Source: unesco.nl

  • English
  • French
  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Japanese
  • Dutch
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

Situated on both banks of the Huanhe River to the northwest of the nationally famous historic and cultural city Anyang, in Henan Province of central China, the archaeological remains of Yin Xu dated from 1,300 BCE and comprise two sites: the Palace and Royal Ancestral Shrines Area and the Royal Tombs Area covering a total 414 hectares with an enclosing buffer zone of 720 hectares. Yin Xu has been confirmed by historic documents, oracle bone inscriptions and archaeological excavations as the first site of a capital in Chinese history. The twentieth king of the Shang Dynasty Pan Geng, moved his capital from Yan to Yin (the area around Xiaotun Village of present Anyang) around 1,300 BC, and established a lasting and stable capital. It spanned 255 years with 12 kings and 8 generations and created the splendid and brilliant Yin-Shang Civilization, which is of priceless value in terms of history, art and science.

Yin Xu was the earliest site to possess the elements of civilization, including more than 80 house foundations of rammed earth with remains of timber structures, ancestral shrines and altars enclosed within a defensive ditch which also functioned as a flood-control system. Numerous pits within the Palace area contained inscribed oracle bones considered to carry the earliest evidence of the Chinese written language. The Royal Tombs area on higher ground includes sacrificial pits containing chariots and human remains considered to have been sacrificial victims. Burial goods included decorated bronze ritual vessels, jade and bone carvings and ceramics.

Being one of the most important capital sites in early China, its planning and layout had an important influence on the construction and development of subsequent capitals of China. The Royal Tomb Area of Yin Xu is the earliest large-scale royal graveyard in China and the source of China’s system of royal and imperial mausoleums;oracle bone inscriptions are the earliest known mature writing in China and constitute evidence for the history of the Shang Dynasty in China, helping to track recorded Chinese history nearly one thousand years earlier, and the Site of Yin Xu conveys the social life of the late Shang Dynasty, reflecting highly developed science and architectural technology including bronze casting and a calendar system.

Criterion (ii): Yin Xu, capital of the late Shang Dynasty, exhibits an exchange of important influences and the highest level of development in China’s ancient bronze culture, including the system of writing.

Criterion (iii): The cultural remains at Yin Xu provide exceptional evidence of cultural traditions in the Late Shang Period, and are testimony to many scientific and technical achievements and innovations, such as the solar and lunar calendar system, and the earliest evidence of systematic written Chinese language in oracle bones.

Criterion (iv): The palaces, ancestral shrines and the royal tombs of Yin Xu are outstanding examples of early Chinese architecture. They have great significance in establishing the early prototypes for Chinese palace architecture and royal tomb complexes.

Criterion (vi): The material remains discovered at Yin Xu provide tangible evidence of the early history of the system of Chinese writing and language, ancient beliefs, social systems, and major historical events, which are considered of outstanding universal significance.

Integrity

The nominated property of Yin Xu has a property area of 414 hectares and a buffer zone of 720 hectares; it contains well preserved elements which are sufficient to demonstrate the outstanding universal value of Yin Xu, including the sites of Palaces and Ancestral Shrines, and Royal Tombs within the property boundary and the unexcavated Huanbei Shang City site within the buffer zone. The unearthed oracle bone inscriptions, bronze vessels, jade carvings, pottery and bone objects and other exquisite historical relics, which have comprehensively and systematically shown to the people throughout the world the features of the capital of the Shang Dynasty of China 3,300 years ago and the splendid Yin-Shang Civilization, are displayed in the site museums. Through years of scientific archaeological excavation and conservation work in Yin Xu, the excavated sites and unearthed historical relics have been protected properly from both natural and human threats and damage and the maximal historical information of Yin Xu preserved. The construction activity in the heritage area and its buffer area has been controlled and managed strictly and the heritage site and its historical environment have been preserved intact.

Authenticity

In strict accordance with the heritage conservation principle of “retaining the historic conditions, respecting the authenticity”, the archaeological site of Yin Xu and all its excavated cultural relics have been as far as possible conserved in situ. After excavation, the site was backfilled for its protection, using vegetation on the ground for display; while the unearthed oracle bone inscriptions are presented in the original site. To better conserve the excavated cultural relics, the Yin Xu Garden-Museum and Museum-Exhibition Hall have been built in the Yin Xu Palace and Ancestral Shrine area, so that the important cultural relics could receive the best care in a museum environment. In carrying out conservation and restoration work, special effort is given to combine traditional techniques and modern technologies, to maintain the authenticity of the heritage fabrics. Meanwhile, through careful treatment and effective improvement of the villages, roads and environment in the protected areas, the historic setting of Yin Xu retains its authenticity.

Protection and management requirements

Yin Xu is a State Priority Protected Site and one of the first National Archaeological Site Parks in China. For many years, the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Cultural Relics, the Regulations for the Implementation of The Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Cultural Relics, the Protection and Management Regulations of Yin Xu in Anyang of Henan Province and other related laws and regulations have been applied strictly.  The Master Plan for the Conservation of Yin Xu has been drawn up and the management system and regulations for the protection of cultural relics have been improved constantly to enhance the protection of Yin Xu. The original style and features of Yin Xu have basically been conserved; and the Site of Yin Xu and its historical relics have been well preserved.

Heritage protection is a long-term cause. Local governments and the management bodies will continue to carefully implement heritage protection laws and regulations, strictly control excavation activities and follow better regulated procedures of examination and approval on archaeological excavation. To counteract factors such as increasing tourism and the pressure of urban construction which endanger the cultural heritage, these authorities will closely monitor the property and its setting, find and solve in time the problems in Yin Xu’s conservation and management work; increase the professional capabilities and qualifications of the personnel through strengthened training; continually enhance the conservation and management level, and through timely revision of The Master Plan for the Conservation of Yin Xu, improve the conservation and management system and mechanism, promoting further the sustainable development of Yin Xu’s cultural heritage.

Historical Description

Yin Xu is an ancient capital city that rose in the late Shang Dynasty, a time of prosperity of Chinese Bronze Age. Around the 17th century BC, the Shang tribe, an important branch of the Chinese nation, beat the Xia Dynasty and established a slave dynasty in central China, the second of its kind in Chinese history. The territory of this new dynasty extended to the great ocean in the east, the present-day Sichuan in the west, the Liaohe River Basin in the north, and the Dongtinghu Lake in the south. It was one of the most powerful states in the East Asia during the Bronze Age.
In about 1300 BC, Pan Geng, the king of the Shang Dynasty, removed his capital from Yan to Yin Xu and built the latter into a magnificent capital city. Since then, this capital city continued being built by 12 kings in eight generations of the Shang Dynasty during 255 years. It remained the political, economic, military and cultural centre of China during the prime of its bronze age. Around the year 1046 BC, King Wu sent a punitive expedition against King Zhou, the last ruler of the Shang Dynasty. Yin was deserted and the city was turned into ruins, hence the name Yin Xu (the ruins of Yin) in historical sources.


During the Qin and Han dynasties (221 B.C. to AD 23), references to Yin Xu were made frequently in history books. Epigraphy became popular during the Song and the Yuan Dynasties (AD 10th to 14th century). The frequent unearthing of bronzes around Xiaotun village aroused the attention of educated people. This city was then thought to be Xiang, the residence of the 12th king of the Shang Dynasty. In 1899, Wang Yirong, an epigrapher of the last years of the Qing Dynasty, discovered and proved that oracle bone inscription was the language used in the Shang Dynasty. After verification and exploration by many other scholars, Xiaotun of Anyang where oracle bone inscriptions were unearthed came to be established as the site of Yin Xu as recorded in Chinese classics.


Between 1928 and 1937, the Institute of History and Philology of the then Academia Sinica carried out 15 large-scale excavations at Yin Xu, and discovered the Palace and Ancestral Shrines Area, the Royal Tombs Area and large numbers of other cultural remains. As a result, this capital city of the Shang Dynasty has gradually come to be known, and its position as China's first ancient capital, proven by written documents, has been firmly established. The excavations were completed after the Second World War. In 1995, Anyang City established the Yin Xu Management Department to take charge of conservation and daily management of Yin Xu.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation