Author: changabula

Chinese Tradition and Culture [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2007-7-24 23:47:06 |Display all floors
Chinese Archaeologists Discover Ancient Ceramics off Xisha Islands

Chinese archaeologists have recovered around 10,000 pieces of antique pottery and porcelain in an underwater excavation of a shipwreck believed to date back to the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) in the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea.

The findings provide important evidence of an established trade route between China and the rest of the world in the 13th century, according to Zhang Wei, the lead archaeologist for the 55-day excavation in the Xisha Islands that drew to a close on Tuesday.

"What we found from the shipwreck on Huaguang Reef No.1 are pearls of the ancient Silk Road on the sea," said Zhang, "and it is first time we have found such precious antiques in the high seas."

"The fragments serve as a testimony that Chinese people lived and traded around the Xisha Islands during the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) Dynasties," Zhang said.

"They also demonstrate that foreign trade during the Tang and Song dynasties was prosperous and that China was one of the earliest nations to discover other parts of the world," said Zhang.

The wreck, 20 meters long and six meters wide, was stumbled upon by a group of Chinese fishermen in 1996, three meters below the surface near Huaguang Reef.

According to Zhang, also director of the China Underwater Research Center with the China National Museum, looters used explosives to destroy the upper part of the ship in 1996 and the plundering continued for years.

"Apart from the upper part, the lower part of the ship is in good shape and the ship might have a displacement of up to 60 tons," said Zhang.

Wang Yiping, deputy director of the Hainan Provincial Office of Cultural Heritage Administration, believes the ship was made in Fujian during the Southern Song Dynasty and was used to carry locally produced pottery for trading overseas.

"We still lack enough evidence to tell us its destination," said Wang.

(Xinhua News Agency May 10, 2007)

http://www.china.org.cn/english/culture/210346.htm

[ Last edited by changabula at 2007-7-24 11:49 PM ]
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Post time 2007-7-24 23:51:32 |Display all floors
Smugglers Eye Underwater Treasures
http://www.china.org.cn/english/culture/208565.htm

Foreign smugglers and antiques raiders are using sophisticated salvage equipment to steal China's underwater treasures, an investigation by the Cultural Heritage Administration has found.

In China's territorial sea, there are thousands of sunken ships carrying ancient treasures, mostly priceless porcelain.

Shan Jixiang, director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, told China Daily that the illegal foreign salvage ships were often equipped with the most advanced technology, in contrast with rudimentary ships and equipment used by Chinese archaeologists and conservationists, who are trying to protect China's underwater heritage.

Smuggler activities have been particularly heavy over the last two years.

The relics are traded on the international waters beyond China's maritime boundaries before they are shipped to markets worldwide, many to the United States.

Besides underwater heritage artefacts, cultural items from ethnic minority groups, such as costumes and musical instruments, are also a favorite among international dealers and smugglers, Shan said.

The Chinese government has recovered a "great number" of cultural heritage items stolen from the country in the past few decades, he said without elaborating.

China has signed agreements with four countries Peru, the Philippines, India and Italy on the protection and recovery of cultural heritage.

The first one, signed with Peru in 2000, has ensured "effective cooperation" as both countries now share substantial intelligence on stolen relics.

Shan's administration yesterday invited Luis Chang, the former Peruvian ambassador to China, to be a consultant to China's cultural heritage protection.

"We want more international help in the protection and recovery of Chinese cultural heritage and we'd like to sign bilateral agreements with more countries," Shan said.

China's underwater heritage has been pursued by art collectors and dealers since the beginning of 2005, when about 15,000 pieces, mainly blue-and-white porcelain about 300 years old, were found in a 13.5 meter sunken ship off the coast of East China's Fujian Province.

Previously, rock carvings were largely targeted in the illicit heritage goods trade, but activities have been curtailed since the Chinese government took more effective protective measures.

(China Daily April 24, 2007)
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Post time 2007-7-26 08:47:57 |Display all floors
Ruins of Huang Di City.

http://www.hebei.com.cn/node2/en ... bject1ai211127.html

Huang Di is considered as one of the ancestors of the Chinese Nation
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Post time 2007-7-26 08:49:44 |Display all floors
Remains of ancient men at the Majuangou site located in the Nihewan Basin

http://www.hebei.com.cn/node2/en ... bject1ai211135.html
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Post time 2007-7-26 08:53:09 |Display all floors
"M"-shaped bronze utensil unearthed in Pingshan County from the tomb to kings of the Zhongshan State

http://www.hebei.com.cn/node2/en ... bject1ai211225.html
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Post time 2007-7-26 08:54:37 |Display all floors
The bronze utensil decorated with four dragons and four phoenixes unearthed in Pingshan County from the tomb to kings of the Zhongshan State

http://www.hebei.com.cn/node2/en ... bject1ai211224.html
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Post time 2007-8-6 18:33:59 |Display all floors
Dongshan Songbooks

Dongshan, a county in East China's Fujian Province, is famous for "Dongshan Gece," or Dongshan Songbooks, lyrics of traditional local songs that have been handed down for centuries.

Starting as early as the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Dongshan Songs evolved from the Chaozhou songs of neighboring Guangdong Province. Dongshan Songs integrate traditional local music, such as Nanyin, which originated in Quanzhou, and has developed into a unique art form in its own right.

The art form itself


The art form is called a "Singing Songbook," because one person intonates a long poem. Verses are plain and rhythmic, with smooth beats in the vocals. Some examples from the art form's repertoire include Wanhua Lou, Cui Mingfeng, Chen Shimei, Fengjiao and Lee Dan, The Legend of Sui and Tang Dyansties, Xu Gang Revolts against Tang, Fishing Girl, and the Net Weaving Song.

Dongshan Talking and Singing was popular among women before the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. The art form taught women about history, society and polite behavior in a time when education for women was otherwise limited.

Singing from the songbook is considered an honor, and it has become a custom to give the songbook as a dowry to brides, and sing from it at wedding ceremonies.

http://www.chinaculture.org/gb/e ... /content_100966.htm

Parts of the original copies have survived to this day. The song books were also called Women's Books as most of the singers were women.
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