Central Plains Relics Witness Chinese Civilization

Central Plains Relics Witness Chinese Civilization

Henan Museum

General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out when presiding over the 39th collective study of the Political Bureau of the 19th CPC Central Committee: “The Chinese civilization has a long history, is broad and profound, and is the unique spiritual symbol of the Chinese nation, the foundation of contemporary Chinese culture, and the spirit that sustains the Chinese people all over the world. The bond is also the treasure of Chinese cultural innovation.” Located in the Central Plains, Henan is an important birthplace of Chinese civilization, with profound historical heritage and rich cultural relics. The data shows that there are 65,519 immovable cultural relics in Henan, 1,773,620 movable cultural relics (sets), 5 world cultural heritages (24), and 420 national key cultural relics protection units. Founded in 1927, Henan Museum is the largest collection, protection, research and display center of cultural relics in the hinterland of the Central Plains. It currently has more than 170,000 pieces (sets) of collections, dating back to ancient times, down to modern times, especially bronze ware, ceramic ware, and jade ware. , The most distinctive stone statues.

Demonstrating the history of Chinese civilization for more than 5,000 years

The origin of Chinese civilization has a profound foundation, and it is one of the few primitive civilizations with significant influence in the world. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out: “The major achievements of our country’s archaeological discoveries have proved our country’s millions of years of human history, 10,000 years of cultural history, and 5,000 years of civilization history.” The pottery fragments unearthed from the Lijiagou site in Xinmi, 10,000 years ago, to the pottery tripods, stone grinding plates, stone grinding rods, bone flutes, etc. of the Peiligang Culture 9,000-7,000 years ago, and then to the Yangshao Culture and Longshan Culture. Pottery, jade, stone, bone tools, etc., the cultural relics collected by the Henan Museum show the historical process of the origin of Chinese civilization to a certain extent.

The Jiahu Bone Flute, unearthed at the Peiligang Cultural Site of Jiahu in Wuyang, has a history of more than 8,000 years. It is the earliest and best-preserved wind instrument found in China so far. This bone flute has a total length of 23.6 cm, and the body of the flute is drilled with 7 sound holes. The length, diameter and distance of the sound holes have been precisely calculated during the production of the bone flute. According to the recent research on the restored bone flute, it is found that the bone flute has beautiful timbre and complete scale, and can play music similar to the heptatonic scale. In the past, people always believed that the seven-tone scale originated from the West. The unearthed Jiahu bone flute strongly proved that our ancestors already possessed seven tones as early as 8,000 years ago.

Painted pottery double-connected pot, unearthed at the Yangshao Cultural Site in Dahe Village, Zhengzhou, is 20.1 cm high. The two pots are connected side by side, and the abdomen of the pot is full of simple and smooth parallel thick lines, dotted with short vertical and diagonal lines between the parallel lines, making the whole utensil lively and lively in its neatness. There is an elliptical mouth at the connecting point of the belly of the pot. Using the principle of the connecting device, the two pots form a pattern in which you have me and I have you. According to the research of experts, this painted pottery Shuanglian pot is a kind of drinking vessel. During the primitive society, tribes would choose to form alliances for common interests, and drinking together with the Shuanglian pots symbolized peace, friendship, equality and unity, and expressed the ancient times. The ancestors exchange ideas, mutual benefit, equality and harmony. The excavation of exquisite painted pottery represented by the painted pottery Shuanglian pot, as well as the discovery of large settlements such as Zhengzhou Dahe Village, Gongyi Shuanghuaishu, Xingyang Qingtai and Wanggou Sites, show that around 5,300 years ago, the early stage of formation in central Henan civilization.

These precious ancient cultural relics show that the Chinese civilization has a long history and is confirmed by the rich underground physical remains. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out: “The archaeological results also illustrate the formation and development of the Chinese nation and Chinese civilization as a pluralistic unity and the unity of the family and the country, revealing the values ​​that Chinese society relies on for survival and development, and the cultural genes that the Chinese nation uses daily without realizing it.” By the Neolithic Age, my country gradually formed a pattern of several cultural areas in the Yellow River and Yangtze River basins as the main body, and then connected with many surrounding regional cultures. To a large extent, the evolution of Chinese civilization can be regarded as a process of integration of civilizations from different regions and different ethnic groups in the process of communication.

Show the main root of Chinese civilization

Xia, Shang and Zhou are often referred to as three generations in pre-Qin literature. The civilization of this period in our country had pioneering achievements and considerable development in terms of material, system and spirit. Chinese civilization ushered in the first peak. It laid a solid foundation for later development at a higher level. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out: “The major achievements of my country’s archaeological discoveries fully demonstrate that my country is at the forefront of the development of ancient civilizations in the Neolithic Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age and other ages. Admirable achievements have been made in various fields such as animals, seeking medical treatment, observing geography, making tools, creating words, discovering and inventing technology, building villages, building cities, constructing and governing countries, creating and developing culture and art, etc. .”

The picture shows the cloud pattern copper ban in the Spring and Autumn Period, with a total height of 28.8 cm, a body length of 131 cm and a width of 67.6 cm. It is one of the treasures of the nine town courtyards of the Henan Museum. The body of the vessel is a flat cuboid, with a rectangular plane in the middle of the upper part, hollow and bottomless, and copper stalks of different thicknesses, like weaving Chinese knots, to form the blossoming “clouds” of the copper forbidden body. Around the forbidden body, the 12 dragon-shaped monsters clinging to it are arranged in an orderly manner. Under the forbidden body, there are 12 tiger-shaped beasts crouching in an orderly manner, opening their mouths and sticking out their tongues, holding up the forbidden body, and constructing the solemnity and holiness of the bronze forbidden. Photo courtesy of Henan Museum Niu Aihong / photo

About 4,000 years ago, the first dynasty in Chinese history, the Xia Dynasty, was established, and the Erlitou site in Yanshi is widely regarded as the capital site of the late Xia Dynasty. The bronze jue unearthed from the Erlitou site in Yanshi is about 15 cm high. The slender narrow stream and the slightly upturned pointed tail form a balanced confrontation; five breast nails are arranged on one side of the abdomen as decoration, and there is a handle on one side; The lower part of the body has three slender cone feet. The whole bronze jue has clear edges and corners and a slender body. It is the earliest model of bronze wares with beautiful shapes. Since the excavation of the Erlitou site in 1959, large palace sites, large bronze smelting and casting workshops, pottery and bone making sites, as well as many buildings and tombs related to religious sacrifices have been discovered, and groups of bronze ritual ware and jade ware have been unearthed. Judging from the unearthed copper slag, crucible fragments and pottery fan fragments, as early as the Xia Dynasty more than 4,000 years ago, a relatively mature bronze casting industry appeared in my country. The economic, political and cultural centers of my country were always in the Central Plains until the Shang and Zhou dynasties. Zhengzhou Mall, Yanshi Mall, Anyang Yinxu, Western Zhou Luoyi, and Eastern Zhou Wangcheng became the representatives of my country’s capital civilization. The Chinese Yuandian culture was mainly born from here. The music culture is mainly complete here.

The picture shows the lotus-crane square pot in the Spring and Autumn Period, one of the treasures of the nine towns of the Henan Museum. Photo courtesy of Henan Museum Niu Aihong / photo

The Shang and Zhou dynasties were the prosperous period of China’s Bronze Age, and various bronze cultures occupied an important position in the history of Chinese civilization and the history of world civilization. During this period, ancient Chinese civilization began to transform from pluralism to unity, thus forming the Central Plains Bronze Culture System with the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River as the core, and the process of Central Plainsization of surrounding cultures also kicked off. Unearthed in 1974 in Zhangzhai South Street, Zhengzhou, the bronze square tripod with animal face milk nail pattern is an important sacrificial vessel for the Shang royal family. Its early age, large size, perfect casting and complete preservation can be called ancient Chinese bronzes. the model. The tripod is cast in different styles, and the four walls are decorated with taotie patterns and milk nail patterns. Ding is a typical representative of Chinese bronze culture. It is used for cooking meat, sacrificing real animals and feasting. With the birth of the country in the Central Plains, history has given “Ding” a new cultural connotation – a symbol of power. “Zuo Zhuan” records: “Jie has a dim morality, and the tripod was moved to Shang, and it contained six hundred sacrifices. The Shang and Zhou were tyrannical, and the tripod was moved to Zhou.”

The Zhou Dynasty was established in the 11th century BC, with Luoyang as the eastern capital Chengzhou, inheriting the political heritage and cultural traditions of the Xia-Shang Dynasty, and on this basis formed a complete set of rituals with bronze ritual vessels as the carrier. music system. The lotus-crane square pot was unearthed in 1923 in the tomb of Duke Zheng of Xinzheng, with a height of 117 cm and a weight of 64.28 kg. The body of the pot is oval, with two dragon-shaped monsters looking back on both sides of the neck to form ears, four pterosaurs on the four sides of the abdomen seem to be slowly crawling upward, and two curly tails at the bottom with their mouths and tongues open and looking back. Beast holder body. The upper roof is decorated with blooming double lotus petals, and in the center stands a crane with its neck chirping and its wings ready to fly. Guo Moruo praised it as “a symbol of the spirit of the times”. During the Spring and Autumn Period, the old ritual system collapsed rapidly, and new concepts were gradually formed. The bronze wares, which were the most important objects of the country, changed from being infiltrated with strong religious colors to pursuing a fresh, free, relaxed and lively style. From majesty to quirky, decorative patterns also tend to be realistic and vivid, breaking through the mysterious and majestic modeling style of bronze vessels since the Shang Dynasty. The lotus-crane square pot vividly reflects this change.

The political centers of the Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties have been located in the Central Plains for a long time. Due to the strong political, military and cultural influence of the Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties, the cultural elements of the Central Plains continued to spread to the surrounding areas, forming the The cultural circle centered on the Central Plains, people living in this cultural circle have gradually completed the process of psychological and cultural self-identification, and the concepts of “Xia”, “Huaxia” and “China” have gradually formed.

Witness the innovative development of Chinese civilization

Innovation is the inexhaustible driving force and eternal theme of the development and progress of Chinese civilization. “Zhou Yi Xie Shang Xie” said, “Wealth is called great cause, newness is called great virtue. Life is called easy.” He believes that the biggest principle in the universe is that everything is developing and changing, the world is a process of continuous growth and change, and metabolism never stops. “Book of Rites, Daxue” quoted ancient classics and said: “Tang Zhi’s “Pan Ming” said: ‘Gou Rixin, daily new, and daily new.’ Even though the old state is old, its life is restored. ‘That’s why the gentleman does everything he can.” That is to say, whether it is for a nation or an individual, one cannot but make every effort to create the new, reform the old, bring forth the new, and reform the old. All of these reflect the spirit of the Chinese ancestors’ self-improvement, robustness, innovation and enterprising spirit.

Northern Song Dynasty Ruguan kiln sky blue glaze carved gooseneck vase, unearthed in 1987 at the Ruguan kiln site in Qingliang Temple, Baofeng, Henan Province, 19.5 cm high, 5.6 cm diameter, 8.2 cm bottom diameter, the whole body is covered with sky blue glaze, the foot is exposed, the abdomen is exposed Engraved with flower and leaf patterns, the whole vessel is covered with open pieces. In the archaeological excavation of Ruguan kiln site, it is the only complete sky-blue glazed utensil, and it is a very rare carved flower work. “In the world of Song porcelain, Ru kiln is the leader.” Among the five famous kilns in the Song Dynasty, “Ru, Guan, Ge, Jun and Ding”, Ru kiln ranked first. Li Kuchan, a famous modern painter and art educator, once said, “A museum in the world without Ru (porcelain) cannot be called perfect”. There are less than 100 pieces of Ru official kiln porcelain known so far, and most of them are collected from the past dynasties, with very few excavated utensils.

Porcelain is the treasure of Chinese civilization, which can reflect the development and progress of Chinese civilization from one aspect. Primitive porcelain has been found at the Erlitou site in the late Xia Dynasty. The early Shang primitive celadon unearthed in Zhengzhou Shangcheng was made of kaolin, and artificially prepared lime glaze was applied on the surface and inside of the mouth. It was bright and transparent, showing different shades of blue. The texture is hard, and it already has the basic characteristics of porcelain. In the long historical process since then, people have continuously improved mud refining, tire making and glazing techniques in practice, perfected the structure of the kiln, invented new firing tools, expanded output and improved quality, making China’s porcelain manufacturing continue to innovate and develop. grow. The Ru kiln porcelain in the late Northern Song Dynasty creatively used agate as the raw material for glaze. When firing, it was fired with full-glazed support nails. The porcelain body was completely wrapped with glaze as much as possible. “Scented Grey Tire”. The shape of Ru kiln porcelain is simple, elegant and dignified. Aesthetic appeal.

The picture shows the Ruguan kiln sky blue glazed engraved gooseneck bottle in the Northern Song Dynasty, one of the treasures of the nine towns of the Henan Museum. Photo courtesy of Henan Museum Niu Aihong / photo

The cultural development of any country and nation is a continuous and continuous process, and it is a process of pioneering and innovating on the basis of inheriting traditions. On the ancient land of China, the civilization is endlessly prosperous, innovating and making new, evolving and developing according to its own logic and has been continued, showing strong creativity, strong cohesion and broad mind.

Contemporary China is the continuation and development of historical China. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out: “Cultural relics and cultural heritage carry the genes and blood of the Chinese nation, and are non-renewable and irreplaceable resources of China’s excellent civilization. We must actively promote the protection and utilization of cultural relics and the protection and inheritance of cultural heritage, and excavate cultural relics and cultural heritage. Multiple values, spread more value symbols and cultural products that carry Chinese culture and Chinese spirit.”

General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out: “Museums are important halls for the protection and inheritance of human civilization. They are bridges connecting the past, present and future. They play a special role in promoting exchanges and mutual learning among world civilizations.” The general secretary emphasized that various museums in China are not only the The preserver and recorder of Chinese history, as well as the witnesses and participants of the contemporary Chinese people’s struggle to realize the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. To implement the general secretary’s request, the Henan Museum must always be rooted in the fertile soil of Chinese civilization, adhere to the people-centered work philosophy, do a good job in the research and interpretation of historical relics, improve the level of exhibition services, and display the development achievements of Chinese civilization from multiple angles and multiple perspectives. Thousands of years of historical relics allow more cultural relics to speak, better integrate into life, serve the people, educate and guide visitors to understand the splendid achievements of Chinese civilization, further enhance historical awareness and strengthen cultural self-confidence.

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