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Sinitic Civilization began in 3000 BC in Liangzhu

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  Quote theSinitic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Sinitic Civilization began in 3000 BC in Liangzhu
    Posted: 08-Jun-2014 at 23:31
Part I:  The Broken Path
 
I have often wondered why Chinese spoke of 5000 years of continuous civilization in China while westerners claimed China only has 3000 years.  The difference had usually been attributed to the Chinese for using mythological basis to rack up years for its homegrown civilization while westerners only acknowledged China's civilization for the duration of its written history which had only begun 3000 years ago.
 
For many Chinese, though hardly the majority, mythological reference serves just as well as true historiography.  In Chinese folklore, a sagelike emperor called Huangdi, situated around 5000 years ago, was said to have used military might to pacify barbarians headed by a warlike figure, Chiyou, in order to start the prosperous society of Huaxia peoples, the supposed ancestors of Han Chinese supra-ethnic peoples.  Rumour has it that this was the period when the ethnocultural backdrop for the Han Chinese developed since Han Chinese supposedly viewed themselves with prideful regard for achieving distinct nationhood against those less civilized than they.
 
Therefore the mythology of Huangdi and Chiyou served as a reference for the ideal of "civilizing the barbarian masses".  It reasoned civilization in China was created when some men suddenly realized their civilized status by arbitrarily assigning barbarian status for those whom they have deemed necessary to civilize which is another way of saying a superiority complex was key to implementing civilization.  By converting this ideal into a parameter for the search of China's ancient civilization,  many archaeologists discovering upon the artifactual remains of China's neolithic past began to draw associations between the two.
 
Where they found the ending phase of one Chinese neolithic culture became perceived to indicate where an ancient battle was lost against some more civilized conqueror.  Where they found the beginning phase of a Chinese neolithic culture became perceived to indicate transition towards a more civilized status.  In other words they mistook what they discovered through archaeology to necessarily reflect events portrayed in the Huangdi and Chiyou mythology by using the same ideological justification which perpetuated that mythology in the first place.  But in this manner, the archaeology was never verified to demonstrate whether ancient Chinese civilization existed at all.  Rather, all that had been accomplished was the needless rendition of mythology as truth.
 
No grave site of Huangdi nor Chiyou could actually be identified since identifying them would entail the required historiography to reveal the locations of neolithic ceremonial burial sites.  Needless to say those do not exist.  Despite this, efforts were not made to halt early Chinese archaeology from vainfully assigning various grave sites as the final resting grounds of various mythological characters.
 
To be continued in Part II: Clearing a New Path
http://hwyst.hangzhou.com.cn/wmyzh/content/2013-10/09/content_4920423.htm

Liangzhu was typified by hallmarks which glorified 5000 years of China.
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  Quote theSinitic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2014 at 14:21
Part II:  Clearing a New Path

Ever since the old archaeology of China shifted away from focusing on mythological understandings new scholarship has been able to forge ahead in the reassessment of earlier finds.  For example the previous narrative which tried explaining the Shang dynasty's rise through its manifestation of cultural superiority over the Xia dynasty is no longer accepted as truth although we ought to keep in mind that such fabrications can still be epigraphically analyzed to gleam important clues about the nature of Chinese mythos.  The mythos of cultural superiority may after all be an important propaganda tool in the eyes of rulers but such narrative devices fall short of explaining exactly how the ruler achieved his position in the first place.  Rather such events can be explained easily through the use of historical epistemology, sociological frameworks, historiography, and archaeological materials.

Through historical epistemology we may come to understand that it may have been the Shang dynasty whom had innovated writing's use in China in ways hitherto not well understood.  The Shang dynasty capital discovered at Anyang was the final in a series of capital transitions which moved them around the map of China.  This was not unlike the move of the Ming capital from Nanjing to Beijing.  Archaeologists were caught by surprise that at Anyang ancient priests carved their famous oracle script on animal bone fragments for the purpose of divination.  The bones which bore inscriptions had contained a treasure trove of important details about the ancient Chinese such as food, rituals, battles, celebrations, etc.  Because much of the vocabulary on these divinatory items have been identified through linguistics and literary epistemological studies it is undoubtedly certain that the implementation of Chinese writing in present time can be traced back to oracle script itself.  But setting that aside, elsewhere in the world, archaeologically speaking as well as epistemologically, ancient writing discovered was always utilized in other ways than divinatory processes.  To take the famous case, in ancient Sumerian civilization, tablets containing information in cuneiform script were used to catalog trade items going about their exchange between merchants.  Archaeologists the world over now agree that writing's utilization for accounting among other purposeful/task driven motives must have a necessary part to play for writing's development overall in any civilization such that it cannot be singled out when determining the path of China's ancient civilization.

http://hwyst.hangzhou.com.cn/wmyzh/content/2013-10/09/content_4920423.htm

Liangzhu was typified by hallmarks which glorified 5000 years of China.
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  Quote theSinitic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2014 at 16:06

China stone axes 'display ancient writing'

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-23257700




Edited by theSinitic - 09-Jun-2014 at 17:05
http://hwyst.hangzhou.com.cn/wmyzh/content/2013-10/09/content_4920423.htm

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  Quote theSinitic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2014 at 17:13
I can't believe I haven't done this earlier but I'm going to link you guys to the Shanghai Archaeology Forum site.  SAF was the initial basis of the live recording that I've linked to in my signature.  Their international selection committee awarded the Liangzhu discoveries as being tantamount to the discoveries in Egypt, being placed fifth.

In English and Chinese:

http://121.199.37.213/index.php/saf-2013/2013saf_projects/ - Index for the various recognition awards for 2013

http://121.199.37.213/index.php/liangzhu/ - The Liangzhu project
http://121.199.37.213/index.php/tanyuan/ - This is also important as it is a multidisciplinary program aimed at resolving civilizational origin in China and gives a cursory overview of Liangzhu's importance
http://hwyst.hangzhou.com.cn/wmyzh/content/2013-10/09/content_4920423.htm

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  Quote hansun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2014 at 16:36
The Liangzhu culture seems very important. It had grand structures and highly sophisticated culture, unrivalled by anything in the region. What's really interesting is that the focal point of alcohol intolerance coincides with the Liangzhu area.




Edited by hansun - 10-Jun-2014 at 16:51
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  Quote theSinitic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2014 at 23:37
I believe that is correct.  A case can quickly be built around the association of alcohol intolerance spreading in conjunction with Japonic rice agriculture which certainly developed to a high degree within that highly concentrated region.  To elaborate one could say that rice agriculturalists were somehow extensively oriented/aligned towards that spot either because the genes for alcohol intolerance came from that area or that social organization was accelerated in areas with particularly high concentration of those alcohol intolerance genes.
http://hwyst.hangzhou.com.cn/wmyzh/content/2013-10/09/content_4920423.htm

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  Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Jun-2014 at 08:54
are you aware that oracle bones, compleat with script, have been found in Mexico, and dated to the Olmec era?
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  Quote Sander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Jun-2014 at 18:43
Originally posted by red clay

are you aware that oracle bones, compleat with script, have been found in Mexico, and dated to the Olmec era?

That sounds interesting. I somehow missed that. A few years ago I read a paper about the identification of Shang (like) characters on some Olmec celts.  At the very least, the scholars' claim was well supported.


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Edited by Sander - 11-Jun-2014 at 18:54
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  Quote theSinitic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jun-2014 at 00:40
Off topic but, the most striking evidence actually points to Banpo where there is a direct coincidence of cleft face designs impressed into pottery which match the Olmec designs for cleft face.  That would lead to the origin of the Olmecs with the Tibeto-Burmans/Austronesians, not the Sinitics.  The Austronesians didn't originate in Liangzhu.  They originated in Cishan-Peiligang and if anyone is interested I can supply them the various papers which discuss towards that conclusion.  If there was a correspondence of more than 10 percent using a swadesh checklist then I'd be happy to oblige you all with writing a paper concerning the ties between the two continents myself but otherwise it's a negative point for the origin of Sinitic civilization.
http://hwyst.hangzhou.com.cn/wmyzh/content/2013-10/09/content_4920423.htm

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  Quote theSinitic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jun-2014 at 01:52
http://www.academia.edu/867576/Did_Ancient_China_Influence_Olmec_Mexico

On second thought I made a mistake.  After reexamining the samples I find no similarity at all.  Most likely it was the author's presumptuous mistake as well.  The Banpo cleft head is modeled off of a fish/man hybrid and the cleft's properties have a connection with the anthropomorphic features of a man's face superimposed on the image of a fish seen from the front.
http://hwyst.hangzhou.com.cn/wmyzh/content/2013-10/09/content_4920423.htm

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