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02/09/2014

Reflections of lives of Yangtze River area in thousand years

A large number of cliff inscriptions has been found in Yunyang County China travel deals, including those in Liugangshi, Shejiazui, Feifengshan, Dafotou and Pengxikou, as well as cliff paintings at Niuweishi. They cover nearly all kinds of stone inscriptions.

The inscriptions are mainly divided into three categories: statues carved on cliffs, stone inscriptions, and cliff paintings. The statues carved on cliffs are similar to those in the grottoes in north China, though they are in different artistic styles. The Three Gorges area boasts 15 cliff statues, which symbolize the southward spread of Buddhism, 60-odd calligraphy inscriptions and one ink mark.

The Niuyanshi cliff paintings are situated on the southern bank of the Yangtze River Yangtze River tour in Fengming Township of Yunyang County, at an elevation of 120 meters above sea level. They can be seen only in dry seasons. They are paintings of single lines. One of them depicts a fence, with poles erected high, on top of which are hung fish and shrimps. Within the fence is a house where people move about. The paintings also include some unrecognizable characters.

According to Li Hongsong, deputy director of Ancient Building and Historic Site Protection Center under the China Cultural Relics Research Institute, he and his colleagues have not yet found an accurate method to define the period of a cliff painting. Generally, the age of a cliff painting is judged by the animal images depicted or comparing them with similar cliff paintings already found. For instance, a Niuyanshi painting depicts three-angular deer, which had disappeared long time ago. From the fish and shrimp drying scene, we can judge the Niuweishi ancestors lived on fishing at that time. The painting shows the living and sacrificing activities of ancient fishing tribe. Now the Niuyanshi cliff paintings have been disjointed, ready for moving to another place for future indoor display.

At the place where the Pengxi River joins the Yangtze River, there are three pieces of inscriptions cut in the 20th year of the Jiaqing reign of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Though now having been submerged in water, they are important materials for the study of local culture. One of them is carved with four characters "du juan yi du", meaning "solely-sponsored free ferry"; the other two record the reason and time of free shipping.

As the Three Gorges area has steep and dangerous topography and crisscross gullies, it was hard for ancient people to build roads and bridges. Therefore ferry became an important means of transportation and many docks were set up. However, most of these docks were owned by individuals for making profits. Under such situation, free ferry was deeply loved and respected by common people.

Today, the dock at the Pengxi river China Photo Tour mouth is still in use. Besides ferrying, people also thought out a new way of boating. On each side of the river, they set up a pillar. Between them they fastened a metal cable, to which they tied a thick rope. The boat then could be dragged on. This is the oldest way of ferrying in ancient China.

Of the Three Gorges, Qutang Gorge is famous for its peril, and Kuimen holds the throat of it. Some inscriptions are found right at this significant site. On a stone wall of about 1,000 square meters in size under the cliff of Baiyan Mountain on the southern bank of the Yangtze River, seal characters, official scripts, regular scripts and running scripts are engraved in different historical periods, from the Song Dynasty to the Republic of China (1911-1949). The large characters are as big as two-square-meter each, while the tiny ones are only of a finger's size.

The tablet carrying "Ode to the Resurgence of the Song Dynasty" penned by calligrapher Zhao Gongshuo is a rarely seen large-scale cliff inscription. It is four meters high and seven meters wide, recording the political achievements and accomplishments of emperors Gaozong and Xiaozong. The latter was thought to be an outstanding emperor of the Southern Song Dynasty, but his renovation actually achieved little effect due to containment from different sides. During his 28-year reign, Gaozong, considered as a "super-emperor", exerted great influence on important political and military decisions. Emperor Gaozong's abdicating in favor of his son played an important role in later historic development. As there are few records existing in other records, the tablet fills the gap and is therefore called "a living history book".

The inscriptions are done with exquisite carving skill, in a style of both graceful and bold. To protect it, later generations covered each word with a big bowl-shape shelter and applied limestone on it. From afar, the cliff looks like a whitewashed wall. Hence its other name, Fenbi (Chalk) Wall Educational tours in China. Now the bowls and limestone have fallen long ago, but the characters remain well preserved.

On the wall, there are also works such as "Poem to Qutang Gorge" composed in 1454 by Ming-dynasty poet Shen Qing, and the large characters of "Qutang" and "Kuimen" originally written by Zhang Boxiang and Liu Xinyuan of the Qing Dynasty. The inscriptions "Wei Zai Kui Men", meaning "lofty Kuimen Pass", by the hand of Li Duanhao, chief of staff of the 88th division of the Kuomintang army, are 4X2.34 meters in size. Any stroke of these words is big enough for a person to lie on it. People can also see such regular scripts as "Stepping out of Kuimen and Wushan and driving away Japanese pirates" by Feng Yuxiang, a Kuomintang general and "Kuimen is the most perilous passage in the world, but our boat lightly passed through" by Sun Yuanliang, a division commander of Kuomintang troops.

At a higher place on the same cliff, there are two pieces of inscriptions as like as two peas. It is hard to distinguish which is new and which is old. It turns out to be a way of protection. As the original inscriptions are too large to be moved, craftsmen cover them with a steel wire net so as to avoid crashing by ships once they are submerged. Meanwhile, the craftsmen are replicating these inscriptions at a higher position on the cliff.

 

 

05:39 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

01/09/2014

Get to know The Brave and Elusive Ba

The Ba people lived in the Three Gorges' area from the sixteenth century. They grew rice paddy and wheat on the banks of the YangtzeYangtze River tour and made their own history in bloody fighting between the clans.

According to history, the Ba was a mysterious clan, famous for their bravery and great warriors. The Ba culture has remained an enigma, mainly due to a lack of related archaeology evidence. The Ba also left no written evidence.

The Three Gorges Project, the largest hydroelectric project undertaken in the world, began in 1996. This created a huge archaeology excavation that began in 2001. Before that, small-scale excavations, that began in the middle of the twentieth century, only found clues to the history of the Ba. But today, large-scale excavations in the area bring hope of resolving this great mystery.

Many found relics have revitalized the ancient Ba culture. Huge skeletons and funerary bronze ware give evidence of bloody wars they engaged in long ago.

In September 2001, archaeologists from China Sichuan Tours Sichuan University were busy at the excavation site on the banks of the Pengxi River, a branch of the Yangtze. This is a huge Ba site, which had already been excavated for years. But there were still many mysteries buried in the mud.

On a summer morning in 1984, Liu of Lijiaba, a primary school teacher found a Ba bronze ware relic by accident, in a depression by the river, when he want to fetch water. This little discovery was an archaeological breakthrough of the history of Three Gorges area.

The archaeologists at Sichuan University went to the Pengxi River and a full-scale excavation began. The area they excavated expanded and the excavation lasted a long time. A mysterious world appeared beneath their feet. This was to be the Lijiaba site, later listed in the top ten archaeological discoveries of China.

Most relics excavated here are bronze ware, including swords, lances, daggers and arrowheads. They seem more like newly-finished artworks than relics rusted over time. But there are hints of blood and war in the find.

The Lijiaba site stimulated archaeologists. As they grew excited at the new discoveries, they found a 5,550-square-meter warrior grave in the Yujiaba, a place of Kaixian County in the upper part of the Pengxi River. Surprised at the large scale and splendid spectacle, archaeologists named it "The Warriors of the Warring States Period (475 BC  221 BC)". These graves buried a period of little known history. What wars happened here? When did the warriors die? There's not a single word recorded in the history books. The weapons found there varied. All they show are the earth shattering fights that would have happened there.

Perhaps, the Ba is the only nationality which wrote their history through war. The Ba history is simply a fighting history -- abundant bronze ware was found in the excavation of Ba sites from the 1950s. Most of the bronze ware were weapons and other things related to war.

Ba's historical situation was that to the east lay the kingdom of Chu, and to the north, the kingdom of Qin. Chu and Qin were the two strongest kingdoms in the world at that time. So how did the weaker Ba contend with them? According to history, there were battles between them, and once even the Ba kingdom intimidated Jiangling, the capital of Chu. It seems some answers come from the Ba's weapons. Centuries ago, the brave and seasoned Ba people had great destructive weapons. In the age of cold steel, weapons' quality directly decided the result of the battle.

Dong Yawei, who engaged in copying ancient bronze ware for years, shows the procedures of making a bronze sword in the Ezhou Museum of Hubei Province Educational tours in China. All this brings you back to the Bronze Age of 2,000 years ago. At that time the Ba people had already had the exquisite skill of smelting and forging, which was not inferior to the Chu, Qin and other strong kingdoms and had much greater varieties and more exquisite patterns.

The Ba people, who lived more than 2,000 years ago, owned a systematic manufacturing procedure and had very accurate component proportions. The proportions of metal in all bronze ware was almost the same as that made by modern equipment. The bronze content enabled the heavy weight to retain stiffness and energy. In the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC  476 BC) and the Warring States Period, generations of craftsmen from the Ba kingdom made weapons only according to their own experiences. They did not have any reference or examining equipment -- all the manufacturing procedures and metal proportions were handmade.

From the Qin terracotta warriors and horses, we can imagine the might of the Qin kingdom, and that which was equal to it, the Chu kingdom occupied half of China. Besides the superior weapons and solid national power, the Qin and Chu kingdoms had the skill of being excellent makers of armory.

Nowadays, from Ba weapons excavated, it seems they had power equal to that of the Qin and the Chu. But archaeologists never found any armor. Without doubt, the brave Ba people couldn't simply antagonize their enemies with just their bodies. So in years of war, how did they protect themselves

The Qin and Chu China travel videos were based on the plains, whereas the Ba were in the mountainous region. The special landform determined that the Ba had little metal. So they had to abandon metal armor for other material. The ancient Ba area had developed raising animal stock. Also many wild Lianas or strong vines grew in the hills. The Ba people parched the vines with fire to make them firm, then, weaved them as armor. The Ba people adapted this light armor with vines and leather, which allowed them to move with agility in the hills and valleys. The shields of the Ba were made of adsorbent and flexible wood so that when the swords of their enemies chopped at it, it was hard to draw out. The results were imaginable.

05:24 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

29/08/2014

Hanging Coffins a Clue to Ba Mystery

In June, three ancient "hanging coffins" were found in a rock cave on the bank of the Yangtze River in Zigui, Yichang of Central China's Hubei Province.

They were among the finds local cultural heritage staff made as they raced to research and rescue ancient ruins along the Yangtze River Yangtze River tour before they were lost forever under the rising waters of the second phase of the Three Gorges Dam project.

The coffins, made of wood, possibly belong to the legendary Ba people who are thought to have inhabited the vast area which today comprises southern Shaanxi, Hubei and eastern Sichuan provinces and Chongqing Municipality China vacation deals during the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), experts say.

Two of the coffins each contain a complete human skeleton dressed in silk clothes and wrapped in bamboo sheets.

Also found in the coffins are a number of funerary objects, including bronze wine or food containers, weapons such as a bronze spear and ge (ancient Chinese weapon with a long shaft and a horizontal blade), bamboo bows, arrows and arrow cases.

The images of tigers, believed to be the major symbol of the Ba people Shopping in China, decorate the clothes found on the bodies, and also the weapons and other funerary objects, said Mei Yunlai, a local archaeologist and curator of the Quyuan Memorial Hall and Museum.

"The findings in these coffins offer valuable clues to the mystery of the ancient Ba people who left behind little written evidence of their existence," said Mei. 

More at chinatour.com such as Shanghai travel guide

 

09:24 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)