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Thread: Ancient stone statues discovered at Guizai mountain, Hunan3183 days old

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    Lightbulb Ancient stone statues discovered at Guizai mountain, Hunan

    I will use news articles from around the web as the basis of this post. Since the archaeological find is still fresh, no scientiftic papers showed up on search.


    Greetings!

    Recently, archaeologists discovered more than 5,000 stone statues on Guizai mountain in Hunan, of which circa 90 % predates the Qin dynasty (221-207 BC). Some of the Guizai statues are from prehistoric times, up to 5,000 years old, whilst the youngest ones were carved during the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD). As such, the statues represent a local figurine tradition lasting almost 4,000 years. The statues vary in size, and depicts militaries, civil officials and pregnant women. Tang Zhongyong, director of the Dao County Administrative Office, informs that the Guizai mountain site was an ancient place of worship. (I. II. III.)

    Historically, the craft of statues in the Middle kingdom seems to have held great significance, as Qin Shihuang's famous terracotta army shows. (The first emperor's statuary death guard may have been derived from an older custom of human sacrifice during rulers' burials in ancient Chinese culture). Today, guardian lions flank the entrances of Chinese restaurants across the world.

    ---

    Given Hunan's southerly location, was this tradition likely culturally Chinese in origin, or non-Chinese? Does the mass statuary depiction of humans fit into the unusually human-centred world view of traditional China*? How come the Chinese always do things en masse and/or large scale?

    Handskakning
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    * As seen in the ancestor worship, as well as in the creation myths focusing on outstanding individuals not gods.
    Last edited by Handskakning; 2010-11-29 at 16:57. Reason: Correcture.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handskakning View Post
    I will use news articles from around the web as the basis of this post. Since the archaeological find is still fresh, no scientiftic papers showed up on search.


    Greetings!

    Recently, archaeologists discovered more than 5,000 stone statues on Guizai mountain in Hunan, of which circa 90 % predates the Qin dynasty (221-207 BC). Some of the Guizai statues are from prehistoric times, up to 5,000 years old, whilst the youngest ones were carved during the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD). As such, the statues represent a local figurine tradition lasting almost 4,000 years. The statues vary in size, and depicts militaries, civil officials and pregnant women. Tang Zhongyong, director of the Dao County Administrative Office, informs that the Guizai mountain site was an ancient place of worship. (I. II. III.)

    Historically, the craft of statues in the Middle kingdom seems to have held great significance, as Qin Shihuang's famous terracotta army shows. (The first emperor's statuary death guard may have been derived from an older custom of human sacrifice during rulers' burials in ancient Chinese culture). Today, guardian lions flank the entrances of Chinese restaurants across the world.

    ---

    Given Hunan's southerly location, was this tradition likely culturally Chinese in origin, or non-Chinese? Does the mass statuary depiction of humans fit into the unusually human-centred world view of traditional China*? How come the Chinese always do things en masse and/or large scale?

    Handskakning
    ____________________
    * As seen in the ancestor worship, as well as in the creation myths focusing on outstanding individuals not gods.
    Awesome post, I even did not know about it untill your post

    According to me understanding of chinese culture, stone was considered inferior(religious sense) material for buildings, sacred sites untill colonial times in 17 century. Common belief in ancient China and Japa had the stone as a material for the deads of lower social class people, such as soldiers, farmers, hand-workers. Massive stoneworks before Qin dynasty 220BC come off as a total surprise for me. I will comment back after researching more sources.
    Last edited by Masahiroguren; 2010-12-01 at 09:20.

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    Fantastic.

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    Wink Ancient stone statues of non-Chinese origin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Masahiroguren View Post
    Awesome post, I even did not know about it untill your post

    According to me understanding of chinese culture, stone was considered inferior(religious sense) material for buildings, sacred sites untill colonial times in 17 century. Common belief in ancient China and Japa had the stone as a material for the deads of lower social class people, such as soldiers, farmers, hand-workers. Massive stoneworks before Qin dynasty 220BC come off as a total surprise for me. I will comment back after researching more sources.
    I'm unfamiliar with the religious lowliness of stone, though it certainly fits in with the very thin findings of Shang dynasty palaces (which - as I have taken for granted given the early kings' religious duties - included temples), since they were mainly built out of perishable material.

    Does this indicate the Guizai statue tradition to be of non-Chinese origin*? Is anything known about the ethnic make-up in these parts, say, five thousand (5,000) years ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by alfieb View Post
    Fantastic.
    Indeed, but then again, these are Chineseoids we're dealing with.

    Handskakning
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    * Though, naturally, likely to have been locally integrated with the expanding Han empire's culture.
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    where is the pics of these statues??

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    Smile Pics or it didn't happen!

    Quote Originally Posted by Surreal View Post
    where is the pics of these statues??
    Please follow the links in the thread start. That is, the three newspaper-sources that you can access by clicking the Roman numerals.

    Handskakning
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    Has to be non-Chinese.

    Hunan Province was a territory to the Miao-Yao speaking people. My ancestors were from Hunan.


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    fascinating findings. thx for sharing

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    Quote Originally Posted by miaozu View Post
    Has to be non-Chinese.

    Hunan Province was a territory to the Miao-Yao speaking people. My ancestors were from Hunan.


    Depends on how further back you talking about.The ancient Chu state of Spring-Autumn/Warring state period covered Today's Hunan Province before Qin Empire. The Chu people might have absorbed admixture with Miao or other groups but its culture and language were definitely of Huaxia Chinese heritage.

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