xi's moments
Home | Heritage

Slipping into history

By Fang Aiqing | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-12-29 07:54

Paleographer Zhang Chunlong, who joined the excavation of the Liye slips in 2002, and historian Wang Zijin attend the cultural variety show, Jiandu Tan Zhonghua (Discovering China in the Bamboo and Wooden Slips), broadcast on CCTV-1. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Zhang joined the excavation of the 16-meter-deep ancient well in 2002, describing the delicate slips, when discovered, as like "overcooked noodles". The archaeologists had to hold them, from the earth, very carefully in both hands so as not to destroy them.

"The Liye slips help us piece together what it was like in Qianling. We can therefore speculate how the government worked in the more than 1,100 counties of that time and how people lived. The slips made this part of history come alive," Zhang says.

He adds that archaeologists discovered 13 more ancient wells at Liye in spring. The bamboo and wooden pieces brought up from these wells suggest more slips are likely to be excavated.

The variety show, with scenes of several cultural relic sites around the country where slips have been unearthed, and interviews with archaeologists and historians, tells the stories of the relics, their isolation and rediscovery, as well as updated research findings, says Ma Hongtao, one of the chief directors.

So far, more than 300,000 pieces of bamboo and wooden slips have been excavated across China. Slips were common before paper was invented. They were widely used for more than 1,500 years.

According to Wang Zijin, a renowned expert on the history of Qin and Han (206 BC-AD 220) dynasties, the slips are mainly ancient classics, government documents and folk documents like personal letters, all crucial materials for a glimpse of the past.

|<< Previous 1 2 3 4 Next   >>|
Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349