HENAN AND XIAN CULTURAL TOURS: Day 3
Kaifeng to Anyang was about three hours of bus journey, northward. We had our dinner late and stayed at Anyang Hotel. Yin was the old capital of Shang Dynasty, another hour away from the hotel. Yin was among one of the four major ancient civilization; the other three were Egypt, Mesopotamia, and India. Though Yin (late Shang Dynasty) was destroyed in battle and left in ruins, Chinese civilization continued along its lineage in Zhou Dynasty, with its capital at Anyang. Zhou Dynasty was separated into Western Zhou (275 years) and Eastern Zhou (514 years). After a long period of harmony and prosperity, chaos and war broke out again – then the epoch of Spring and Autumn period and The Warring States, where Daoism, Confucianism, and other major schools of thought flourished and contented. Slave society then came to an end, with the establishment of first imperial Qin Dynasty in 221-206 BC.
What was significant in the Yin Ruin was the discovery of oracle bones and scripts, proven record of Chinese pictographic writing, wen. They were pictorial inscriptions on animal or tortoise bones, and then charred to set. The script evolved in the course of China’s long history, with discovery of bronze, paper, silk and brush, from Greater Seal, to Lesser Seal (Qin Dynasty), standard square script in Song Dynasty, then progressed to standard complicated script (Taiwan) and simplified script (mainland post 1958), despite the language remained same. I could read both scripts, but my grandchildren had been educated in simplified script, with loss of word etymology. Chinese hieroglyph are both pictorial, ideolograhpic, with phonetic complexes and homophonic.
The tour was interesting only for those who love Chinese scripts, literature and history. Many would have fallen to sleep in the bus, until lunch hours and the beginning of endless walk and climbing.
We had 12 dishes for lunch, three bot. of Chinese beer, at RMB 40 each. Desmond allowed us to add another favourite pork dish at RMB 50-60 per bowl,