Tuesday, June 13, 2023

The World’s Oldest Writing System

 From Arkeonews:

“Jiaguwen,” or the oracle bone inscriptions, are thought to be the earliest fully-developed characters as well as the source of the Chinese characters people use today. They were first discovered in 1899 at the Yin Ruins in Anyang, central China’s Henan province. They were so named because of their enigmatic “scratches” on pieces of animal bones and tortoise shells. Dating back to China’s Shāng dynasty (1600-1046 B.C.), this ancient Chinese language was included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2017.

While bronze vessels were the most visible implements used in the Shāng dynasty (approximately 1600-1050 BCE) ancestor rites, actual communication with ancestors took place through oracle bones. These bones, primarily cattle shoulder blades and turtle undershells, were dried and holes were drilled in them at regular intervals. (Read more.)


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