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date: 20 October 2019

Chu [Ch’u]locked



Chinese state that flourished during the Zhou period (c. 1050–256 bc). Abundant literary and archaeological sources give evidence about the state of Chu: the Zhanguo ce (‘Discourses of the Warring States’; compiled in the 1st century bc from earlier sources), Chu ci (‘Songs of Chu’; 3rd century bc–2nd century ad) and the Shanhai jing (‘Classic of mountains and seas’; perhaps c. 320–c. 200 bc) are the principal textual sources. Archaeological sites that have yielded evidence of Chu culture are distributed over a very wide area, the most important of which include Changsha in Hunan Province; Xiasi, Xichuan County, and Xinyang, both in Henan Province; Jiangling in Hubei Province; Shou xian in Anhui Province; and Xuzhou in Jiangsu Province. The heart of the Chu state was the Yangzi River basin, in modern Hubei Province, extending east into Anhui Province and north into Henan. Relatively little is known about the southern borders of the state, and the Chu capital changed frequently. The first capital was Danyang, the exact location of which is the subject of heated debate. It was then moved to Ying, which is generally identified with the site of Ji’nancheng north of ...

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