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Anyang  

Robert W. Bagley

[An-yang]

Chinese city in Henan Province, near the site of the last capital of the Shang dynasty or Yin dynasty, occupied c.1300– c. 1050 bc. The site is sometimes called Yinxu, ‘Waste of Yin’, an ancient name for the abandoned city.

At least as early as the Northern Song period (960–1127) Anyang was known to antiquarians as a source of ancient bronze ritual vessels. At the beginning of the 20th century archaeologists were led there by the realization that animal bones and turtle shells found by local farmers were carved with inscriptions in a form of Chinese script more archaic than any previously known (for a discussion of the oracle-bone texts see China, People’s Republic of, §IV, 2, (i)). The bones had been used in divination rituals; their inscriptions, which showed the divinations to have been performed on behalf of the last nine Shang kings, secured the identification of the Anyang site. According to historical texts of the last few centuries ...

Article

Balkh  

City in northern Afghanistan, believed to be the site of Bactra, capital of ancient Bactria, and a major city in the province of Khurasan during the Islamic period. Located on a fertile plain, Balkh commanded trade routes between India, China, Turkestan and Iran. It was already a wealthy city under the Achaemenid dynasty (538–331 bc) and a centre of Zoroastrianism. Following the conquests of Alexander the Great, it became important under the Bactrian monarchies (323–87 bc) and then under the Kushana and Hephthalites, and it was a Buddhist centre. The most substantial remains from the early periods are the mud ramparts, which stand more than 20 m at several places. The circular plan around the citadel (modern Bala-Hisar) may date back as far as the Achaemenid period. The only other monuments to survive from the pre-Islamic period are four Buddhist stupas. That excavated at Tepe Rustam in the south of the city is the most monumental found north of the Hindu Kush (platform 54 m on a side; cylindrical dome 47 m in diameter; total height ...

Article

Baoji  

Li Liu

[Pao-chi]

Chinese city in Shaanxi Province, where several important sites from the Neolithic to Eastern Zhou periods (c. 6500–256 bc) have been discovered. A Neolithic village site was excavated in 1958–60 and 1977–8 at Beishouling. The cultural deposits found belong to the Laoguantai culture and the Yangshao culture, dated by radiocarbon analysis to c. 5000–c. 2500 bc. The ceramics are reddish in colour, and some vessels are painted. Major pottery types include the pointed-bottom vase, flat-bottom jar, round-bottom bowl and suantou hu (garlic-head) vessel (for illustration of shapes see China, fig.). The most elaborate ones are a boat-shaped vessel with a net design and a garlic-shaped vessel with a design of a bird pecking at a fish.

At Rujiazhuang, Zhuyuangou and Zhifangtou, three cemeteries of the Western Zhou period (c. 1050–771 bc) were excavated in 1974–81. They belonged to the state of Yu, a Western Zhou feudal state not recorded in ancient texts. The excavations uncovered 27 tombs, two sacrificial pits containing chariots and horses, and four pits containing only horses. More than 2600 grave goods, including bronze, jade, stone, bone, shell and ceramic objects, were unearthed. The findings provide evidence of a culture combining a unique local style with influences from the Western Zhou, the Siwa culture in Gansu Province and the Shu culture in Sichuan Province. Many stone and jade ornaments and bronze vessels are decorated with animal motifs, and bronze figurines depict details of dress and hairstyles suggesting that the Yu people were culturally closely related to the Di and Qiang peoples in north-western and south-western areas....

Article

Beijing  

Henrik H. Sørensen

[Peking, Pei-ching; formerly Dadu]

Capital city of China, located between the Yongding and the Chaobai rivers in the north-east of Hebei Province. It is sheltered from the north-east anti-clockwise to the south-west by the Yan shan (‘Fragrant hills’) mountain ranges, which enclose the city in a horseshoe form. To the south and east the North China Plain extends all the way to the delta of the Yangzi River in the south. Some 150 km directly east of the city is the Gulf of Bohai. From early times Beijing’s location on the north–south trade routes has been an economic advantage, but because it has such a large population the city has always had to transport food from considerable distances. Moreover, lying just inside the Great Wall it has been over-exposed to attack from the north-east.

There is evidence that the early human Peking Man lived near the site of modern Beijing more than 500,000 years ago, although more detailed archaeological evidence of settlement in the area only dates back to the 3rd millennium ...

Article

Bizen  

Richard L. Wilson

Japanese centre of ceramics production. High-fired ceramic wares were manufactured from the end of the 12th century in and around the village of Inbe, Bizen Province (now Okayama Prefect.). This region had been a centre for manufacturing Sue-style stonewares and Haji-style earthenwares from the 6th century ad (see Japan, §IX, 2, (ii), (a)). At the end of the Heian period (794–1185) the potters moved from the old Sue-ware sites around Osafune village to Inbe, just to the north. In response to increased agricultural development, the new kilns manufactured kitchen mortars (suribachi), narrow-necked jars (tsubo) and wide-necked jars (kame). During the 13th century the wares show less of the grey-black surfaces typical of the old Sue tradition and more of the purple-reddish colour characteristic of Bizen. In the 14th century Bizen-ware production sites shifted from the higher slopes to the foot of the mountains. Kilns expanded in capacity, ranging up to 40 m in length. Vast quantities of Bizen wares, particularly kitchen mortars, were exported via the Inland Sea to Kyushu, Shikoku and numerous points in western Honshu, establishing Bizen as the pre-eminent ceramics centre in western Japan. By the 15th century the Bizen repertory had expanded to include agricultural wares in graded sizes; wares then featured combed decoration and such functional additions as lugs and pouring spouts. Plastic–forming was assisted by the introduction of a fusible clay found 2–4 m under paddy-fields. This clay, which fires to an almost metallic hardness, is still in use today....

Article

Chengde  

Mary S. Lawton

[Ch’eng-te; formerly Jehol]

Chinese city in Hebei Province, 250 km north-east of Beijing. In the 18th century Chengde became a second capital and summer resort of the Qing (1644–1911) emperors, who spent as much as six months of the year there. Located in a basin 350 m above sea level, Chengde is surrounded by mountains, forests and lakes. Its earlier name, Jehol, is derived from the name of the local river, the Rehe (Je-ho), a tributary of the Luan. The area was settled by Khitan (Qidan) around the 11th century. Chengde was an obscure town until 1703, when the Kangxi emperor (reg 1662–1722) began building his summer palace there. The Qianlong emperor (reg 1736–96) enlarged the palace, completing it in 1790.

The palace grounds, known as Bishu Shanzhuang (Mountain Village for Escaping the Heat), cover 590 ha and are bounded by a red wall 20 km in length. Within are four palaces. The Zhenggong (Front Palace) is the largest and contains the main throne-room. It is constructed of the finest, aromatic ...

Article

Chengdu  

Frances Wood

[Ch’eng-tu]

Capital city of Sichuan Province, China. It was first established in the Spring and Autumn period (722–481 bc), though its greatest glory came when it was capital of the state of Shu Han (ad 221–63) during the Three Kingdoms period (220–80). From the Han period (206 bcad 220) it was known for its production of lacquer, salt and silk brocade (its major river is still known as the Jin jiang or Brocade River).

Chengdu was first walled in 311 bc. Its heart was the square walled and moated enclosure of the old Ming (1368–1644) viceroy’s palace, which was demolished to make way for a department store during the Cultural Revolution (1966–76). Street maps still indicate the irregular rectangle of the former outer city with the small rectangle of the palace quarter, orientated along the north–south axis in the centre. During the late Tang (...

Article

Clare Harris and M. E. Heston

[Kuchi Bandar]

City on the coast of Kerala, India. Facing the Arabian Sea, Cochin experienced strong contacts with Europe and other parts of Asia from early times, and signs of Portuguese, Chinese, Jewish, early Christian, Dutch and British influence are evident everywhere.

Clare Harris

St Thomas the Apostle is said to have visited the area in ad 52, making Cochin the oldest European settlement in India. The Moplah Christian colony dates from this period, and the first Jewish community in Cochin is said to have been established at around the same time; both Jewish and Syrian Christian communities are reported to have been well developed by the 8th century. A friar named Jordanus was in Cochin in 1347, Chinese travellers stopped there in 1409, and a Persian visited in 1442. Many of the early visitors to the port were seeking spices from the Kerala hinterland: in 1500 the Portuguese explorer Pedralvares Cabral (...

Article

Datong  

Frances Wood

[Ta-t’ung]

Town in northern Shanxi Province, China. Situated between two sections of the Great Wall, on the edge of the traditional Chinese border (before the full incorporation of Inner Mongolia in 1947), Datong is the largest town in the province. It was frequently overrun by alien groups and was twice made dynastic capital, under the Tuoba or Toba Northern Wei (ad 386–534) and the Khitan (Qidan) Liao (907–1125). Most of the city wall of tamped yellow earth, dating to 1372, is still visible, and the old part of town reflects the regular layout characteristic of northern cities, with a bell-tower at the centre. Datong is famous for the nearby Buddhist cave temples at Yungang, begun under the Northern Wei, and for two early temples, the Huayan Temple (Huayan si), originating from the Liao, and the Shanhua Temple (Shanhua si), founded under the Tang (ad 618–907...

Article

Echizen  

Richard L. Wilson

Centre of ceramics production in Japan, based on some 20 kiln sites 7 km north-west of the city of Takefu (Fukui Prefect.). Echizen is known as one of Japan’s ‘Six Old Kilns’. It is one of three centres that arose in the area (the others being Kaga and Suzu) in the 12th century in response to increased agricultural production. Ceramics appeared in Fukui Prefecture in the 6th century ad with the manufacture of Sue stoneware, fired in tunnel kilns (anagama; see Japan §IX 2., (ii), (a)). In the 12th century, however, increased agricultural production, coupled with the introduction of new technology, encouraged the development of a higher-fired brown stoneware. The use of a tunnel kiln with a dividing pillar, the manufacture of jars with everted rims and incised horizontal bands and the use of the coil-and-paddle technique in the early Echizen wares point to origins in kilns such as ...

Article

Foshan  

Bent Nielsen

[Fatsan; Fo-shan]

Chinese city and surrounding area in the Pearl River (Zhu jiang) delta, Guangdong Province, 16 km south-west of Guangzhou (Canton). Foshan (‘Buddha Hill’) was a religious and commercial centre from the 10th century onwards.

The Foshan area is particularly known for the pottery of the town of Shiwan. Archaeological excavations have shown that the area has one of the longest surviving pottery production traditions in China. Pottery of the Neolithic period (c. 6500–c. 1600 bc) has been unearthed, and graves of the Han period (206 bcad 220) have yielded detailed pottery models depicting everyday scenes, such as men at work in the rice fields, and pottery mortuary vessels. Tombs from subsequent periods contained other types of crematory jars and pottery burial objects.

Remains of kilns dating from the Tang period (ad 618–907) onwards have also been unearthed. The manufacture of everyday utensils goes back at least to the Tang, whereas the production of art pottery is somewhat later. Shiwan wares are made from a mixture of local clay and imported clay from Dongguan County on the other side of the Pearl River estuary. This combination is particularly suited to sculpture and the high relief designs characteristic of the area. Pottery production at Foshan was never under state control, and the potters were free to explore styles of the famous kilns of various periods and of ancient bronze vessels. As the forms and glazes of pots, bowls, vases and dishes often demonstrate, Shiwan potters are master imitators. They are also accomplished artists, especially in respect of pottery sculpture and miniature scenes. For centuries they have been inspired by the Cantonese opera, native to the Foshan area, and by popular religion and history when choosing characters to sculpt. The figures produced are naturalistic, but there is a marked tendency to exaggerate archetypal features. The lively expressions of the face and the warmth of the body are often emphasized by leaving these areas unglazed, setting them off against the glazed folds of the garments. Examples of miniature scenes, coloured and glazed ceramic reliefs depicting themes from mythology and figures from the Daoist pantheon, are visible on the roofs of Foshan’s Zu ci miao (Ancestral Temple)....

Article

Fuzhou  

Henrik H. Sørensen

[Foochow; Fu-chou]

Capital city of Fujian Province in China, a coastal port on the northern section of the Min River delta. The history of the city goes back to the Han period (206 bcad 220). It became the provincial capital in the Tang (ad 618–907) and during the Five Dynasties period (ad 907–60) was the capital of the kingdom of Min (909–46), which extended from Zhejiang Province in the north to Guangdong Province in the south. When the region came under the control of the Song (960–1279), Fuzhou was a flourishing trading port from which ships sailed to Indonesia, the Philippines and South-east Asia. At this time the city was a thriving centre of Buddhism; most of the numerous large temples were dominated by the Chan (Jap. Zen) Buddhist school. There was also a Muslim population; in the Tang period Arab traders had settled in Fuzhou, and many local people converted....

Article

M. I. Andreyev

Russian town 45 km south-west of St Petersburg with an important 18th-century palace and park. In 1765 Catherine II (reg 1762–96) gave the estate to her favourite, Grigory Orlov, for whom Antonio Rinaldi built a large palace (1766–81) in Russian Neo-classical style. The main three-storey block, revetted in yellow-grey stone, is flanked by two pentagonal towers that give the building the austere appearance of a fortress. A curved single-storey open gallery linked it with two symmetrical service wings, the kitchen and stables (later the arsenal). In 1783 Gatchina became the property of Pavel Petrovich, Catherine II’s son, the future Paul I (reg 1796–1801). He commissioned Vincenzo Brenna to transform the open gallery into blind walls and to build a second storey on top. Brenna also turned the lawn in front of the palace into a drill square enclosed by a moat with drawbridges. Rinaldi’s original interior decorations, which made extensive use of murals, stucco moulding and patterned parquet, were altered to give a more military, ceremonial effect, although the White Hall retains Rinaldi’s original décor....

Article

Jack Lee

[Canton; Kuang-chou]

Capital city of Guangdong Province in southern China, it lies on the northern end of the Pearl River delta where the three tributaries Dongjiang, Xijiang and Beijiang converge. The history of the city can be traced back to the Qin dynasty (221–206 bc) when it was named Panyu and was the capital of the Nanhai Prefecture. In 204 bc, it became the capital of Nanyue, a small kingdom founded by the former Qin General Zhao Tuo (d 137 bc). The city was destroyed by fire after the invasion of the Han troops in 111 bc. Under Han rule the city entered a new stage of development, as both economic and cultural exchange with the Central Plain rapidly increased, making it a centre of international trade and the focal point of the Silk Route of the sea. Traces of these periods can still be seen in the city today. The ancient shipyard sites of the Eastern Han and the Qin were found in ...

Article

Gyantse  

Barry Till

[rgyal rtse; Gyangzê]

Fourth largest city in Tibet, strategically located between Lhasa and Shigatse along the caravan route to India, Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan. Gyantse is most famous for its fortress citadel, or Dzong, and its lamasery. The 15th-century fortress, situated on a hill overlooking the town, served as an effective buffer against invasions from the south for centuries until 1904, when it was partially destroyed and conquered by British forces led by Francis Younghusband. It suffered further damage by the Chinese in the 1960s. Although in poor condition, the fort still has significant traces of ancient wall paintings.

The complex of buildings within the old walls at Gyantse, often referred to as the Palkhor Choide or Pelkor Chode (dpal ‘khor chos sde) Lamasery, was founded in 1418 by Rabten Kunsang (1389–1442), a follower of Khedrup Je (1385–1438), himself a disciple of Tsong Khapa (1357–1419), the founder of the Gelugpa sect. The monastic complex was formerly much more extensive, but a number of buildings were dismantled during the 1960s. The main buildings have survived relatively intact, however. Chief among these and one of the most impressive buildings in all of Tibet is the ...

Article

Mary S. Lawton

[Hangchow, Hang-chou; formerly Lin’an]

Capital of Zhejiang Province, China. After Bianliang (modern Kaifeng), capital of the Northern Song dynasty (960–1127), fell to the Ruzhen (Jürchen) in 1126, Gaozong, a younger son of the Northern Song emperor Huizong, re-established the court as the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279), at Lin’an, later known as Hangzhou. Its qualities of cultivated and natural beauty made Hangzhou, together with Suzhou, one of the most famous beauty spots in China. This is reflected in the popular saying ‘Shang you Tian tang, xia you Su Hang’ (‘Heaven above, Suzhou and Hangzhou on earth’).

At Shuitianban, near Hangzhou, evidence of a local branch of the Longshan culture has been unearthed, indicating that the area has been inhabited since the Neolithic period (c. 6500–c. 1600 bc). The region was settled more substantially at the beginning of the Qin period (221–206 bc), but it only became important during the Sui period (...

Article

Himeji  

J. F. Morris

Japanese city in Hyōgo Prefecture, west of Osaka on the Ichi River, at the junction of the main roads linking the coastal districts along the Inland Sea and the Japan Sea coast.

Himeji was the site of the capital of Harima Province in the Nara (ad 710–94) and Heian (794–1185) periods but the modern city dates back to the establishment of a castle and castle town in 1577 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (see §2 below). A succession of rulers expanded the urban area and by the 18th century it had 78 wards and a population of about 23,000. The population stabilized at about this level until the 20th century. It now stands at about 450,000. After the abolition of Himeji domain in 1871 in the reforms of the Meiji period (1868–1912), Himeji Castle became an army base. The Japanese self-defence forces still maintain a base in the city. Industrialization began in ...

Article

Amy Reigle Stephens, Mimi Hall Yiengpruksawan and Bruce A. Coats

Japanese city in the Nishi Iwai District, southern Iwate Prefecture, in the region of Tōhoku (formerly Ōshū, comprising the ancient provinces of Mutsu and Dewa), northern Honshu.

Hiraizumi is first mentioned in records of the 8th century ad, when the central government established a military base near the Koromo River in an effort to subdue the native inhabitants, the Ezo (Ainu). In the mid-11th century ad the area was occupied by the Abe family. The city is perhaps best known as the capital of the Fujiwara family of Ōshū (also called Mutsu) from the late 11th century ad to the late 12th. The first of the Ōshū Fujiwara rulers was Fujiwara no Kiyohira (1056–1128), who came to power c. 1090 as a result of a series of bloody territorial wars, displacing a line of local chieftains who for centuries had ruled the Kitakami Basin of Ōshū. To mark his victory and his status, Kiyohira chose to establish his headquarters and administrative centre at Hiraizumi, which was strategically located at a riverine and overland crossroads at the southern tip of the Kitakami Basin. The family derived its subsequent wealth partly from gold mines in the region. Over the next hundred years, under Kiyohira’s rule and that of his son ...

Article

J. F. Morris

Japanese city, the seventh largest in Japan (area 740 sq. km, population in 1986 c. 1 million), and capital of Hiroshima Prefecture. It is a bustling port and industrial city on the Inland Sea coast of Honshu, west of Osaka and Kobe. Hiroshima was created in 1589 by Mōri Terumoto (1553–1625), the local daimyo, after he had seen the new urban and commercial centre of Osaka built around its huge castle. The original city was laid out on the low-lying alluvial plain and delta islands of the Ōta River, in imitation of the orderly grid pattern of Kyoto (see also Japan, §IV). Hiroshima grew to have some 70 commercial wards in addition to its samurai wards. These were divided by 109 (later 75) large wooden gates, locked for security every evening at about eight o’clock. Houses within the samurai wards around the castle were spacious, averaging ...

Article

Houma  

Robert W. Bagley

[Hou-ma]

City in southern Shanxi Province, China. The Eastern Zhou (771–256 bc) state of Jin had its capital at Houma (anc. Xintian) from 585 bc until the dissolution of the state in 453 bc. Archaeological work has been carried out at the site since the 1950s, and a number of major finds have been reported.

Of great historical interest are deposits of jade tablets that bear brush-written inscriptions recording oaths of allegiance pledged by vassals to their lords (see China, People’s Republic of §IX 1.). More pertinent to art history is the excavation of a vast foundry site that yielded some 30,000 fragments of clay moulds, models, and other foundry debris. This debris is important partly because it throws light on casting processes and partly because it exactly documents the objects and designs that the foundry produced. The Houma foundry used a highly sophisticated pattern-block mouldmaking technique (...