Buddhist monastery of the 7th century
T. I. Zeymal’
Buddhist monastery of the 7th century
Robert W. Bagley
Chinese city in Henan Province, near the site of the last capital of the Shang dynasty or Yin dynasty, occupied c.1300– c. 1050
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 ...
Henrik H. Sørensen
Site of an ancient cemetery for Khocho, 40 km south-east of Turfan in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. The burial ground, which contains over 400
tombs, covers a large area and is divided into three sections: a north-western group with the earliest graves, a north-eastern group consisting of later, commoners’ graves, and a later northern group intended for the nobility. A wooden document found at the site indicates that it was in use before
Many tombs contained a couple, or in some cases a man and several wives. A few single burials have also been found. In several cases the exact dating of a tomb is possible owing to memorial inscriptions on clay slates placed next to the bodies. The early tombs were made by digging a vertical entry shaft into the ground with chambers on the sides, while the later tombs have an access ramp sloping down to the burial chamber, sometimes with side rooms and antechambers. The tombs made for the nobility are usually decorated with wall paintings depicting such motifs as birds and flowers, stylized landscapes and figures; many are in the style of the early Tang period (...
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
Mary S. Lawton
Site of a Neolithic village 10 km east of Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China, from which is derived the name of the early phase (c. 4800–c. 4300
Julia M. White
Site in the Tao River valley near Lanzhou, Gansu Province, China. First excavated in 1924 by the Swedish archaeologist
johan gunnar Andersson (1874–1960), it gives its name to a phase (c. 2800–c. 2300
Four sites make up Banshan: Waguanzui, Banshan proper, Bianjiagou and Wangjiagou. Excavations in the region have shown that the Banshan cultural phase includes a range of sites extending north from Lanzhou to Wuwei and Yongchang in Gansu Province and as far west as the Guide Basin in Qinghai Province. Banshan was the source of a large number of painted ceramic vessels, many now in the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm. Since the major archaeological excavations of the 1970s and 1980s, museums and research institutes in China, particularly the Gansu Provincial Museum in Lanzhou and the Qinghai Provincial Museum in Xining, have acquired large collections of Banshan pottery. Initial finds of Banshan ceramics were exclusively funerary wares, leading experts to believe that the painted designs, especially the black, swirling ‘death pattern’, were associated with ritual burial practice. Later, vessels with an identical serrated pattern were found in habitation sites as well, and the designs are no longer interpreted only in connection with death....
Chinese city in Shaanxi Province, where several important sites from the Neolithic to Eastern Zhou periods (c. 6500–256
At Rujiazhuang, Zhuyuangou and Zhifangtou, three cemeteries of the Western Zhou period (c. 1050–771
(b Washington, Co. Durham, July 14, 1868; d Baghdad, 11/July 12, 1926).
English archaeologist and architectural historian. The first woman to achieve a first-class honours in modern history at Oxford University, she travelled widely in Europe, Japan and especially the Middle East in the 1890s, achieving fluency in a number of European languages as well as in Persian, Turkish and Arabic. She developed an interest in archaeology and architecture that was reflected in an authoritative set of articles on the Early Byzantine churches of Syria and southern Turkey, based on her travels in 1905. Her first major travel book, The Desert and the Sown, contains a mixture of travellers’ tales and archaeological information, as does her Amurath to Amurath. Between 1905 and 1914 she made archaeological studies of the Early Byzantine and Early Islamic monuments of Turkey, Syria and Mesopotamia (now Iraq). In 1905 and 1907 she surveyed Binbirkilise with Sir William Ramsay; their book, The Thousand and One Churches, remains the authoritative account of this important site. The architectural recording by survey and photography at Binbirkilise was carried out by Bell and is a lasting monument in its own right. Bell’s interest in Anatolia was inspired by Josef Strzygowski and his book ...
Site in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China, 56 km north-east of Turfan. It is the site of the most outstanding complex of Buddhist cave temples in Khocho and is located in the steep side of an extensive terrace above the Murtuk River. At one time access to the caves was via free-standing timber buildings or terraces constructed in front of them, but by the time the caves were discovered by Albert von Le Coq at the beginning of the 20th century these were largely in ruins. In type the caves conform to those in the Kucha region (see Kizil; see also Central Asia, §II, 2).
The cave temples contained sculptures made of unfired clay, but it was mainly the wall paintings (removed by von Le Coq for safekeeping, few survive; see below) that in their unsurpassable diversity provided evidence of a flourishing Buddhist community. The most impressive were the paintings depicting consecration of a ...
J. Edward Kidder jr
Japanese site in Shinbohon-machi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture. It flourished during the Jōmon period (c. 10,000–c. 300
The Chikamori site lies on a plain near the Tedori River, 7 m above sea-level and 4.5 km south-west of the Kanazawa railway station. Other Middle (c. 3500–c. 2500
Henrik H. Sørensen
[’phyongs rgyas; Qonggyai]
Site at the north-eastern end of the Chongye Valley south of the town of Tsetang (Zêtang) on the southern bank of the Tsangpo River (Yarlung Zangbo) in south-east Tibet. It is the setting for the royal tombs of the Yarlung dynasty (mid-7th century
Estimates of the number of tombs vary between ten and thirteen. Buried on this site were Songtsen Gampo (reg c. 620–49), Mangsong Mangtsen (reg 649–76), Tride Tsugten (reg 704–55), Trisong Detsen (reg 755–c. 794), Mune Tsenpo (reg 797–800), Tride Songtsen (reg c. 800–15), Ralpachen (reg 815–36), Langdarma (reg 836–42), Ö Sung (843–905), Lhe bön (d 739) and Chögyi Gyalpo. Trisong Detsen’s tomb lies away from the other tumuli behind a low ridge to the north. The tombs consist of massive mounds of earth. Songtsen Gampo’s and Mangsong Mangtsen’s are huge: the former, which dominates the site, rises to a height of more than 15 m and has rectangular sides measuring 250×70 m. The other tumuli are considerably smaller, although Ralpachen’s tomb is also on an impressive scale. None of the tombs has been fully excavated, but a reconstruction of ...
Site on the eastern edge of the oasis of Khotan, on the southern Silk Route, in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. The site, which was investigated by Aurel Stein in 1900–01, contained the ruins of six dwellings and eleven places of worship, probably built between the 7th and 9th centuries
Chinese Neolithic site in Taian, Shandong Province. It gives its name to a Neolithic culture that stretched across Shandong, western Henan, northern Anhui and Jiangsu provinces c. 4300–c. 2400
The beginnings of many of the characteristic features of Longshan pottery may be seen in the ceramics of the Dawenkou culture: the use of the potter’s wheel, elaborate ritual vessels and polished blackwares and whitewares. There is evidence in the pottery produced from c. 3500
Chinese Neolithic culture of the middle Yangzi River basin, dating from c. 4400
The Daxi culture is characterized primarily from burials, although square, clay-plastered house floors have been discovered at a handful of sites. Burials were generally single. Many graves contained few or no grave goods, a smaller number contained as many as 30; several were accompanied by dog sacrifices. The most distinctive artefacts are the ceramics, which are predominantly hand-built red wares. Small numbers of red-ware vessels have grey or black interiors, and some grey and black wares have also been found. Daxi ceramics are generally plain, although some have a red slip. The most common surface treatments are painting, stamping, incising, cord impressions, appliqué and openwork. Painted designs were executed primarily in black on red. Decorative elements include chevrons, intertwined curvilinear designs, flower-petal designs and curvilinear triangular designs. The most important vessel forms are upright vessels such as deep-bowled ...
Henrik H. Sørensen
County in Henan Province, China, east of the city of Luoyang. The presence of Mt Song (also called Mt Xiaoshi, Mt Songyue or Mt Songgao) means that the county is primarily known as a centre of Buddhism. Mt Song was a Buddhist sanctuary as early as the Three Kingdoms period (
The Fawang Temple (Fawang si) is the oldest Buddhist sanctuary on Mt Song, supposedly dating to
Dorothy C. Wang
Site of Buddhist cave sanctuaries located 25 km south-east of the county town of Dunhuang, Gansu Province, China. In the wider definition Dunhuang also includes the Yulin caves at Anxi and the Xi qianfo dong (Western Cave of the Thousand Buddhas). From the 4th century to the 14th, Buddhist cave sanctuaries were continuously carved out in four or five tiers on the cliff face of an alluvial hill that faces east over the Dang River. At its height as a Buddhist complex in the 8th century
Dunhuang was first established as a garrison town in the ...
Early Bronze Age Chinese culture (first half of the 2nd millennium
Excavation began at Erlitou in the 1960s, revealing a cultural layer 3–4 m thick divided into four chronological periods, each lasting c. 100 years, beginning c. 1900
J. Edward Kidder jr
Japanese tomb in Ikaruga-chō, Nara Prefecture. Excavated in 1985, it was probably a late 6th-century
Mimi Hall Yiengpruksawan
[Fujiwarakyō; Fujiwara no miya; Shinyaku no miyako]
Japanese site, south of the city of Nara in the city of Kashihara, Nara Prefecture, in what was once Yamato Province. It is traversed by the Asuka River and surrounded by mountains in the north, east and west. Historical sources such as Nihon shoki (Chronicle of Japan;
Henrik H. Sørensen
Site near Dagzê, c. 40 km east of Lhasa, Tibet. It was the principal monastery founded by Tsong Khapa (1357–1419) in the early decades of the 15th century, and it thereafter became a major sanctuary of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism that he established. Formerly an impressive monastery town with several hundred shrines and chapels and a population of over 5000 lamas, Ganden was utterly destroyed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966–76). The monastery is still largely ruined, though some reconstruction has begun. The buildings that stand today all date from after 1980.
Ganden was built on the slopes of a hill with the buildings constructed in descending layers in a crescent shape. The heart of Ganden and its most important structure is Tsong Khapa’s Golden Tomb, the Ser Dung. This consists of several interconnecting buildings with high, tower-like superstructures and a courtyard; the inward-sloping walls are painted brown-red. This sanctuary contains several chapels with golden images of Buddhas and guardian deities. In the central chapel in the upper storey is Tsong Khapa’s tomb, a replica of the large stupa made of silver and gold in which the master was originally enclosed. Other main buildings include the Tri Dok Khang, where the abbot of Ganden lived. In a chapel on the second floor is kept a set of the ...