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Elizabeth F. Bennett

[Lo Chen-yü; zi Xuetang; hao Chensuntang]

(b Huaian, Jiangsu Province, Aug 3, 1866; d Lüshun, Liaoning Province, June 19, 1940).

Chinese writer, collector and calligrapher. He is particularly well known for his studies of oracle bone script (jiagu wen), the earliest Chinese writing, so called because it was found on animal bones and shells used for divination (see China, People’s Republic of §IV 2., (i), (a)). Luo’s friend Wang Yirong (1845–1900) and Liu E (1857–1909) were the first to collect the bones, which they discovered and rescued from pharmacists, who ground them up for medical prescriptions. The importance of oracle bones for early Chinese history was more widely recognized in 1899 after large quantities of them were unearthed at the Yinxu site in Anyang, Henan Province. Sun Yirang (1848–1908), Wang Guowei (1867–1927) and Luo investigated the texts on the oracle bones, and Luo dated them to the latter part of the Shang period (c. 1600–c. 1050...