Sinitic Civilization began in 3000 BC in Liangzhu

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Sinitic Civilization began in 3000 BC in Liangzhu

Unread postby SinoPride » Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:28 pm

Part I: The Broken Path

I have often wondered why Chinese spoke of 5000 years of continuous civilization in China while westerners claimed China only has 3000 years. The difference had usually been attributed to the Chinese for using mythological basis to rack up years for its homegrown civilization while westerners only acknowledged China's civilization for the duration of its written history which had only begun 3000 years ago.

For many Chinese, though hardly the majority, mythological reference serves just as well as true historiography. In Chinese folklore, a sagelike emperor called Huangdi, situated around 5000 years ago, was said to have used military might to pacify barbarians headed by a warlike figure, Chiyou, in order to start the prosperous society of Huaxia peoples, the supposed ancestors of Han Chinese supra-ethnic peoples. Rumour has it that this was the period when the ethnocultural backdrop for the Han Chinese developed since Han Chinese supposedly viewed themselves with prideful regard for achieving distinct nationhood against those less civilized than they.

Therefore the mythology of Huangdi and Chiyou served as a reference for the ideal of "civilizing the barbarian masses". It reasoned civilization in China was created when some men suddenly realized their civilized status by arbitrarily assigning barbarian status for those whom they have deemed necessary to civilize which is another way of saying a superiority complex was key to implementing civilization. By converting this ideal into a parameter for the search of China's ancient civilization, many archaeologists discovering upon the artifactual remains of China's neolithic past began to draw associations between the two.

Where they found the ending phase of one Chinese neolithic culture became perceived to indicate where an ancient battle was lost against some more civilized conqueror. Where they found the beginning phase of a Chinese neolithic culture became perceived to indicate transition towards a more civilized status. In other words they mistook what they discovered through archaeology to necessarily reflect events portrayed in the Huangdi and Chiyou mythology by using the same ideological justification which perpetuated that mythology in the first place. But in this manner, the archaeology was never verified to demonstrate whether ancient Chinese civilization existed at all. Rather, all that had been accomplished was the needless rendition of mythology as truth.

No grave site of Huangdi nor Chiyou could actually be identified since identifying them would entail the required historiography to reveal the locations of neolithic ceremonial burial sites. Needless to say those do not exist. Despite this, efforts were not made to halt early Chinese archaeology from vainfully assigning various grave sites as the final resting grounds of various mythological characters.

To be continued in Part II: Clearing a New Path
http://hwyst.hangzhou.com.cn/wmyzh/cont ... 920423.htm

Liangzhu was typified by hallmarks which glorified 5000 years of China.
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Re: Sinitic Civilization began in 3000 BC in Liangzhu

Unread postby Zafar Khan » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:00 pm

Depiction of 'China' Around 1000s B.C.

about 800 years before Shi Huangdi

Image
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Re: Sinitic Civilization began in 3000 BC in Liangzhu

Unread postby Bush Leagues » Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:34 am

Obviously it's just a modern artist's rendition, so it has to be taken with a grain of salt, but...

That armor looks like the "Lamellar-esque" mesh they use in the Three Kingdoms period. It's only the chest piece, but still - did they really have something that advanced in 1000 BC? Or is it maybe just bamboo or other wood pieces and sewn together? It says he's a nobleman; compared to the other two soldiers he's better equipped and armored.

The helmet looks bronze, based on carvings and the like. The weapons appear Bronze too, especially the near infantryman (1). That matches with the start of the bronze age in China (~1700 BC). Shield looks wooden.

Probably a relatively accurate depiction, from the looks of it. Nice find.

Also, cool article SinoPride.
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Re: Sinitic Civilization began in 3000 BC in Liangzhu

Unread postby Zafar Khan » Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:01 pm

Its depiction from Osprey Publishing. i have personal reason to not easily dismiss their depictions althought not really 100% accurate.
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Re: Sinitic Civilization began in 3000 BC in Liangzhu

Unread postby Bush Leagues » Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:36 pm

Zafar Khan wrote:Its depiction from Osprey Publishing. i have personal reason to not easily dismiss their depictions althought not really 100% accurate.


Osprey is pretty damn good. Their medieval stuff is usually spot-on. I give a lot of credit to Osprey and tend to take what they say as most likely to be true.

This is ultimately just a picture, not an article or description, though. It still needs a grain of salt, but it is likely mostly solid.
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Re: Sinitic Civilization began in 3000 BC in Liangzhu

Unread postby Sun Fin » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:27 am

I've got Osprey's book that covers the Three Kingdom era, it's pretty good, certainly a great introduction but when compared to some more in-depth scholarship I think you do see some small errors.
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Re: Sinitic Civilization began in 3000 BC in Liangzhu

Unread postby Bush Leagues » Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:20 am

Sun Fin wrote:I've got Osprey's book that covers the Three Kingdom era, it's pretty good, certainly a great introduction but when compared to some more in-depth scholarship I think you do see some small errors.


Yeah, I don't think Osprey is 100% accurate all the time. But they get close enough if you have a serious interest in the era.
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