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Ancient Capitals of China (Anyang)

Anyang (ān yáng 安阳) was designated as a capital as early as the 14th century BC, when the 20th king of the Shang Dynasty (shāng cháo 商朝), Pangeng (pán gēng 盘庚), moved the capital to Yin (yīn 殷), today’s Xiaotun village (xiǎo tún cūn 小屯村), Anyang City (ān yáng shì 安阳市), Henan province (hé nán shěng 河南省).

The rulers of the Shang Dynasty organized an immense construction there, and finally built Yin into a great capital in ancient China. After that, some other kingdoms in the Central Plains (comprising the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River) also chose Anyang as the capital as well, but no further accomplishment with regard to city construction was made. This ancient city was reduced to ruins by countless wars. After the Song Dynasty (sòng cháo 宋朝), cultural and architectural relics of the Yin times were discovered from time to time, especially in several large-scale excavations after the founding of People’s Republic of China.
 


 Gradually the scale3 and layout of the ancient city have become more and more clear. Today the architecture ruins of the city are called “Yinxu” (yīn xū 殷墟)

Lying about one kilometer away from Anyang, the Shang Synasty Ruins(Yinxu) spread to both banks of the Huanhe River. In latitudinal direction, the longest distance of the ruins is about 10Km, while in longitudinal direction, the longest distance is about 5Km. It has an area of more than 24 square kilometers, and in this area, more than 50 palace ruins have been found.

Viewed from the extant Yinxu ruins, this ancient city demonstrated a relatively high level in constructing city architecture. The layout of the palaces, folk houses, workshops and graveyards was fairly mature. The places are grand and luxurious. The area of the largest palace is up to 400 m2, and the base earth is up to 2m thick. All these indicate that Yinxu was a mature ancient capital with an integrated plan, clear layout and high level of architectural skills in that period.


Today, Anyang has become an important city in Henan province. Every year it attracts many scholars and experts for archaeological research, and large number of tourists.


中国古都之安阳

      安阳早在公元前14世纪就被定为都城。当时,商代的第20代国王盘庚把国都迁于殷(今河南安阳小屯村)。商代统治者大兴土木,使殷成为一座古代大都。商代以后,中原王朝曾多次迁都于安阳,但在城市建设上没有什么成就。由于战乱,这座古城早已成为废墟。宋代以后,这里不断发现殷代文化和建筑遗存,特别是新中国成立后,经几次大的发掘,基本弄清了城市的规模和布局,人们把这些城市建筑遗迹成为殷墟。

      殷墟位于洹水之滨,距现在的安阳1千米,东西最宽处10千米,南北最宽处5千米,总面积24平方千米以上,在这片地域中,共发现宫室建筑遗址50余处。

      从殷墟现存的遗迹来看,这座古都已经表现了城市建筑方面较成熟的水平。宫室、民居、作坊、墓地的规划已经比较完善了。宫室建筑高大、豪华,最大的房屋达到400平方米,房基夯土厚达2米。这些都说明,殷墟在当时已是一座规划完整,布局清晰,建筑水平较高的古代都城。

      目前,安阳已经成为河南省的一座重要城市,每年都有不少专家、学者前去考察,并吸引着大批游人前去游览。
 

Last Updated on Monday, 01 February 2010 09:36
 

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