Chinese Arts and Crafts
Endless New Discoveries-part4
On the western bank of the Fenghe River was Fengyi (Fengjing) of the Western Zhou Dynasty, from where some important bronze objects have been found in the past few years (PI. 129). For instance, in 1984 a Dengzhong animal-shaped zun was excavated from Tomb 163 at Zhangjiapo.8 The weird animal, decorated all over with taotie and kui-dragon designs, has horns on the head, four legs with paws, a standing tiger on its neck, reclining dragons on the chest and tail, and a standing bird on its back. The Yaci animal-shaped zun mentioned in some old records9 is similar to this one, but its design is not complicated and splendid.
Bronze objects were found time and again in Baoji, Shaanxi Province, especially the discoveries at Doujitai and Daijiawan in 190I and 1926 respectively, which have been described earlier. Since 1974, a large number of important bronze objects have been dug out at Rujiazhuang, Zhuyuangou (Pls. 130-131) and Zhifangtou (Pls. 132-133). Information on these discoveries has been published recently.10 For instance, a big ding from Tomb I at Zhifangtou has a flat cover which can be placed upside down, and a two-looped gui in the same tomb has especially high circular legs. Two you from Tomb 7 at Zhuyuangou has carved animal heads on the loop handle and on its two sides. Each of the zun and you from Tomb 4 has four legs and the zun also has a single ear. Each of the large and small bird-shaped zun from Tomb I at Rujiazhuang has three legs. All of them are rarely seen.
A fang yi (rectangular casket-shaped vessel with a knob on the cover) is similar to the bronzes discovered at Baoji, and was found in 1987 at Tangjiadun, Zongyang County, south Anhui. It has a bird design, and flanges and small bells inside the circular legs. It shows that the cultural influence of the early Zhou Dynasty had gone deep into as far south as Anhui.11
The year 1982 witnessed the discovery of bronze objects of the Marquis of Teng in the early Western Zhou period from a tomb at Zhuanglixi Village, Tengxian County, Shandong Province. Meanwhile, bronze objects of the State of Yah were frequently found at Liulihe, Beijing, of which the most important ones are the Ke he (PI. 134) and Ke lei wine vessels found from Tomb 1193 in 1986.12 Their inscriptions describe the history of granting title to the State of Yan in the early Zhou Dynasty. The discoveries from these two sites prove that the State of Teng was located in present-day Tengxian County, and the State of Yan, in today's Beijing, agreeing with the records in ancient books.
Other important information on the history of the Western Zhou follows:
In 1980, a Duoyou ding was discovered at Xiaquan Village, Chang'an County, Shaanxi. This deep-belly ding with bow-string pattern was cast in the late Western Zhou Dynasty and inscribed with 22 lines, totalling 278 characters, which relate a story: During the reign of King Li, Xianyun, a national minority in northwest China, made an incursion. With the king's edict, Lord Wu ordered Duoyou to lead chariots to chase after the Xianyuns and take back the property they seized. During the battle, Duoyou captured 127 of Xianyun's chariots, which tells us that Xianyun was not a mere nomadic tribe as people had previously believed, but an ethnic group with capability for large-scale chariot wars.
The Shitong ding excavated from Xiawuzi in Fufeng County, Sbaanxi, in 1981, contains seven lines of an inscription, totalling 54 characters, which is the last half of the inscription. The first half should be on another ding that has not been found. The Shitong ding was cast probably in the reign of King Yi. The inscription describes the battle against the Rong people, in which the spoils of war totalled 120, including chariots, carts, sheep and bronze objects, such as helmets, ding and swords. It is important evidence showing that some of the national minorities in the northwest at that time were not primitive as people believed.