China’s long history with Astronomy: Part 1 of 2

January 23, 2018

For thousands of years, Chinese astronomers have studied the stars and planets moving in their endless journey across the night sky.

Oracle bones from the Shang Dynasty recorded eclipses and as many as 90 novae (exploding stars).

For about two thousand years, the Chinese used the North Star (which stays constant). The Chinese used that star to map the location of every other star in the sky.

This method of mapping stars is called the equatorial system. The West would not use this method to map the heavens for almost two thousand years after the Chinese invented it.

In early 1980s, a tomb was found at Xi Shui Po (西水坡) in Pu Yang, Henan Province. There were some clamshells and bones forming the images of the Azure Dragon, the White Tiger and the Northern Dipper. It is believed that this tomb belongs to the Neolithic Age, about 6,000 years ago.

Star names relating to the 28 lunar mansions was found on oracle bones dating back to the Wuding Period (about 3,200 years ago).

Continued in Part 2 on January 24, 2018

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

Where to Buy

Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about new releases and get a free copy of my award-winning, historical fiction short story “A Night at the Well of Purity”.

About iLook China

Advertisements

China’s Second Known Dynasty – Part 3 of 3

January 19, 2018

Archeologists discovered China’s first chariots while excavating the Shang capital of Xin Xu.

The archeological evidence shows the development of the war chariot from two horses to four for more horsepower.

The Shang Dynasty also had women warriors.  Fu Hao, queen consort of King Wuding (Shang Dynasty’s 22nd king), was not only the mother to some of the king’s children but also a fighting general.

Fu Hao’s tomb was one of two discovered that had not been looted. Oracle bones revealed that she had led thirteen thousand troops into battle. Fu Hao was more than a military leader. She was also high priestess and oracle caster.

During the Shang Dynasty, The I Ching, The Book of Changes was written. This was the first book that attempted to explain the secrets of the universe, and Richard Wilhelm says it “is unquestionably one of the most important books in the world’s literature. Its origin goes back to mythical antiquity, and it has occupied the attention of the most eminent scholars of China down to the present day.”

Return to Part 2 or start with Part 1

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

Where to Buy

Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about new releases and get a free copy of my award-winning, historical fiction short story “A Night at the Well of Purity”.

About iLook China


China’s Second Known Dynasty – Part 2 of 3

January 18, 2018

The excavations of the foundations of several rammed earth palace at Xin Xu revealed the Shang Dynasty (BC 1766 – BC 1122) was a highly developed slave society.

The most valuable discovery was oracle bones, the evidence of China’s earliest writing system.

Tortoise shells, due to their hardness and longevity, were used for the oracle inscriptions. However, tortoise shells were not the only material.  Animal bones were also inscribed.

The inscriptions carved into bones and tortoise shells were questions to the high God Shang Di, lesser gods, and ancestors.

These questions were on issues that concerned the dynasty such as harvests, childbirth, everyday advice, and military campaigns.

Oracle bones, also known as dragon bones, were often ground into powder and used in Chinese medicines, which explains why oracle bones were also a myth for a long time.

What makes the oracle bones important today is the script carved into the shells or bones that are the beginning of China’s written language.

The Chinese writing system is the only language that still uses the same methods used thousands of years ago.

Continued with Part 3 on January 18, 2018, or start with Part 1

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

Where to Buy

Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about new releases and get a free copy of my award-winning, historical fiction short story “A Night at the Well of Purity”.

About iLook China


China’s Second Known Dynasty – Part 1 of 3

January 17, 2018

The Shang Dynasty (BC 1766 – BC 1122) was a myth until the discovery of the dynasty’s last capital, Xin Xu.

Xin Xu was the capital for about three hundred years.

Tomb robbers discovered the Shang tombs first.  Although most of the tombs excavated by archeologists had already been looted, the site still provided evidence of Shang culture and rituals.

Sacrifice to the gods and ancestors were a major part of Shang social and domestic life.

Bronze artifacts have been unearthed that represent the highest level of technology for the dynasty.

The Shang people used elaborate and dramatic rituals and music was one of the most important elements of ceremonies.

Three thousand years ago, the Shang people cooked food in ceramic steamers.

Archeologists have also discovered that the Shang capital had a complex walled city structure.  In some areas of the city, it even had an underground piped water supply.

Continued with Part 2 on January 18, 2018

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

Where to Buy

Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about new releases and get a free copy of my award-winning, historical fiction short story “A Night at the Well of Purity”.

About iLook China


Once it was just a Myth

January 16, 2018

The Xia Dynasty (2070 – 1600 BCE) was once a myth. But “Many scholars today still maintain that the Xia Dynasty is a myth but seem to be at a loss to explain why the physical evidence uncovered argues against their claim.”

In 1959, scientists excavated the city of Yanshi, which contained large palaces, causing some archaeologists to think that Yanshi was the capital of the Xia Dynasty.

Chinese archaeologists recently found a large-scale building foundation in the Erlitou Ruins of Yanshi in Henan Province, which belongs to the later period of Xia Dynasty. The discovery, the first of its kind “causes great concern because it was founded at the key moment when the Xia Dynasty was replaced by the Shang Dynasty (1783 BC – 1123 BC),” said Dr. Xu Hong, head of the Erlitou Archaeological Team under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. “Was it built by people of the Xia or the Shang? Further excavation will help discover the final resolution.

“The discovery of the Yin Ruins astounded the world in the 20th century,” Dr. Xu Hong said. “We believe the Erlitou Ruins will lead the study of Chinese ancient civilization to a new stage in the 21st century.”

Who knows? Maybe archaeologists will also discover that the myth of the Yellow Emperor was real. It’s alleged that he ruled China from 2697 – 2597 BC.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

Where to Buy

Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about new releases and get a free copy of my award-winning, historical fiction short story “A Night at the Well of Purity”.

About iLook China


The Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End

January 10, 2018

China is the oldest, continuous civilization on Earth. Ancient records date back to about BC 2500 and agree with the Old Testament’s timeline that the great flood took place around 2344 B.C.

Ancient Chinese myth has their first king, Fu-hi or Fohi (Chinese Noah) making his appearance on the Mountain of Chin surrounded by a rainbow after the world had been covered with water.  Myth says this Chinese Noah also sacrificed animals to God.

The Miao tribe of Southwest China has a similar myth. According to the Miao, God destroyed the world by flood because of the wickedness of man. The myth also says Nuah (Noah) had three sons: Lo Han (Ham), Lo Shen (Shem), and Jah-hu (Japheth).

In ancient China, ShangDi was considered the high God.  He was worshiped as the creator God for thousands of years. ShangDi was known as the Heavenly Ruler and the Chinese emperors were known as the Sons of Heaven.  No other god was higher or more powerful.

Evidence supports that the ancient Chinese understood the nature of God as the ancient Hebrews did after Abraham (1812 B.C. to 1637 B.C.), who is considered the father of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

One of the earliest accounts of the Border Sacrifice is found in the Shu Jing (Book of History), compiled by Confucius (551 to 479 B.C.), where it is recorded that Emperor Shun (2256 to 2205 B.C.) sacrificed to ShangDi.

While the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans worshiped many gods, the Chinese also worshipped many but worshiped a high God called ShangDi. If true, that would mean the Chinese believed in God longer than the Jews, Christians, or Muslims.

What’s interesting is the many in China believed in ShangDi for more than four-thousand years without an organized religion to guide them. Is ShangDi the same God that the Hebrews, Christians, and Muslims worship?

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

Where to Buy

Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about new releases and get a free copy of my award-winning, historical fiction short story “A Night at the Well of Purity”.

About iLook China


Does China have Biblical Myths too?

January 9, 2018

Daniel Miessler alleges that the Bible is Fiction. He writes, “The similarities between the stories and characters in the Bible and those from previous mythologies are both undeniable and well-documented.”

For instance, “And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.”  Exodus 19:17, 18

No one knows for certain where China’s Yellow Emperor came from. … He was known as the Yellow Emperor in honor for his contributions to agriculture and the Chinese calendar. In addition to farming, his wife, Lei Zu, is credited for developing the idea of growing silkworms and creating silk.  The Yellow Emperor is also noted as the creator of Chinese medicine, and the origins of Taoism and Confucianism trace their roots back to this mythical Emperor, who may have lived 4000 years ago.

Then one day, a yellow dragon descended from the sky to take The Yellow Emperor back to heaven…. Myth says, he ruled for a hundred years before leaving.

Is the Old Testament’s description in Exodus a space ship descending to Mount Sinai, and is the Yellow Emperor returning to heaven a myth or reality? In addition, consider that it is believed that the Biblical Adam and the Yellow Emperor were both on the earth around the same time, about 4,000 years ago.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

Where to Buy

Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about new releases and get a free copy of my award-winning, historical fiction short story “A Night at the Well of Purity”.

About iLook China