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Flashcards in Early Chinese Archaeology Deck (4)
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Míngqì 明器 (also: 冥器) "spirit vessels/articles"

* low-quality and/or reduced-scale reproductions of objects made for funerary purposes
* may include funerary figurines (mù yǒng 墓俑)
* widely produced and generally used during the Warring States Period
* purpose unclear:
- to symbolize the memory of earlier, already obsolete ritual customs (von Falkenhausen)
- funerary items that are incomplete or have been impaired on purpose so as to render them useful only to ghosts, but not to living humans (Enno Giele)


曾侯乙 Tomb

Zēng Hóu Yǐ 曾侯乙 Tomb

* archaeological site in Suízhōu 隨州, Húběi 湖北 containing the remains of Marquis Yǐ of Zēng
* dated sometime around 433 BCE
* famous for set of 65 biānzhōng 編鐘 bells
* along with the late Shāng 商 tomb of Fù Hǎo 婦好, the tomb represents one of the largest sets of ritual bronze vessels


婦好 Tomb

Fù Hǎo 婦好 Tomb (died c. 1200 BC)

* Fù Hǎo 婦好, posthumously called Mǔ Xīn 母辛, was one of the many wives of King Wǔ Dīng 武丁 of the Shāng 商
* the tomb of Fù Hǎo was excavated in 1976 at Yīnxū 殷墟 (Ānyáng 安陽)
* the tomb's occupant is assumed to be Fù Hǎo because more than a hundred bronzes carry her name.



Shēngqì 生器 "articles of daily life"

* a category of tomb furnishings common during the Warring States Period
* shēngqì may include:
- daily utensils (yòngqì 用器)
- musical instruments for entertainment (yānyuèqì 燕樂器)
- weapons and armor (yìqì 役器)
- intimate objects belonging to the dead person such as his cap, cane, and bamboo mat (yānqì 燕器)
(see Yílǐ 儀禮)
* see also Xúnzǐ 荀子 ("Lǐlùn" 禮論) who distinguishes between míngqì 明器 and shēngqì 生器 as two types of burial goods