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Flashcards in Early Chinese Archaeology Deck (4)
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1

明器

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)

2

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

3

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.

4

生器

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