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【双语新闻】追寻夏的轨迹⑩|王城岗遗址:“夏之王城”今何在?

2021年09月28日 12504
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The Xia Dynasty Travel Episode X

The Wangchenggang Site: Where Is the Capital City of the Xia Dynasty?

追寻夏的轨迹⑩|王城岗遗址:“夏之王城”今何在?

 

Driving westwards along a busy road in Bafang village of Gaocheng town, Dengfeng city (a county-level city of Zhengzhou city, Henan province), we were attracted by not only the crops growing very well by the roadsides, but also a particularly eye-catching empty field surrounded by green barriers on a high slope. Right there is the ongoing new round of excavation of the Wangchenggang Site.

走进登封市告成镇八方村,沿着村子里车水马龙的道路一直往西走,映入眼帘的是道路两旁长势喜人的庄稼,其中一溜高坡上用绿网围挡起来的空地尤为引人瞩目,这里便是王城岗遗址开启新一轮的发掘之地。


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Under the scorching sun, the sweaty archaeologists, each holding a Luoyang spade - a traditional tube-shaped testing tool widely used by Chinese archaeologists, were carefully digging trial trenches. Ma Long, assistant research fellow of the Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology of Henan Province, who heads the excavation at the Wangchenggang Site, arrived at the archaeological site at 6 every morning with his colleagues. "The scorching heat is the toughest challenge to our archaeologists. I was even all wet with sweat before going to work." Ma said that to avoid the hottest period, they usually worked from 6 to 10 am and after 3:30 pm almost every day. No matter how hot the weather is, their persistence in the exploration of the Xia Dynasty (2070 BC-1600 BC) has never changed.

炎炎烈日之下,汗流浃背的考古人员手持沉重的探铲一边探测一边细细规划探方。王城岗遗址现场负责人、省文物考古研究院助理馆员马龙每天早上六点就和同事们赶到考古工地。“天气太热,对于考古人员来说是最难熬的考验。刚到工地还没干活衣服就湿透了。”马龙说,为错开最热的时间段,基本上每天都是早上6点出工10点左右收工,下午是三点半之后再开工。但天气再热,也抵不过他们为寻找“夏”的坚守和执着。

 

According to historical documents and legends, Yangcheng (阳城), a capital city of the Xia Dynasty or where Yu (who built the Xia Dynasty) was living, is located near Gaocheng town. In 1959, Xu Xusheng, a famous archaeologist, discovered the Wangchenggang Site when he was investigating the sites between Gaocheng town and Bafang village. He pointed out that the Wangchenggang Site is probably related to the capital of the Xia Dynasty. From 1976 to 1981 and from 2002 to 2005, two rounds of excavations were carried out. The Wangchenggang Site has become an epitome of the exploration of the Xia Dynasty since every new discovery could attract the attention of the whole archaeological sector and promote the relevant studies.

根据文献记载和历史传说,我国历史上夏代的“夏都阳城”或“禹居阳城”的地望,就在告成镇附近。1959年,著名考古学家徐旭生调查登封市告成镇与八方村之间的遗址时发现了王城岗遗址,认为与“夏墟”有关。此后,于1976-1981年、2002-2005年做过集中发掘,每一次的新发现都聚焦着考古界的目光,总能推动夏文化研究的热潮,成了夏文化考古探索的缩影。


A book about the discovery of the Wangchenggang Site. [Photo provided to Henan Daily App]


For Ma, Xu's vision endowed the Wangchenggang Site with academic value. Xu started his work from historical documents and verified them with his archaeological practice of field investigation. Xu's investigation and trial digging made the site nationally recognized, thus opening up a new way to study the history of the Xia Dynasty by archaeology.

在马龙看来,徐旭生先生的慧眼为王城岗遗址赋予了学术生命。徐旭生从文献出发,以实地调查的考古实践验证文献记载,其调查与试掘使王城岗遗址进入全国的视野,由此开辟出一条由考古学研究夏代历史的新路。

 

Did the capital city of the Xia Dynasty recorded in historical documents really exist? If so, where is it located? Since the 1950s, generations of archaeologists have embarked on the quest.

古文献记载的“夏王城”真的存在吗?如果存在,它位于何处?从上世纪50年代以来,无数考古学家开始了孜孜以求的探索。

 

Luckily, a large number of discoveries were made during the two rounds of excavations, including 2 small city ruins (one in the east while the other in the west) of the late Longshan Culture (around 2500 BC-2000 BC) and a 348,000-square-meter large city ruin of the same period. All of them were built and used in the late Longshan Culture or the early Xia Dynasty. The large one is the largest city ruin of the late Longshan Culture discovered in the Central Plains, whose carbon-14 testing results are basically consistent with the first year of the Xia Dynasty presumed in the archaeological documents. Besides, the late Longshan Culture is also known as the third stage of the Wangwan Culture (after 2400 BC or so), a main source of the Erlitou Culture (around 1735 BC-1530 BC).

令人欣喜的是,在王城岗遗址两次集中考古发掘中,收获颇丰。遗址先后发现东西两座龙山晚期小城和一座面积34.8万平方米的龙山晚期大城,三座城的建造和使用期都是龙山时代晚期,相当于夏代早期。其中,大城是中原地区龙山晚期面积最大的城址,且测年结果与文献推定的夏之始年基本相符。而且王城岗龙山晚期遗存的文化面貌是王湾三期文化,是二里头文化的主源头。


In the 1980s, pottery wares carved with the characters of Yangcheng (阳城) or Wares of Yangcheng (阳城仓器) were discovered at a city ruin of the Warring States Period (475 BC-221 BC) located to the northwest of the large city ruin, thus proving the existence of a city named Yangcheng around the Wangchenggang Site as late as the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770 BC-256 BC).

上世纪80年代,距王城岗大城不远、东北方向的战国城址中,出土了印有“阳城”“阳城仓器”戳记的陶器,证明了至迟到东周时,在王城岗一带,存在被称为“阳城”的城市。


The character on the pottery ware. [Photo provided to Henan Daily App]

 

These important findings suggest that the Wangchenggang Site was a capital city of the early Xia Dynasty, likely to be Yangcheng (阳城) , capital city of Yu, recorded in the historical documents.

这些重要发现表明王城岗遗址应是夏朝始建时期一座王都性质的城邑,极有可能是文献记载的夏禹之王城“阳城”。

 

During the interview, Ma specifically mentioned the famous archaeologist An Jinhuai, who headed the excavation at the Wangchenggang Site in 1970s and 1980s. This year marks the centenary of the birth of An, who was born in Dengfeng. During the excavation, he also spread knowledge about archaeology and the site among the local villagers, thus refreshing their understanding of the site, archaeology and the village.

采访过程中,马龙专门提到著名考古学家安金槐先生。今年恰逢安金槐先生诞辰100周年。他在上世纪七八十年代主持发掘了王城岗遗址。马龙说,安金槐先生是登封本地人,在发掘遗址的同时,向当地村民普及考古学的常识和王城岗遗址相关的知识,让村民们对遗址、考古以及他们的村庄有了全新的认识。

 

"The new round of excavation has been launched for more than a year, and the local elders often come to visit us and ask, 'Is Mr. An still here?'" Ma said that he hoped their archaeological work, just like An, could be recognized by the villagers and the public.

“这次重启发掘开工一年多以来,经常有上了年纪的老人过来参观时问我们‘老安还在吗’?”马龙感慨地说道,希望我们的考古工作也能像安金槐先生一样得到村民的认可,获得更多公众的认同。

 

Characters of the Xia Dynasty were discovered?

夏朝有文字吗?

 

Character is one of the signs of human civilization. The oldest characters found so far are oracle bone inscriptions of the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC-1046 BC), bringing the recorded history of China to more than 3,300 years ago. The oracle bone inscriptions are of a fairly mature writing system, including pictographic characters, self-explanatory characters, etc. Where did these characters come from? Could it be the Xia Dynasty?

文字是人类进入文明阶段的标志之一。目前发现的最早的文字是商代甲骨文,把中国信史提早到了3300多年以前。甲骨文已经出现了象形、指事、会意、形声等造字方法,是一种很成熟的文字。那么,甲骨文的文字从哪儿来?会是夏吗?


The character on the pottery ware. [Photo provided to Henan Daily App]


The Xia Dynasty is China's first dynasty. However, due to the lack of adequate written records and self-proving textual materials like oracle bone inscriptions, there still exist disputes despite many physical evidences found, such as city sites and relics.

夏,作为中国王朝的开端,虽然找到了相应时代的城址遗迹、遗物等诸多实物性的证据,却因为缺乏足够的文字记载和像甲骨文一样的自证文字性材料,争议一直存在。

 

It is worth noting that at the bottoms or shoulders of the late Longshan Culture pottery wares unearthed at the Wangchenggang Site, there were some symbols like characters, which were carved before firing.

值得关注的是,在登封王城岗遗址龙山文化晚期陶器上发现了一些文字资料,它们刻画在碗、钵、豆、瓮等陶器的底部或肩部,是在陶器烧制前刻画在胎上的。

 

"These so-called characters are relatively complex in form and structure, not belonging to pictographic characters but meaning-denotation ones, marking a big step forward compared with the descriptive symbols or characters of the Dawenkou Culture (4100 BC-2600 BC). Some scholars believe that they are characters, while others regard them as symbols." For Ma, their appearance indicates that the intellectual class specialized in mental work had appeared at that time.

“这些文字资料从形体结构看较为复杂,脱离了象形的阶段而进入象意的高度,较大汶口文化的刻画符号或文字又前进了一大步,有学者认为已经是真正的文字,也有学者认为是刻画符号。”在马龙看来,这种文字性资料的出现,说明王城岗社会中已出现了专门从事脑力劳动的知识阶层。

 

A clearer Xia Dynasty is presented to us

夏王朝都城轮廓越来越清晰

 

In 2020, the Wangchenggang Site was proved as a key project (2020-2024) themed the study of the Xia Dynasty by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage. Now, a new round of excavation is underway at the site.

2020年,王城岗遗址被列入国家文物局“考古中国·夏文化研究”关键发掘项目,开启新一轮的考古发掘,继续探寻早期夏文化的起源与发展过程和找夏王朝建立的证据。

 

According to Cao Yanpeng, an associate research fellow from Henan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, who heads the excavation at the Wangchenggang Site, the latest digging shows a rammed-earth foundation covering an area of more than 20,000 square meters at the large city's north-central part, one of the largest rammed-earth foundations between the late Longshan Culture and the Erlitou Culture found in the Central Plains. Compared with the previous findings, it suggests that the large city ruin is closely related to the Xia Dynasty. The discovery of the large rammed-earth foundation not only proves that the large city's north-central part is a living area (most likely for aristocrats), which is helpful to understand its functional zones, but also offers some support for the central position of the large city in the Yinghe River basin and the appearance of the "states in embryonic form" around the Songshan Mountain.

王城岗遗址考古发掘负责人、省文物考古研究院副研究员曹艳朋说,最新考古钻探表明在大城中北部分布有面积超过两万平方米的夯土台基群块,是龙山晚期到二里头时期所发现的中原地区最大的夯土台基之一,相较于此前的发现而言将大城内的文化面貌向着“夏文化”推进了一步。大范围夯土基址的确认,一方面证明大城中北部是生活居住区,且极有可能是贵族生活区,推进了对大城内部功能分区的认识;另一方面佐证王城岗大城在颍河流域的中心地位及环嵩山地区“雏形国家组织”的出现。


A cultural relic discovered at the Wangchenggang Site. [Photo provided to Henan Daily App]


Jade cong (琮, a type of jade cylinder used in religious rituals) was previously discovered at the Wangchenggang Site. Cong is known as an important feature of the Liangzhu Culture (which dates back some 5,000 years) in the lower Reaches of the Yangtze River. Worshipping heaven with cong is not a tradition of the Central Plains. So the discovery of cong indicates that there were cultural exchanges between Wangchenggang and Liangzhu. For Cao, it shows that the leaders in the Songshan area had cultivated a political ideal of uniting the whole nation. Such a practice of accepting ritual implements from others was also inherited during the Erlitou Culture.

此前,王城岗遗址出土有玉石琮。众所周知,琮是长江下游良渚文化的重要传统和特征,“黄琮礼天”并非中原传统。然而,在中原地区的王城岗遗址龙山文化遗存中发现玉石琮,表明王城岗文明与良渚文明之间有文化上的交流。在曹艳朋看来,这表明环嵩山地区的领导者在龙山时代就具有了胸怀天下、海纳四方的政治理想,而这种吸收四方礼仪用器的胸怀在王城岗龙山文化的后继者二里头文化时期得到了进一步的发扬。

 

Fragments of some bronze vessel were also discovered at the Wangchenggang Site, which should be of bronze gui (鬶, a kind of cooking vessel). Modern tests suggest that it should be made with the casting method due to its thin base and uniform thickness, indicating that the casting technique at that time was already widely used. Very few exquisite bronze vessels of the Longshan Culture were discovered, showing the exceptional status of the Wangchenggang Site in the late Longshan Culture.

另外,遗址还发现有青铜容器残片,从形态上,应是青铜鬶的残片。经过现代科技检验,其胎质很薄,且厚度均匀,应是多合范法铸造,铸造工艺已较为成熟。龙山时代出现工艺成熟的青铜容器是极少的,也反映了王城岗遗址在龙山时代晚期的超然地位。

 

According to Ma, so far, the remains of walls, large rammed-earth foundation, bronze ritual vessels, textual materials, foundation pits, sacrificial pits, etc., have been discovered at the Wangchenggang Site, so it is undoubtedly a key site to explore the origin and development of the people of the Xia Dynasty, the establishment and development of the Xia Dynasty, and the origin and development of the culture of the early Xia Dynasty. The large city of the site is very likely to be Yangcheng (阳城), a capital city of the early Xia Dynasty. What to do next is to define the site's structure and its functional layout, and make clear the social and economic structure of the capital of the early Xia Dynasty.

马龙说,目前,王城岗遗址发现有城墙、大型夯土建筑基址、青铜礼器、文字性材料、奠基坑、祭祀坑等,王城岗遗址是探索夏族的起源与发展、夏王朝的建立与发展、早期夏文化的起源与发展的关键遗址是毫无疑问的,王城岗遗址的大城极有可能就是夏朝早期的王城“阳城”。下一步工作主要是要搞清楚城址内的结构、功能布局,搞清楚早期夏王朝的都城的社会结构与经济结构。(中文来源/河南日报客户端 记者/温小娟 翻译/赵汉青 视频/实习生王君艺 审校/张军平 张玉红)


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