(ORDO NEWS) — In China, archaeologists have discovered several ancient bamboo plates with hieroglyphs, the deciphering of which has shed new light on the history of the Qin Dynasty ban.
According to the Xinhua news agency, archaeologists have discovered six well-preserved bamboo plates covered with hieroglyphs. The deciphering of these texts sheds new light on the history and evolution of Chinese “reading habits”.
Artifacts were found during excavations in the province of Hunan, located in central China. The work was carried out in the city of Yiyang. The relics themselves were found at the Tuzishan historical site. They are ancient “pieces of paper”.
According to experts, the age of the artifacts is approximately 2000 years – they date from the early period of the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC – 25 AD).
The excavations were carried out in 2013. However, it is only now that Zhang Chunlong, head of the excavation team, has made public the results of a study of the findings made at that time.
According to him, there are unusual records on six bamboo plates – in fact, this is the correspondence of people who discuss “offering books” among themselves.
Archaeologists believe that the texts discuss the lifting of the ban on the private collection of books. For the first time such a ban was introduced during the reign of the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC).
“After the ban was lifted, as evidenced by these bamboo plates, borrowing, donating and collecting books became a social trend,” Zhang says.
“Later, both the royal family and local governments amassed an unprecedented wealth of book collections. Han people began to read books more, libraries began to appear.”
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