Learn earliest Chinese / Father of Oracle-bone inscriptions 学中文/甲骨文之父

Oracle Bone Script

Learn earliest Chinese / Father of Oracle-bone inscriptions 学中文/甲骨文之父

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Oracle bone inscriptions are the oldest mature script in China, named after the inscriptions on tortoise shells and animal bones. The discovery of oracle bone inscriptions is inseparable from the traditional Chinese medicine “keel”. Keel generally refers to the fossil bones of ancient mammals. Chinese medicine believes that keel can be used as medicine. Later, people used oracle bones instead of keels as medicinal materials.

甲骨文,是中国最古老的一种成熟文字,因镌刻于龟甲与兽骨上而得名。甲骨文的发现与中药“龙骨”密不可分。龙骨一般是指远古哺乳动物的骨骼化石。中医认为龙骨可以入药。后来,人们用甲骨代替龙骨作为药材。

Jiǎgǔwén, shì zhōngguó zuì gǔlǎo de yī zhǒng chéngshú wénzì, yīn juānkè yú guījiǎ yǔ shòu gǔ shàng ér dé míng. Jiǎgǔwén de fǎ xiàn yǔ zhōngyào “lónggǔ” mì bùkěfēn. Lónggǔ yībān shì zhǐ yuǎngǔ bǔrǔ dòngwù de gǔgé huàshí. Zhōngyī rènwéi lónggǔ kěyǐ rùyào. Hòulái, rénmen yòng jiǎgǔ dàitì lónggǔ zuòwéi yàocái.

 

Learn earliest Chinese / Oracle-bone inscriptions ’ father学中文/甲骨文之父

Learn earliest Chinese / Oracle-bone inscriptions ’ father学中文/甲骨文之父

 

In 1899, when Qing Dynasty official Wang Yirong contracted malaria, he bought a dose of traditional Chinese medicine. Wang Yirong accidentally saw some symbols engraved on one of the Chinese medicines blindly called keel. How could there be inscribed symbols on these ancient oracle bones? This aroused his curiosity.

公元1899年,清朝官员王懿荣得了疟疾,他买了一剂中药。王懿荣无意中看到其中一味叫龙骨的中药上面刻划着一些符号。这些远古时代的甲骨上怎么会有刻划的符号呢? 这引起他的好奇。

Gōngyuán 1899 nián, qīngcháo guānyuán wángyìróng déliǎo nüèjí, tā mǎile yī jì zhōngyào. Wángyìróng wúyì zhòng kàn dào qízhōng yīwèi jiào lónggǔ de zhōngyào shàngmiàn kè huàzhe yīxiē fúhào. Zhèxiē yuǎngǔ shídài de jiǎgǔ shàng zěnme huì yǒu kè huà de fúhào ne? Zhè yǐnqǐ tā de hàoqí.

 

Wang Yirong has a lot of research on ancient writing. He looked at it carefully, and felt that it was not an ordinary notch, it was very similar to ancient writing, and it was probably the earliest written record in China. In order to conduct in-depth research, Wang Yirong bought all the keels with symbols in the pharmacy, and later collected more than 1,500 pieces.

王懿荣对古代文字很有研究。他仔细端详起来,觉得这不是一般的刻痕,很像古代文字,很有可能是中国最早的文字记录。为了深入研究,王懿荣把药店所有刻有符号的龙骨全部买下,后来又收集了1500多片。

Wángyìróng duì gǔdài wénzì hěn yǒu yánjiū. Tā zǐxì duānxiáng qǐlái, juédé zhè bùshì yībān de kè hén, hěn xiàng gǔdài wénzì, hěn yǒu kěnéng shì zhōngguó zuìzǎo de wénzì jìlù. Wèile shēnrù yánjiū, wángyìróng bǎ yàodiàn suǒyǒu kè yǒu fúhào de lónggǔ quánbù mǎi xià, hòulái yòu shōujíle 1500 duō piàn.

 

Learn earliest Chinese / Oracle-bone inscriptions ’ father学中文/甲骨文之父

Learn earliest Chinese / Oracle-bone inscriptions ’ father学中文/甲骨文之父

 

Unfortunately, Wang Yirong did not have time to study these oracle bone inscriptions in depth. In July 1900, the Eight-Power Allied Forces captured Beijing, and the Empress Dowager Cixi led the royal family to flee in a hurry. Wang Yirong was completely disappointed with the corrupt Qing court. He committed suicide for his country at the age of 56.

遗憾的是,王懿荣还没来得及对这些甲骨文深入研究,1900年7月,八国联军攻占北京,慈禧太后带领皇室人员仓皇出逃。王懿荣对腐败的清廷彻底失望了,他自杀殉国,年方56岁。

Yíhàn de shì, wángyìróng hái méi láidéjí duì zhèxiē jiǎgǔwén shēnrù yánjiū,1900 nián 7 yuè, bāguó liánjūn gōngzhàn běijīng, cíxǐ tàihòu dàilǐng huángshì rényuán cānghuáng chūtáo. Wángyìróng duì fǔbài de qīng tíng chèdǐ shīwàngle, tā zìshā xùnguó, nián fāng 56 suì.

 

Until 1908, people discovered that these oracle bones were unearthed in the area of Xiaotun Village in Anyang, Henan Province, where is the Yin Ruins. These oracle bones with symbols were relics of the Yin royal family. Today, oracle bone inscriptions have become a worldwide subject, and Wang Yirong, who first discovered oracle bone inscriptions, is also known as the “father of oracle bone inscriptions“.

直到1908年,人们才发现原来这些甲骨出土于河南安阳的小屯村一带,而这里正是殷墟遗址,这些刻有符号的甲骨是殷王室之遗物。如今甲骨文已成为一门世界性学科,王懿荣这位最先发现甲骨文的人也被誉为”甲骨文之父”。

 

—Learn earliest Chinese / Father of Oracle-bone inscriptions 学中文/甲骨文之父

 

 

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