Editor's note: Confirmed by historic documents, archaeological excavations and oracle bone inscriptions as the capital site of the late Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC), Yinxu or the Yin Ruins is usually regarded as the cornerstone of the project on tracing the origins of Chinese civilization launched by China in 2001. As a key component of world civilization, it has provided solid evidence for the continuity and pluralistic and integrated pattern of Chinese civilization, bringing recorded Chinese history nearly 1,000 years earlier than previously believed. Starting on October 25, we are launching a series of videos about Yinxu to help you gain a deeper understanding of it. Here is the seventh episode: China's Earliest Imperial Palace & Ancestral Temple Complex.
Yinxu was the ruins of the capital of the late Shang Dynasty. In 1300 BC, Shang King Pan Geng moved his capital to present-day Xiaotun village in Northwest Anyang city of Central China's Henan province. The capital city, known as Yin, witnessed the succession of 12 Shang kings over 8 generations in 255 years. The palace and ancestral temple area, covering about 700 thousand square meters, is a key component of Yinxu. Archaeological excavations of the palace and ancestral temple area began in 1928. About 100 rammed-earth foundations have been discovered, which were built for palaces, ancestral temples, altars, moats, etc. Besides, not only the remains of craft production workshops, oracle bone pits, sacrificial pits and noble cemeteries, but also vast quantities of oracle bones, bronze vessels, jade articles and other precious artifacts were discovered. Chinese archaeology burgeoned at Yinxu.