(East-West Question) Why did the Ba culture become the firm "one element" of Chinese civilization?

  China News Agency, Dazhou, May 14th, question: Why has Pakistani culture become the firm "one yuan" of Chinese civilization?

  China News Agency reporter He Shaoqing

  Ba culture often appears in the idiom "Xia Liba people" corresponding to "spring and snow".

But for a long time, people know little about the Ba culture that starts from the Han River in the north and reaches the east of Sichuan in the west.

  Luojiaba Site, located in Xuanhan County, Dazhou City, Sichuan Province, is the largest, best-preserved, and regulated Ba cultural site in China. one.

What Ba people legends have been verified by the Luojiaba site, and what unsolved mysteries are left?

What is the status of "Bashu Tuyu" in the origin of Chinese characters?

How did Pakistani culture become a firm "unity" of the pluralistic unity of Chinese civilization?

Wang Ping, curator of Dazhou Museum and executive director of Sichuan Museum Association, who participated in the excavation of Luojiaba site, and Wang Huiyi, dean of Ba Culture Research Institute of Sichuan University of Arts and Sciences, recently accepted an exclusive interview with China News Agency "East and West Questions". In-depth analysis.

The archaeological excavation site of the Luojiaba site.

Photo courtesy of the Propaganda Department of Xuanhan County Party Committee issued by China News Agency

The following is a summary of the interview transcript:

China News Agency reporter: What is Pakistani culture?

Over the past 20 years, several large-scale excavations have been carried out at the Luojiaba site. What results have been achieved?

Wang Ping:

In ancient times, in the vast areas of southern Shaanxi, western Hubei, northeastern Sichuan, Chongqing, western Hunan and northwestern Guizhou, there lived an ancient ethnic group called "Ba people".

They overcame thorns and thorns in the mountains, opened up new territories, prospered, and left behind a lot of mysterious and magnificent legends.

"Huayang Guozhi·Bazhi" records that in the heyday of Baguo, "its land extends to Yufu in the east, Bodao in the west, Hanzhong in the north, Guizhou and Fu in the Antarctic", and Dazhou in Sichuan lives in the center of the Panba area.

  In the 1950s, Chinese archaeologists discovered dozens of earthen pit tombs with canoe-shaped burial apparatuses at Baolunyuan in Zhaohua, Guangyuan, Sichuan and Dongsunba in Baxian County (now Jiulongpo District), Chongqing.

Feng Hanji, a famous archaeologist and founder of Southwest China's archaeology, named it "boat coffin burial", which is the first academic connection between the cemetery and the Ba people in the Warring States Period. The culture represented by these two cemeteries is named "Ba culture".

  The Luojiaba site located in Xuanhan, Dazhou has a total area of ​​1.03 million square meters and a core area of ​​700,000 square meters. It is the largest, best-preserved and highest-level Ba cultural center site ever discovered. The ancient Shu boat coffin burial sites in the street are collectively called "the three bright pearls of Cuban Shu culture after Sanxingdui".

  After six archaeological excavations from 1999, 2003, 2007, 2016, 2019-2020, and 2021 to the present, the Luojiaba site has uncovered more than 5,000 square meters of soil, cleaned more than 140 tombs, and unearthed bronzes, pottery, There are more than 3,000 pieces of various utensils such as jade tools.

In 2007, the archaeological excavation site of the Luojiaba site.

Photo courtesy of the Propaganda Department of Xuanhan County Party Committee issued by China News Agency

  According to archaeological findings, the cultural layer of the Luojiaba site is mainly divided into two periods.

The first is the Neolithic Age, dating from 5,300 to 4,000 years ago.

These pottery and stone tools are similar to similar objects in the surrounding areas, which proves that this is an indigenous ancestor who is distributed throughout the Jialing River valley and has cultural exchanges with the surrounding areas but has its own characteristics.

  4,000 years ago, the Luojiaba site entered the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period, and a wealth of bronze wares, pottery and other artifacts were unearthed, with distinctive Ba culture characteristics.

At this time, the ethnic groups at the Luojiaba site should be a community of Ba people and indigenous people integrating with each other. The Ba people brought a unique bronze culture during the migration process.

Pottery unearthed from the Luojiaba site.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Zhang Lang

China News Agency reporter: What Ba people legends have been confirmed by the excavation of the Luojiaba site?

Wang Ping:

It is said that the Ba people have always been brave and martial, and the documents once recorded that "Wu Wang defeated Zhou, singing before and dancing".

A large number of bronze weapons have been unearthed in the tombs of Luojiaba site, mainly ge, spear, sword, tomb, arrowhead and so on.

It can be said that all the tombs of Ba people have weapons unearthed.

The bronze weapons with a large number and styles are typical artifacts of the Ba culture, reflecting the cultural tradition and military system of the Ba people's bravery and martial arts.

  Legend has it that the Ba people worship the white tiger, and the white tiger is the totem of the Ba people.

"The Book of the Later Han Dynasty: Biography of the Southern Barbarians and Southwest Yi" records: "When Lord Lin died, his soul was a white tiger. Ba Shi used a tiger to drink human blood, so he used a human temple." It is also the proof of "Ba people worship the tiger".

There are a large number of tiger patterns cast on bronze weapons such as ge, spear and sword, mainly including tiger-shaped pattern, tiger head pattern, tiger stripe pattern, etc., with different shapes, generally appearing in combination with various Bashu symbols, and have been popular since the early Warring States Period to the Warring States Period. In the late period, it decreased sharply at the end of the Warring States Period, and disappeared during the Qin and Han Dynasties.

  The M83 tomb excavated in 2020 is a noble tomb of a prince and a king in the Luojiaba site, and it is the fourth time that a large and medium-sized noble tomb has been discovered in the Panba area.

The tomb is a male and female tomb, and a large number of bronzes with typical Bashu culture and Chu culture style were unearthed. The male tomb owner also buried a large number of tortoise shells, antlers and other artifacts related to witchcraft.

This shows that the custom of using tortoise shells for divination is more popular in the upper class of Ba people, which is consistent with the tradition of "Ba people are still witches" in historical documents, and is of great significance for further research on Ba culture and its social conditions.

China News Agency reporter: Why has Pakistani culture become a firm "unity" of the pluralistic unity of Chinese civilization in history?

Wang Huiyi:

Academics believe that this is closely related to the geographical location of the ancient Ba people and the Ba country—Wushan, Daba Mountain, and Qinling Mountains.

Wushan is the basis for the formation of the former Ba culture, and Daba Mountain and Qinling Mountains are the basis for the formation and development of the Ba culture.

  About 5,000 years ago was the formal formation period of the Ba culture, but if it goes back to the Paleolithic and earlier origins, the cultural center moved to Wushan, the prehistoric culture of the Three Gorges area.

The Qianba culture with Wushan as the core is mainly located in the middle and upper reaches of the Yangtze River, with the Daba Mountains in the north and the Chuan-E Mountains in the south.

  As summed up by scholars such as Mr. Mengmo, in history Bashu often became the "base of the king's industry" for the unification of ancient dynasties.

For example, during the Warring States Period, Qin State became stronger and richer after merging with Shu State, laying a solid foundation for the final unification of the Six Kingdoms.

Liu Bang took Bashu as his base and sent troops to pacify the forces of Sanqin and Weijia.

Whether it is Emperor Qin, Han Wu, Tang Zong and Song Zu, or modern revolutions, the land of Bashu has become a strong rear of political consolidation.

The major political changes in Chinese history can be said to be closely related to the land of Bashu.

In the interaction and integration of Ba culture with Shu culture, Chu culture, Qin culture, Central Plains culture, Southwest national culture, revolutionary culture, and socialist construction culture, a firm "unity" of Chinese civilization is formed.

The overall richness of Chinese culture is reflected in regional culture as well as in Pakistani culture.

China News Agency reporter: "Bashu Tuyu" plays a pivotal role in the origin of Chinese characters.

Previous archaeological excavations at the Sanxingdui site and Jinsha site have also discovered the same mysterious Bashu language. What are the similarities and differences between the Bashu language at Luojiaba site and the other two?

What unsolved mysteries remain in the Ba culture?

Wang Ping:

"Ba-Shu Pictorial Language", also known as Bashu symbols or Bashu graphic characters, refers to the graphic symbols on the artifacts from the Warring States Period to the early Western Han Dynasty unearthed in Sichuan and Chongqing.

Mainly distributed in bronze weapons, bronze musical instruments, bronze seals and a small amount of production and living utensils.

The typical Bashu pattern is tiger pattern, palm pattern and flower stalk pattern, which were not regarded as words at first because they resembled decorative symbols.

As archaeological work progressed, more and more similar symbols were discovered.

The current mainstream view is that this is a tool, a family emblem, a totem or a religious symbol used by the ancient Bashu people to record language.

  At present, there are more than 200 kinds of Bashu pictographs and languages ​​discovered, and more than 90% of them are engraved on bronze weapons, which play an important role in the origin of Chinese characters.

Since the 1940s, archaeologists have continued to study the Bashu pictorial language, but so far they have not been able to completely decipher it.

  The study found that the Ba-Shu language of Luojiaba site has obvious lineage and different ethnic relationship with the Ba-shu language of Sanxingdui and Jinsha sites.

There are a large number of Bashu pictorial patterns on the artifacts unearthed at the Luojiaba site. According to preliminary statistics, there are as many as 76 types, including animal face patterns, eye patterns, bird patterns, tiger patterns and some basic decorative patterns, such as cloud and thunder patterns, sun patterns, and sun patterns. The patterns, leaf vein patterns, flower pedicle patterns, etc. are very similar to the patterns of the artifacts unearthed from the Sanxingdui Site and Jinsha Site of the Shu Culture.

Tiger-patterned bronze ge unearthed from the Luojiaba site.

Photo courtesy of the Propaganda Department of Xuanhan County Party Committee issued by China News Agency

  During the Shang and Zhou dynasties, most of the artifacts at the Sanxingdui and Jinsha sites were decorated with ornaments such as birds, fish, and insects (silkworms), which were symbols and signs of ancient Shu. Enlightenment does exist.

  During the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period, the Kaiming clan from the Jingchu area replaced Du Yu as the king of Shu, and the Ba culture and the Shu culture gradually merged.

At this time, the tiger, which symbolized the totem of the Ba people, occupied a dominant position in the Bashu bronze ware, and the bronze ware with tiger-shaped decoration was almost all over the whole of Sichuan, with a large number and variety.

The bird, fish and insect (silkworm) decorations that symbolize the national emblem of the Shu people are gradually decreasing, mainly concentrated in the western Sichuan area.

  Due to the lack of historical documents and the lag of archaeological excavations, there are still many unsolved mysteries in the Ba culture, such as what ethnic groups are the Ba people, where did they come from, what is the meaning of the Bashu Tu language, and where did the Ba people go in the end, etc. There are unanimous conclusions.

  At present, the archaeological excavation of the Luojiaba site is still in progress.

We look forward to the discovery of noble tombs of higher standards and higher levels, to find the central settlement of the Ba culture, and of course to discover the Ba-shu script, to solve the thousand-year-old mystery of Luojiaba and even the entire Ba culture.

It is believed that with the deepening of archaeological excavations and academic research, the fog shrouded in the ancient Ba people will gradually dissipate.


Interviewee Profile:

Photo by China News Agency reporter Zhang Lang

  Wang Ping, Director of Dazhou Cultural Relics Management Institute, Director of Municipal Museum, Vice President and Secretary General of Sichuan Ba ​​Culture Research Association, Executive Director of Sichuan Museum Association, participated in the first excavation of Luojiaba site.

  Wang Huiyi, Dean of Ba Culture Research Institute of Sichuan University of Arts and Sciences, Vice President of Sichuan Ba ​​Culture Association, member of Chinese Art Theory Society, editor-in-chief of the collection "Ba Culture Research".