Ruins of Shang Dynasty capital included in World Heritage List
www.chinaview.cn 2006-07-13 15:24:09

Script on animal bones and tortoise shells. The Shang is very famous for its augury and the existing Jiaguwen (inscriptions on animal bones and tortoise shells) is the witness of augury of the time. Since 1898, the Yin ruins have provided the world with over 150,000 oracle items. Shang Dynasty (1600-1100 B.C.), si also called the Yin Dynasty.
Script on animal bones and tortoise shells. The Shang is very famous for its augury and the existing Jiaguwen (inscriptions on animal bones and tortoise shells) is the witness of augury of the time. Since 1898, the Yin ruins have provided the world with over 150,000 oracle items. Shang Dynasty (1600-1100 B.C.), is also called the Yin Dynasty.  (File Photo)

    VILNIUS, Lithuania, July 13 (Xinhua) -- The ruins of China's ancient Shang Dynasty capital in Anyang city, Henan Province, was inscribed into the World Heritage List here on Thursday by the 30th session of the World Heritage Committee (WHC).

    This made the site, China's only cultural heritage site applying for inscription this year, the 33th Chinese site to be included.

    Without discussion, the WHC unanimously agreed to place in the List the ruins of the Shang Dynasty capital as it regarded the site as "of universal value", Zhang Xuezhong, ambassador and permanent delegate to UNESCO, told Chinese reporters.

    "The site was inscribed in a very smooth way," Zhang said, adding "the WHC only spent a few minutes to approve it."

    It was accepted by loud applause from all the 21 representatives of the WHC after they heard the report on the site, submitted by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) experts.

    The WHC spoke very highly of the site, saying the site was outstanding not only in terms of its integrity but also global and universal value.

    Francesco Bandarin, director of UNESCO's World Heritage Center, extended his written congratulations to the Chinese delegation to the meeting.

    He said, "Congratulations for this fantastic monument. it is really a significant site of archaeological importance. The World Heritage List is richer."

    Other representatives stood up to shake hands with Chinese delegation members one by one to express their congratulations.

    "Today's result is a reward for the years of unremitting effort of the Henan government and its people and the city of Anyang," Tong Mingkang, Deputy director of the State Administration of Culture heritage, told reporters.

    The success "is not easy," Tong added, "unlike visible sites such as buildings, temples or towns, everything in the ruins of the Shang Dynasty is under the earth," he explained.

    "This demands much more effort to make it in inclusion into the World Heritage List," he said.

    He said what impressed the experts most "is the Oracle Bone Inscriptions", the origin of the modern Chinese inscriptions.

    "The Oracle Bone Inscriptions are the only ancient inscriptions in the world that are still used by a quarter of the world population today," he said.

    The way of display and protection of the site were recognized by the WHC as unique, Tong noted.

    The significance of the inscription into the List "is of great," Anyang city's party chief Jin Suidong said.

    "It will help the world to known more about the fantastic history of the China," he said.

    Before the application, the Henan provincial government passed regulations concerning the preservation of the ruins, he told reporters.

    Everything, including construction, and tree and grass planting around or nearby the site, will be done according to the rules, which are in line with UNESCO's heritage protection laws.

    In the process of conservation, new experience will be drawn to keep the heritage site lasting from generation to generation.

    The ruins of the Shang Dynasty capital, situated in Yindu District of Anyang City and across the south and north banks of the Huanhe River, was listed into the reserved names of the World Cultural Heritages on Feb 12, 1996.

    With a history of more than 3,300 years, the ruins, covering 24square kilometers, have been proved by its oracle Bone Inscription excavated from the site to be the earliest of its kind in China, featuring the civilization of Bronze Era.

    It also tops the "100 significant archaeological discoveries in the 20th century of China".

    The Vilnius session of the WHC will review altogether 37 new applications from 30 countries.

    On Wednesday, China's natural heritage site, the Great Panda habitat in southwest Sichuan province, was placed into the List. Enditem  

China not rules out demanding return of antiquities of Yin Ruins lost overseas

    BEIJING, July 13 (Xinhua) -- More than 50,000 antiquities from the Yin Ruins, home to China's earliest characters, have been lost to overseas, and China will not rule out the right to demand return of the treasures, said a Chinese cultural official here on Thursday.

    The official made the remarks as the Yin Ruins were added to the U.N. World Heritage List at the meeting of the United Nations Environmental, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage committee, in Lithuania's capital Vilnius.

Bird view of China's ruins of ancient Shang Dynasty capital in Anyang city, Henan Province.
File photo taken in September 2001 shows a bird's eye view of the ruins of ancient China's Shang Dynasty (17th-11th century B.C.) capital in Anyang City, central China's Henan Province.  (File Photo)

Editor: Yang Lei
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