Contemporary Chinese Thought 34 (2):75-91 (2002)

As historiographical studies on ancient China gradually move from the center to the margins of the public's field of vision, research on historiographical studies concerning ancient China have been undergoing some unusual changes. A truly considerable quantity of bamboo slip and silk manuscripts have either been discovered by archaeologists or accidentally unearthed in the last twenty years. Although these have been made public very slowly, even maddeningly so, the few of them that have appeared before the world in the course of time have again and again both elated relatively sensitive historiographers and placed them in a quandary. They also have once and again confronted the system of ancient history that had been regarded as "final" with the prospect of utter collapse and the need to be rewritten. After the Mozuizi discoveries in Gansu in the 1950s, there were those of Mawangdui, Yinqueshan, and Shuihudi in the 1970s, and those of Shuanggudui, Bajiaolang, Zhangjiashan, and Baoshan in the 1980s; and it is said that there were astounding discoveries, though not yet made public, at Jingmen and Lianyungang in the 1990s. These "bamboo slip and silk manuscripts" that touch upon almost every aspect of the pre-Qin and Han areas of "the schools of the various masters," "number lore" , "prescriptive techniques" , "law," and "institutions" make us ask ourselves in astonishment: How many more mysteries of ancient China are still buried under the ground?
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DOI 10.2753/CSP1097-1467340275
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