Early Chinese writing

For the classroom

An oracle bone


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Fragment of an oracle bone


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Fragments of oracle bones showing drilled hollows


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Shang Dynasty ritual vessel fang ding


A cast inscription is just visible on the inside.

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Inscription cast into Shang Dynasty ritual fang ding vessel


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20th century calligraphy by Huang Miaozi


Partly using oracle bone script.

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Writing section of the British Museum’s Ancient China website

Source: ancientchina.co.uk

Visit the site http://www.ancientchina.co.uk/writing/index.html

An inscription from an oracle bone

Source: taiwantoday.tw

Asks whether the king should go hunting.

Visit the site http://taiwantoday.tw/site/Tr/public/MMO/TR%20Images/1965no1Reading22img1.jpg

Outside the classroom

Following are some links to museum collections around the UK which have oracle bones and other Chinese calligraphy.

Oracle bone fragments in the Horniman Museum, London

Source: horniman.ac.uk

Visit the site http://www.horniman.ac.uk/home

The Couling-Chalfant collection of oracle bones in the British Library

Source: britishlibrary.co.uk

Visit the site http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/asian-and-african/2014/06/the-couling-chalfant-collection-of-oracle-bones-in-the-british-library.html#sthash.qf01NBaI.dpuf

Oracle bone in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Source: ashmolean.org

Visit the site http://www.ashmolean.org

Chinese calligraphy in the National Museum of Scotland

Source: nms.ac.uk

Visit the site http://www.nms.ac.uk

Chinese calligraphy in the Oriental Museum, Durham

Source: dur.ac.uk

Visit the site https://www.dur.ac.uk/oriental.museum

British Museum

Source: britishmuseum.org

Visit the site http://www.britishmuseum.org

Early Chinese writing