above photo of the inscription on a turtle shell
was taken at the Xian Chinese Calligraphy Museum
translated 甲骨文 jiǎ gǔ wén means turtle bone scripts. As the
name suggests, these are turtle shells and animal bones
inscribed with characters. To date, 4 to 5 thousand characters
have been discovered but only about 1500 have been deciphered.
The word "oracle" in the translation conveys that the
inscriptions were derived from messages were divine and were
from the gods. Thus, 甲骨文 jiǎ gǔ wén
has also been called "Dragon Bones".
Oracle bones inscriptions were used during the Shang Dynasty
(1766 BCE to 1045 BCE) making the scripts the earliest Chinese
characters known and, to some, the origin of Chinese .
Translation of some of the script revealed that the political
and economic situation of the Shang Dynasty.)
*Note: The inscriptions are normally done on turtle plastrons
(underbelly) and ox scapulae (shoulder blade).
The photo below show examples of oracle bone inscriptions
甲骨文字jiǎ gǔ wén zì.
photo was taken at
the Xian Chinese Calligraphy Museum
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