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Xia dynasty (夏朝, Chinese: Xià Cháo, 2070-1600 B.C.)

The Xia dynasty could be considered the dawn of the art of calligraphy. The origins of seal script (篆書, てんしょ, tensho), the first script of Chinese calligraphy ever created, reach deep into the history of China; all the way to the end of Xia dynasty – the first historically verified Chinese dynasty.

The origins of kinbun may extend back as far as the beginning of the Bronze Age in China, or the Xia dynasty. At that time, oracle bone script (甲骨文, こうこつぶん, kōkotsubun) was used for more practical purposes such as divination and recording historical events, where kinbun (金文, きんぶん, lit. “text on metal”) played more of a decorative role, being carved or cast on bronze tripods, cauldrons, bells and other vessels.

It is also to be said that the majority of earthenware decorated with markings similar to those developed by Yangshao culture (仰韶文化, Chinese: Yāng sháo wén huà , 5000 – 3000 B.C.) as well as later, more mature forms, were created on territories along the Yellow River throughout the New Stone Age, the Xia dynasty (夏朝, 2070 B.C. -1600 B.C.), and up to the beginning of the Shang dynasty (商朝 1600 B.C. – 1046 B.C.). Please click here to read more about the history of Chinese calligraphy.

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Page last modified on December 15, 2011, at 07:33 PM