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Renwen Lecture: Stories of Oracle Bone Inscriptions — a Pivotal Link in Chinese Civilization

November 24 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Discovered 120 years ago by Wang Yirong (王懿荣), Chancellor of the Qing Imperial Academy in Beijing in 1899, Jiǎgǔwén (甲骨文 or oracle bone inscriptions, OBI) refers to scripts engraved on animal bones and turtle shells, mostly for divination and events recording dating back to 1600 BC. Hundreds of thousands of oracle bones were unearthed during the last century. The inscriptions represent not only the earliest known Chinese writing system but also the oldest extant documents concerning various aspects of the Shang royal house, from sacrificial rituals to wars. The Shang OBI brought the legendary Shang Dynasty from a foggy mist into a vivid historical reality. To mark the 120th anniversary of the discovery of OBI, the Renwen Society presents a lecture by Dr. Kuang Yu Chen Rutgers University on the oracle bone script. Dr. Chen’s lecture will discuss the following topics: discovery of OBI, past and current study of OBI, how OBI is used to date the origin of the Chinese writing and the illustration of the vivid Shang royal life through a number of famous OBI pieces.

1899年的光绪年间,清朝最高学府国子监的主管官员王懿荣首先发现甲骨文,距今已整整120年。甲骨文是指商代契刻在龟甲兽骨的文字,主要是占卜,少数为记事。甲骨文的发现完全证明司马迁史记商代记载的可信,将中国有文字的历史上推到公元前1600年。甲骨文在研究中国文字起源发展、商代历史、以及中国文明发展上起了关键作用。商代上接虞夏,下开周秦,是中国历史的关键朝代。在大数据时代,甲骨文研究、中国古文明研究方兴未艾。

为纪念甲骨文发现120周年,更进一步了解甲骨文这一中华文明的瑰宝,华美人文学会特邀罗格斯大学(Rutgers University)资深教授陈光宇于2019年11月30日下午3时至5时做专题讲座“甲骨文-中华文明的关键发现”。陈光宇,台湾大学学士,美国康州耶鲁大学化学博士,耶鲁大学医学院博士后。现为美国新泽西州罗格斯大学化学系资深教授,并兼任东亚语言文化系教授。陈教授是美国国家科学促进协会会士,也是罗格斯大学孔子学院理事。陈教授在台湾大学曾师从金祥恒先生学习甲骨文。在耶鲁大学又师从张光直、饶宗颐两位先生学习甲骨文及殷商考古。陈教授在文史方面的研究兴趣偏于上古中国,特别是殷商史、甲骨文及世界古文字、文明起源、分子化学考古等。

陈教授在讲座中将先对甲骨文的发现、殷墟考古及甲骨文研究作一个简要回顾,然后就甲骨文在汉字起源、三代文明研究的关键地位用若干著名的甲骨版例予以说明。

 

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Details

Date:
November 24
Time:
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:

Venue

Downtown Office
40 Rector Street
New York, NY 10006 United States
Phone:
212.744.8181
Website:
http://www.chinainstitute.org

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