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Shang And Zhou Funeral Practices: Interpretation Of Material Vestiges

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Chapter Summary

The study of funeral customs and ancient societies from archaeological materials has been the subject of intense debate among scholars. During the late Shang and the Zhou, jade amulets, plaques, and religious objects seem to play a slightly different role: concentrated in the inner coffin, very close to the body or, rather, in direct contact with it, they protected the body. This chapter examines the traditions of Qin and Chu, although both are rooted in the inheritance of the practices of the Shang and Zhou. It takes up a certain number of points which Lothar von Falkenhausen has shed light on in his study of the funerary practices of Qin. The use of actual everyday objects in the graves of the Chu kingdom instead of models as in the Qin principality developed from the 5th century BC, later than the use of models in Qin.

Keywords: archaeological materials; Chu; funerary practices; Lothar von Falkenhausen; Qin; Shang; Zhou



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