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Grand "Zhuke" tripod showcases inclusive culture of China's ancient Chu state




Grand "Zhuke" tripod showcases inclusive culture of China's ancient Chu state

2024-05-19 14:02 Last Updated At:14:37

The awe-inspiring Zhuke tripod, a 400 kilo bronze behemoth archived at east China's Anhui Province towering at nearly four feet high with an immense 87 centimeters wide, is a staggering feat of ancient metalwork.

The Wuwangdun tomb excavated in Anhui has been confirmed as the largest and highest-level tomb from ancient Chu state (704 BC - 223 BC) dating back to more than 2,200 years, the National Cultural Heritage Administration said on April 16.

Archaeologists focused on excavating the main vertical earth-pit tomb, confirming it as a large structure housing a wooden chambered burial area.

This collection of Anhui Museum is very similar to the large bronze "ding" (tripod) in size and structure, archeological experts said.

The ingenious "sectional casting" method was employed during its casting process more than 2,000 years ago.

Each component was cast separately before being joined, evidenced by the protruding "range lines" along the tripod's belly where the sections united.

Beyond its sheer scale, the Zhuke tripod captivates with its unique form. The curved shoulders give way to a rounded potbelly resting on three sturdy legs, with two handles adorning the sides.

"This type of ding (tripod) is a very distinctive instrument in Chu culture, and its main function is the same as the 'wok' cauldron in the Central Plains, which is a large ritual instrument used for cooking sacrifices in sacrificial activities," said Cheng Lu, associate research fellow at Anhui Museum.

There are 12 inscribed words at the edge of its mouth, beginning with "Zhu Ke," after which it is now named. On its front feet and bottom were inscribed two blessing words "An Bang," literally meaning "peaceful state."

It was unearthed in 1933 from the tomb of the King of You (about 237-228 BC) of the ancient state of Chu at Shou County of Anhui Province. The tripod is so precious and of such high historical value that it has been chosen as the prototype of the National Sacrificial Ding Tripod used at every memorial ceremony of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre since 2014.

For the Chu, who dominated the Yangtze regions for centuries during the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC to 476 BC) and the Warring States Period (475 BC to 221 BC), bronze ritual wares were not mere objects but symbols of state power.

Their bronzes combined the solemn dignity of the Central Plains tradition with vivid, dynamic decorations - forging a distinct aesthetic.

This daring departure from convention, a bold innovation by the free-spirited Chu people, also marked their rise to assert a unique cultural identity as their dominion grew.

Grand "Zhuke" tripod showcases inclusive culture of China's ancient Chu state

Grand "Zhuke" tripod showcases inclusive culture of China's ancient Chu state

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Rescue, relief operations underway as seasonal floods hit parts of China

2024-06-20 23:19 Last Updated At:06-21 00:17

Rescue and relief operations are underway to mitigate the impact of seasonal flooding across China.

South China's Guangdong Province has mobilized emergency forces to the hardest-hit areas, such as Pingyuan County and Jiaoling County in the province's Meizhou City, where clearance and repair works on flood-damaged roads are underway.

The provincial emergency aviation rescue center also dispatched helicopters to rescue trapped or injured people and deliver generators, food, drinking water and other supplies to flooded villages.

Wuping County, another hard-hit area in east China's Fujian Province, also dispatched emergency management and transportation teams, who rushed to the scene in speedboats and rubber boats carrying life jackets and other rescue equipment and supplies.

The county also mobilized nearly 300 excavators, forklifts and other machinery to assist in the evacuation of more than 68,000 people.

Water levels in some sections of three of the four major rivers in central China's Hunan Province, the Xiangjiang, Zijiang and Yuanjiang Rivers, have risen by three to 7.5 meters due to continuous rainfall, causing floods in surrounding areas.

Faced with flooding, neighboring areas have taken strict preventive measures, and more than 23,000 residents have been evacuated.

Rainfall also lashed east China's Anhui Province, with torrential rain hitting the province's Huangshan City, causing floods and trapping many rural residents.

Nearly 900 emergency rescue teams in the city are currently carrying out rescue and disaster relief operations while transferring affected people to safe locations.

Many rivers in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region also saw rivers exceeding flood alert levels, causing flooding in the region's Guilin City. Emergency responders have evacuated stranded people, and helped get traffic flowing again in urban area as the floods recede.

East China's Jiangxi Province is also closely monitoring key zones such as mountainous areas, reservoirs, and rivers to provide real-time disaster warnings, stepping up efforts to identify risks and hidden dangers.

China's State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters on Thursday initiated a Level-IV emergency response in Anhui and Hubei and Chongqong Municipality.

China has a four-tier flood-control emergency-response system, with Level I being the most severe response.

The Ministry of Emergency Management also urgently allocated 30,000 pieces of central disaster relief supplies to Guangxi in coordination with relevant departments.

The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Water Resources said on Wednesday that it had allocated central fiscal water conservancy disaster relief funds of 916 million yuan (126.16 million U.S. dollars).

Guangdong, Fujian and Guangxi will get 499 million yuan from the total to support flood disaster relief and flood prevention works, with a focus on providing subsidies for the repair of damaged water infrastructure.

Rescue, relief operations underway as seasonal floods hit parts of China

Rescue, relief operations underway as seasonal floods hit parts of China

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