Never recorded in historical documents: bronze inscriptions prove that “hegemony” once existed

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After nearly two years of archaeology, the excavation of Dahekou cemetery in Yicheng, Shanxi has now come to an end. Bronze inscriptions show that this cemetery belongs to a feudal state of the Western Zhou Dynasty, Baguo, which was not previously recorded in handed down documents.

Dahekou cemetery is located on a delta plateau formed by the intersection of two rivers in Yicheng County, Linfen City, Shanxi Province. In May 2007, Dahekou cemetery was stolen and found, which was reported to the State Administration of cultural relics for approval. Archaeological exploration and trial excavation were carried out from September of the same year to may of 2008, comprehensive general exploration was carried out from September to December of 2008, and large-scale rescue excavation has been carried out since May of 2009.

So far, the Western Zhou cemetery at Dahekou has exposed an area of more than 15000 square meters, and 615 tombs and 22 chariot and horse pits have been found. The types of bronzes unearthed in the tombs include eating utensils, wine utensils, water utensils, weapons, tools, chariot and horse utensils, musical instruments, etc; The pottery combination mainly includes: pot, pot, pot, pot, etc. There are many jade, stone, bone, clam, shell and string decorations. Some tombs were buried with tin or lacquer ware, and some tombs even found gold ware.

The archaeological team found the word “Ba” among the inscriptions of the Bronzes Excavated. The inscription shows that the family name of the cemetery owner is “Ba”, and “Ba Bo” should be the highest power owner here. Subsequent archaeological discoveries proved that hegemonic state had contacts with Jin State, Luo state, Yan state and Zhou royal family. In the handed down documents, there is no trace related to the “hegemony” country.

Xieyaoting, deputy director of Shanxi Provincial Institute of archaeology, said: “There are two reasons why the ‘BA’ country is not recorded in the existing historical materials: one is that the record of the ‘BA’ country does exist in the historical materials in the past, but it has been lost in the long history; the other is that according to the area of Dahekou cemetery and the number of tombs buried, it can be judged that the population of Dahekou was small at that time, and we speculate that ‘BA’ was a very small country. During the Western Zhou Dynasty, there were a large number of small countries like ‘BA’, which were left by traditional historical materials It’s reasonable to leak. “

Experts believe that the discovery of Dahekou cemetery gives us an opportunity to understand the history and culture of the “hegemonic” country in the Western Zhou Dynasty, which is not recorded in historical documents, and provides valuable material materials for the study of the enfeoffment system, utensil system and ethnic integration in the Western Zhou Dynasty.

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