Uncover the mystery of Queen Shang’s frequent marriage
In June, 1936, among the more than 17000 tortoise bones left by the Shang Dynasty in Anyang, Henan Province, more than 200 pieces of oracle bone inscriptions were found recording the deeds of a woman named “Fuhao”. Incredibly, this woman who lived more than 3000 years ago is not only good at fighting, but also married four kings in succession! Could the Shang Dynasty be so open?
Mysterious woman in Oracle Bone Inscriptions
Almost all of these 10000 tortoise shells came from the Wuding period of the Shang Dynasty, which was one of the most accomplished monarchs of the Shang Dynasty. With the deepening of research work, people gradually found that in the Wuding Dynasty, there was a lingering figure whose name appeared many times on oracle bone inscriptions, and her name was “Fuhao”.
People began to crack the secrets of these oracle bones. There is a divination record that “women’s kindness comes first and everyone is in Pang”. It means that before the war, Fuhao first recruited soldiers in a place called Pang.
“Zhen, there are 3000 women, thousands of tourists, and Hu fan.” According to this Oracle, Fuhao led 3000 troops to join the king’s army of 10000 people and went to invade distant countries together. This is the largest war in oracle bone inscriptions. The Shang empire on the side of the battle used tens of thousands of troops. This was a great feat in the Bronze Age 3000 years ago.
The more inscriptions about women’s well-being are found, the more people are surprised at her: she is a female general under the king, who can not only unify the army, but also belong to her own territory.
Women led the war and became princes, which was unheard of in 3000 years. What kind of dynasty was Shang Dynasty? Why can it give women so much power and trust? Is it the Shang Dynasty that promoted the concept of equality between men and women, or is women’s good not an easy person?
Soon, people found another identity of Fuhao: she was one of the three legal wives of King Wuding and a noble Queen.
With the deepening of research, people were surprised to find that Fuhao left her king in the 2636 edition of the Oracle collection.
“Zhen, are you married?” “Zhen, are you married?” “Zhen, are you married?” This Oracle is asking repeatedly, “is the woman good enough to marry?” The conclusion of the Oracle is that Fuhao remarried and married three different kings. These kings are the ancestors of Wu Ding. They have passed away for a long time and were wise monarchs when they were in power.
What the hell is going on? How can a woman marry four kings in hundreds of years?
The material evidence in the tomb confirms the good identity of the woman
In May, 1976, while carrying out a routine land leveling work, the Anyang archaeological team of the Chinese Academy of Sciences found an ancient tomb on a hill in the northwest of Xiaotun village. To the great excitement of the archaeological team, there is a steady stream of artifacts unearthed from this tomb. Judging from the unearthed jade, the owner of the tomb should be a gentle and noble woman. However, soon after, a large number of weapons appeared in the tomb, including a bronze Tomahawk with a tiger pouncing on the head on both sides, which is the symbol of the supreme commander in the army. From this point of view, this should be a general’s tomb.
Who is the owner of this tomb? Is it a man or a woman?
A few days later, there was a new discovery in the tomb. Almost every kind of bronze ware is engraved with a name. Obviously, this name is the owner of the tomb. She is no other than the queen who is famous for her oracle bone inscriptions.
These burial relics enable people to watch the characters in the oracle inscriptions for the first time, and they make the history in the oracle inscriptions clear. Among the rich funerary objects, people gradually get to know women. She is indeed a general with outstanding military achievements. The unearthed bronze axe is exquisite in workmanship and powerful in form. She is not a general and is definitely not qualified to use such a bronze axe.
A pair of tripods unearthed were engraved with the words Si Muxin. According to archaeological research, Si Muxin was the temple name when Fuhao died. According to the custom of the Shang Dynasty, only kings and Queens can enjoy the names of people with the temple name of heavenly stems.
Therefore, the excavation of this tomb clarified all the inferences about Fuhao – Fuhao is indeed a person. She is not only a queen, but also a female general holding a bronze axe. The queen with a Yue has disappeared in the smoke of history for more than 3000 years, and her name has not been recorded in even the records of the historian.
3000 years later, in two unexpected discoveries 40 years apart, she appeared in front of modern people as the most specific image of the Shang Dynasty. The king of Shang held a ghost marriage for his wife
However, people still wonder why Fuhao married so many kings? Did the queen have the right to marry many times in the Shang Dynasty?
Zhao Cheng, an old expert of Zhonghua Book Company, has retired for many years, but he is still obsessed with the study of Oracle. He has his unique views on the 2636 edition of Oracle collection:
Wu Ding is the longest reigning king among the known Shang kings. He died 59 years old, and his cherished queen Fuhao died before him.
People in Shang Dynasty were superstitious about ghosts and gods and worshipped destiny. They believe that everything in the world depends on God, gods and ancestors. Wu Ding’s feelings for Fu Hao are very special. Maybe he loves her deeply, maybe he respects her like a guest. He always finds it hard to let go of Fu Hao.
Therefore, the enlightened monarch betrothed his cherished wife to the wise king who had died for a long time. He probably believed that these dead ancestors would protect his wife in the afterlife, or he also believed that the excellence of women’s kindness could be compared with the great emperor. Oracle inscriptions are Wu Ding’s urgent inquiries about his ancestors.
“Is Fuhao married?” “Dajia has married Fuhao!”
“Is Fuhao married?” “Cheng Tang has married Fuhao!”
“Is Fuhao married?” “Zu Yi has married Fuhao!”
So the king was relieved.
Anyang, in more than a century of archaeological research, has gradually restored an ancient dynasty. Today, beside Xiaotun village, people have completely preserved the palace ruins of the Shang Dynasty, which has become the testimony of that dynasty.