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Methodology

As stated in the introduction, the archaeology sites in this project on bronze nao in Shang China are grouped under four tables according to the research themes defined by Professor Lai:

They include sites in the major activity areas of the Shang people, as well as sites with bronzes discovered in different provinces along the Yangtze River.

 

Information Included

On the maps and in their corresponding tables we aim to include as much information about the site and its bronzes as possible. Because the sites and their finds were usually reported at different lengths, we standardized a list of guides along which we followed as we documented each site:

 

References

Since some information on the locations of the bronze nao are not clear enough for the project team to identify a single spot on the map, additional references from the following sources were checked to extract more valuable information on a more precise site location and description on the bronzes unearthed/evacuated.  These included:

 

Difficulties

During the research process, it was found that some place names are no longer used / existed as the archaeological excavations were mainly done in the 1950’s or 1960’s. Some “公社” (communal) may have been demolished already, while some counties and villages may be grouped, merged or changed their names. Another problem with plotting in precise location was that many of the bronzes were unearthed because of urban development. Many sites have been developed into factories, residential area and other urban uses without preservation and those bronze naos were actually discovered/unearthed when they started developing the land. Unless the sites were well-known in archaeology / Chinese history, or with a clear site map from the reports, the project team can only guess the location from textual descriptions.

 

Product

An online database of maps and summary of findings including the following information are available openly to interested scholars, institutions and organizations:

The information in the data tables are in Chinese except for one site as the references for this site are all in English.

 

Data of this project is open for access in phases for research and educational purposes. Please refer to the Dataset Use Guide for using the shapefiles and kml files, and Terms of Use for using the datasets.