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Indecipherable Ancient Books Found In Chongqing
Epoch Times ^ | 2-24-2008

Posted on 02/26/2008 2:33:44 PM PST by blam

Indecipherable Ancient Books Found in Chongqing

The Epoch Times Feb 24, 2008

Mysterious ancient books found in Chongqing. For the past two years no one has been able to read them. (Epoch Times screen shot taken from 21 cn.com)

The Tujia have been known as an ethnic minority with its own spoken language but without a written language. Yet a succession of ancient books in the same written language have been found in the Youyang Tujia habitation straddling the borders of Hunan, Hubei, Guizhou Province, and Chongqing City. For the past two years none have been able to read the ancient books.

Chongqing Morning Post published a report on February 15 about the story of Zhou Yongle, 38, a resident in Youyang Tujia and Miao Autonomous County. In the winter of 2006, Zhou arrived at Yiju Town to purchase antiques. He bought a pile of old books from a farmer and took them home. When he was tidying up the purchased books, an ancient book bound with thread drew his attention.

This special ancient book was made up of over twenty pieces of parchment that was commonly used in the Wuling Mountain Area. Characters vertically arranged on the parchment bear a striking resemblance to traditional Chinese characters. Written with brushes, the handwriting is neat and strong. Much to his amazement, he could not recognize any of the words. He was left dumbfounded.

With detailed observation, Zhou Yongle found Chinese characters next to each word that he had previously not noticed. The smaller Chinese characters seemed to serve as footnotes or translation. According to the translation done by the Chinese characters, the book should be titled Ancient Three Character Classic .

Zhou Yongle consulted such Chinese classics as the Shuowen Jiezi [1], Bronzeware script [2], and the Kangxi Dictionary [3]. With an eagerness to figure out the meaning of each character and the name of the writing system, he consulted cultural experts from the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Commission of Youyang County, and also local seniors, but to no avail. None were able to read the strange characters.

That's not the end of story. In the spring and summer of 2007, residents in the ancient town of Gongtan were all evacuated due to construction on the Wujiang Hydropower Station. Zhou went to an old house to again purchase antiques. Suddenly, a coverless old book caught his eye: characters on this book were exactly identical to those on his first discovered book.

After buying the book, Zhou thoroughly examined it and found that it was an ancient book used as a dictionary, with pages combined with thread and characters vertically arranged. Written with brushes, it was composed of big characters similar to those of his previous ancient book. Smaller Chinese characters beneath the content words served as footnotes. Comparison of the two books revealed that characters of the two books belonged to the same writing system, along with footnotes presented in Chinese characters. Based on the resemblance, Zhou concluded that the two books were written in the same language.

Zhou commented, "The Tujia are widely recognized as an ethnic minority with its own spoken language, but without its written language. If we could unravel the mystery of these undecipherable books discovered along the Wu River, and if we could prove they are words used by the Tujia, that would be a great discovery for the Tujia culture. Then the history of ethnic minorities would be revised."

So far, this kind of mysterious writing system, said Zhou, has been found only in Youyang County. Traces have never been spotted in any other areas.

[1] The Shuowen Jiezi was an early 2nd century CE Chinese dictionary from the Han Dynasty. It was the first comprehensive Chinese character dictionary.

[2] Bronzeware script is a family of scripts found on Chinese bronze such as zhong (bells) and ding (tripods)

[3] The Kangxi Dictionary was the standard Chinese dictionary during the 18th and 19th centuries. The Kangxi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty ordered its compilation in 1710 and it was published in 1716. The dictionary is named after the Emperor's era name.


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: ancient; ancientchina; books; china; chogqing; chunking; chunkingbooks; godsgravesglyphs; relics; worldhistory

1 posted on 02/26/2008 2:33:47 PM PST by blam
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To: SunkenCiv
GGG Ping.

Tujia People

2 posted on 02/26/2008 2:35:54 PM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam

Problem solved.

3 posted on 02/26/2008 2:37:30 PM PST by devane617 (I WILL VOTE AGAINST JOHN MCCAIN !!!!!)
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To: devane617

Throw me down the stairs my pants.


4 posted on 02/26/2008 2:39:14 PM PST by Past Your Eyes (Bill Clinton: Life Member of the Liars' Club.)
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To: blam

Tujia People, Descendents Of The Ba People

5 posted on 02/26/2008 2:42:28 PM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam

TO SERVE MAN BETTER


6 posted on 02/26/2008 2:42:34 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Only infidel blood can quench Muslim thirst-- Abdul-Jalil Nazeer al-Karouri)
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To: blam

Yep, you’re right. I can’t read it.


7 posted on 02/26/2008 2:46:00 PM PST by CobraJet
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To: blam
All your base are belong to us! /end translation
8 posted on 02/26/2008 2:47:23 PM PST by Michael_Michaelangelo (The best theory is not ipso facto a good theory.)
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To: blam
Oh it's decipherable alright, it says:

Karl Marx was here. He is a Zhang Ass. His philosophy will lead to the people giving up all their power to a great leader who will use it to slaughter those who disobey with his cruelness, including u.......

9 posted on 02/26/2008 2:48:17 PM PST by Eddie01 (Freepers don't let Freepers get spun)
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To: blam; Michael_Michaelangelo
Photobucket
10 posted on 02/26/2008 2:50:10 PM PST by JRios1968 ("If you go over a cliff with all flags flying, you are still going over a cliff"óRonald Reagan)
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To: Michael_Michaelangelo

This may be the translated text.

11 posted on 02/26/2008 2:50:53 PM PST by devane617 (I WILL VOTE AGAINST JOHN MCCAIN !!!!!)
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To: blam
Translation:


12 posted on 02/26/2008 2:50:57 PM PST by Revolting cat!
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To: blam

Not Ba’d... not Ba’d at all...


13 posted on 02/26/2008 2:53:54 PM PST by Hoosier-Daddy ("It does no good to be a super power if you have to worry what the neighbors think." BuffaloJack)
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To: blam

Another wonderful post.

Thank you for taking the time to share it, blam.


14 posted on 02/26/2008 2:59:41 PM PST by Diogenesis (Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum)
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To: blam

It says “Be sure to drink more Ovaltine.”


15 posted on 02/26/2008 3:01:47 PM PST by infool7 (Ignorance isn't bliss its slavery in denial)
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To: blam

Merinos, decendents of The Real Ba People - accept no substitutes.

16 posted on 02/26/2008 3:20:39 PM PST by xJones
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To: blam

The verdict is evident:

Innocent!!!!


17 posted on 02/26/2008 4:02:23 PM PST by Ole Okie
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To: blam
That's a good one Blam. You're testing me aren't you.

Before the Chinese regularized their character sets about 250 BC (and sporadically before that) there would undoubtedly have been a number of others that stood outside the mainstream of characters.

That would explain the smaller characters next to the big characters ~ just someone "updating" the book.

They re-defined their characters and changed their shapes in AD sometime and you'd have something similar going on so there should be old "books" around showing the same phenomenon but with dramatically different characters.

Looking at these they remind me a lot of what I call "kitchen Chinese" characters. They are used by uneducated or poorly educated people who work in food marketing or restaurants to indicate what's on the menu. That would date this stuff back to the third century BCE at least.

This is a "word book" by appearance, if not provably by content "yet", so the reason they can't read the "language" is that it's not in a "language" ~ some of the newer small characters probably "discuss" the older characters though ~ that's why they are calling them "footnotes".

This is a tremendous discovery. Unfortunately almost all the records written in that oldest formal Chinese character set were destroyed by various crazy emperors and invaders.

The dictionary outlives the civilization ~ as usual.

I'm going to see if they have more pages of this stuff on the net and see what it really says. May have to stand on my head while servants beat the bottoms of my feet with bamboo poles to get in to the essence of it though.

18 posted on 02/26/2008 4:04:25 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: devane617

Of course this is Japanese. It says:

To the most honorable smoking guest
Smoking is not allowed inside the building if you please
Do it in the outdoor “smoking corner” we most humbly request.

Note the katakana KO-NA- = “corner” in the middle of the bottom line.
(BTW, this was a laborious effort for me, just so you know. )


19 posted on 02/26/2008 5:52:05 PM PST by dr_lew
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To: dr_lew

Thanks Dr_Lew! The website engrish.com has a daily picture of a translation gone bad. Thanks again!


20 posted on 02/26/2008 6:48:55 PM PST by devane617 (I WILL VOTE AGAINST JOHN MCCAIN !!!!!)
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To: muawiyah
"That's a good one Blam. You're testing me aren't you."

We try not to leave anuone out.

21 posted on 02/26/2008 8:52:02 PM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: Duchess47; jahp; LilAngel; metmom; EggsAckley; Battle Axe; SweetCaroline; Grizzled Bear; ...
MADE IN CHINA POTTERY STAMP

(Please FReepmail me if you would like to be on or off of the list.)
22 posted on 02/27/2008 4:40:33 AM PST by JACKRUSSELL
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To: blam; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 49th; ...

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Thanks Blam.
...After buying the book, Zhou thoroughly examined it and found that it was an ancient book used as a dictionary.
Wow, what a lucky find (cough cough).

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are Blam, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

· Google · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology magazine · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
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23 posted on 02/27/2008 6:13:36 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/___________________Profile updated Tuesday, February 19, 2008)
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To: devane617

24 posted on 02/27/2008 7:41:19 AM PST by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: Renfield

engrish.com

LMAO!


25 posted on 02/27/2008 7:46:43 AM PST by Lee'sGhost (Johnny Rico picked the wrong girl!)
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To: blam
I have found a translation. Here it is:
26 posted on 02/27/2008 7:58:23 AM PST by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: blam

We the Zarg write this before we begin our intersteller journey. Ling Pin having discovered the secret of superluminal transportation will have the honor of initiating the launch sequence. The mechanism to achieve superluminal transport is described in the following pages . . .

And there, sadly, the scroll ends.

Translation services provided by Beavis, Inc.


27 posted on 02/27/2008 8:20:21 AM PST by Greg F (Do you want a guy named Hussein to fix your soul? Michelle Obama thinks you do.)
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To: Greg F

LOL


28 posted on 02/27/2008 8:25:26 AM PST by greyfoxx39 (Bill Richardson: Billions for boondoggles; Not one red cent for Jenny Craig.)
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To: blam

Thanks.

Interesting.


29 posted on 02/27/2008 8:26:24 AM PST by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Lee'sGhost

Did you check out the website? It’s hilarious.


30 posted on 02/27/2008 8:29:29 AM PST by Greg F (Do you want a guy named Hussein to fix your soul? Michelle Obama thinks you do.)
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To: blam

Great.

Now the Chinese will claim to have invented the Voynich Manuscript...


31 posted on 02/27/2008 9:37:14 AM PST by null and void (When you vote, remember your wallet, the welfare recipients do...)
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To: null and void; greyfoxx39

Piffle, this stuff would open up like a flower if we could get that peepstone in Salt Lake City and borrow a smelly hat.


32 posted on 02/27/2008 10:26:05 AM PST by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: Renfield

too funny.


33 posted on 02/27/2008 7:37:49 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Renfield

Hey! That made my brain go all woozy!


34 posted on 02/27/2008 7:50:27 PM PST by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: Renfield

I guess the idea is clear enough, so without parsing the whole thing a few comments. I can sound out the katakana without looking them up, so the ads at the bottom caught my eye. The skylark ad says “re su to ran” at the top, or “restaurant”. At the bottom it says “ga su to”. What is that? You would expect “gast” but that’s no good. Well I searched for [ skylark restaurant Japan ] and found ... GUSTO! It’s the name of a restaurant chain in Japan owned by Skylark. Then the Chinese restaurant ad says “ba mi yan”, so I searched that and “Bamiyan” is the name of the restaurant - surprise, surprise.

With regard to the “engrish”, a comment on the use of “I” in the bottom line. The Japanese do not normally use the word for “I” unless they want to emphasize the unique individuality of some action or situation, which they rarely do. The phrase is “watashi wa” - “regarding myself in particular”. So normally you say, “went to store” rather than “regarding myself in particular, went to store.” Unless this was some kind of heroic action under the circumstances.

Well, whoever was composing the “engrish” was presumably aware of the converse fact - that english speakers say “I” all the time for no good reason, and so supplied it, instead of the more direct, “when parking discovered without permission 10,000 yen collected”


35 posted on 02/28/2008 12:34:32 AM PST by dr_lew
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