Skip to comments.Zheng He's Tomb Found in Nanjing
Posted on 06/26/2010 11:45:40 AM PDT by Palter
A recently excavated tomb in Nanjing has been confirmed to be the grave of Zheng He, a eunuch from the early Ming Dynasty who led historic voyages to Southeast Asia and eastern Africa. The tomb was discovered accidentally on June 18th by workers at a construction site near Zutang Mountain that also holds the tombs of many other Ming Dynasty eunuchs, the Yangtse Evening News reported.
The tomb was 8.5 meters long and 4 meters wide and was built with blue bricks, which archaeologists said were only used in structures belonging to dignitaries during the time of Zheng He.
But experts believed his remains were not placed in the tomb because of the long distance between Nanjing and India, where he died during a visit in 1433.
Born in 1371, Zheng He was an excellent navigator and diplomat in the Ming Dynasty. He led the royal fleet to southwest Asia and east Africa on seven occasions from 1405 to 1433, nearly a century before Christopher Columbus discovered the American continent in 1492.
A worker clean soil at the entrance to the tomb.
What a bummer if he spent all that time and labor but never got to use it.
I’ll keep the tiny ship and my stones, thanks.
I enjoy this type of reading. Interesting.....
Oh, wait, who’s on first. He’s on second.
but they shrugged and went home and didn’t bother to colonize did they? same with the Vikings or the Polynesians.
It should be: Zheng. His Tomb Found in Nanjing.
Third person, possessive... :0)
Really? Then there will no doubt be fascinating artifacts in his tomb which will be traced back to the New World.
Hu He was his smarter brother...
According to one ancient legend, a Chinese official named Wan-Hoo attempted a flight to the moon using a large wicker chair to which were fastened 47 large rockets. Forty seven assistants, each armed with torches, rushed forward to light the fuses. In a moment there was a tremendous roar accompanied by billowing clouds of smoke. When the smoke cleared, the flying chair and Wan-Hu were gone.
Just because the Communists like pinyin doesn't mean we have to use it.
Aside from all the jesting and stupid comments -— I find this interesting.
Zheng He is an interesting individual from Chinese history. If the point of Menzies book is true, then the course of this country’s history would be changed.
Who knows where that age of exploration would have led if China hadn’t withdrawn into itself.
Thanks GeronL, blam, and BenLurkin.
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· Archaeology · The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·
They’d have built the railroads fifty years sooner?
But seriously, Zheng He didn’t make it to America, even though IMHO Columbus was by no means the first to sail over.
:’) That will be a good test.
‘Earliest Writing’ Found In China
BBC | 4-17-2003 | Paul Rincon
Posted on 04/18/2003 9:35:03 AM PDT by blam
Prehistoric Oriental ‘Venus’ Carved On Cliff Discovered In Ningxia
Peoples Daily | 12-23-2003
Posted on 12/23/2003 5:43:09 PM EST by blam
China: Archeologists shake up history
(Jinsha Ruins, Sanxingdui Culture)
Taipei Times | 07/13/05
Posted on 07/13/2005 7:21:21 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
‘Earliest Chinese Characters’ Unearthed
Xinhua News | 10-19-2006
Posted on 10/20/2006 1:51:02 PM EDT by blam
Cliff carvings may rewrite history of Chinese characters
Xinhua News Agency | 5-18-07 | unknown
Posted on 05/18/2007 10:33:37 AM PDT by Renfield
Chinese writing ‘8,000 years old’
BBC | Friday, May 18, 2007
Posted on 05/18/2007 11:54:50 AM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu
-also of interest-
Central Asia’s Lost Civilization
Discover Magazine | November 2006 | Andrew Lawler
Posted on 11/01/2006 11:47:33 PM PST by SunkenCiv
Unknown Writing System Uncovered On Ancient Olmec Tablet
scienceagogo | 15 September 2006 | by Kate Melville
Posted on 07/30/2008 6:58:45 PM PDT by Fred Nerks
The Ming Voyages
“China, the West, and World History in Joseph Needham’s Science and Civilisation in China” by Robert Finlay, in Journal of World History (Fall 2000), Univ. of Hawaii Press, 2840 Kolowalu St., Honolulu, Hawaii 96822.
Thanks to British scholar Joseph Needham’s monumental Science and Civilisation in China (1954-98), westerners have a whole new appreciation of China’s richly inventive past. Especially compelling was his account of 15th-century Chinese expeditions to Southeast Asia and, through the Indian Ocean, to India, Arabia, and Africa. Renowned now as voyages of discovery, they show up in many notable treatments of world history. Needham drew a sharp contrast between those peaceful Ming dynasty expeditions (1405-33) of Zheng He, whom he portrays as China’s answer to Vasco da Gama, and the early-16th-century Portuguese voyages of conquest. But Needham’s portrait of the Ming expeditions is “seriously skewed,” argues Finlay, a historian at the University of Arkansas.
Though Needham (1900-95) acknowledged that the motives behind the seven expeditions by Zheng HeÃs 300-odd junks were mixed, he claimed that the chief purpose, growing stronger with each expedition, was “proto-scientific” — the scholarly gathering of rare materials and knowledge. Trade, though extensive, was incidental, he maintained, and the peaceful fleet’s 26,000 troops had “primarily ceremonial” duties since they were part of “a navy paying friendly visits to foreign ports.” Far more important than merchants and military men, according to Needham, were the fleet’s astronomers, geomancers, physicians, and naturalists.
The reality was quite different, Finlay argues. The eunuch admiral Zheng He “did not, as Needham asserts, inspire the Ming voyages, and there is no significant sense in which he can be regarded as an explorer. He commanded the maritime expeditions as a military agent of the Yongle emperor, a ruler who had no interest in voyages of discovery. . . . Aggressive and ruthless, Yongle was one of the most militaristic rulers in Chinese history.” He had come to power in a bloody civil war, personally commanded campaigns against the Mongols, and, starting in 1406 — the year after Zheng He’s fleet first sailed to Southeast Asia — sent an army of more than 200,000 men to invade Vietnam. “Yet the emperor does not figure in Needham’s analysis,” Finlay observes.
The 26,000 troops on the Chinese junks were not “a ceremonial cortege for diplomatic occasions” (being much too numerous and expensive for that), Finlay says, but rather “an expeditionary force for executing the emperor’s will, whether that meant militarizing the tribute system, suppressing piracy in Southeast Asia, bringing overseas Chinese ports under control, or even making Siam and Java vassal states of the empire.” And the many “experienced, heavily armed” troops, not the “’calm and pacific’” nature of the Chinese, were the reason that the voyages were generally tranquil. Nor was trade merely incidental, “for Yongle evidently intended to harness the force (and profits) of seaborne commerce to serve the purposes of imperial hegemony in Southeast Asia.”
Needham, a former biochemist who subscribed to an idiosyncratic blend of Marxism and Christianity, was determined, says Finlay, “to present the Ming expeditions as embodying the virtues of China in contrast to the vices of the West.” Science and Civilisation in China is an encyclopedic survey of Chinese accomplishments in science and technology. But, “as with the voyages of Zheng He,” Finlay says, Needham’s account of those accomplishments “ignores social, political, and economic contexts.” Needham’s claims about the impact of Chinese inventions on Europe are also suspect, Finlay thinks. Yet, despite its flaws, he says, the late scholarÃs masterwork “remains an extraordinary achievement.”
Reprinted from the Spring 2001 Wilson Quarterly
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.