Queen, Mother, General: 40th anniversary of Excavating Shang Tomb of Fu Hao
Date: March 8, 2016 - June 26, 2016 Time: 9:00—17:00 (closed on Mondays) Venue: Room B, F1

She is Fu Hao, the first female general recorded in history of China. Her husband is the King Wu Ding who reigns for 59 years and creates a flourishing age for Shang Dynasty. The capital city she lived later becomes the Yinxu (Ruins of Yin), a place well known among Chinese archaeologists. The period she lived is called Shang, the second dynasty according to traditional Chinese historiography. Chinese characters can be traced back to thisperiod.

Fu Hao was appointed by King Wu Ding to command an army and go on expedition repeatedly. Moreover, she was also in charge of recruit. Once the number of soldiers she recruited made a record in the Shang Dynasty. Fu Hao hosted the sacrifice of royal court in person and worshipped the ancestorsof Shang Dynasty on the behalf of Shang court. In Chinese society, the right of sacrifice and military was monopolized by man. It's worth mentioning that Fu Hao is the first female general recorded in Chinese history, and she is the only woman who has both of the rights of royal sacrifice and military command in ancient China.

During the middle of King Wu Ding’s reign, Fu Hao unfortunately died. Wu Ding felt very sad and buried Fu Hao right in the area of palace and temple. The location of Fu Hao’s tomb suggests that Wu Ding cherished the memory of Fu Hao, or he hoped Fu Hao could guard Shang as a goddess forever. Archaeologists found 1,928 funeral objects in Fu Hao’s tomb and the ruin of a palace on the tomb. After Fu Hao’s death, King Wu Ding dreamed her for many times. Many oracle bones record that he prayed the blessing of Fu Hao for the upcoming battles. Fu Hao’sdescendants also sacrificed to her and regarded her as a goddess.

Fu Hao is the defender of Shang Dynasty. At the same time, she has the great contribution to the development of Chinese civilization. The capital Yin she devotes her life to defend has become the site of World Cultural Heritage. The myth of the ancient capital city is gradually unveiled along with archaeological excavation work being carried forward. HenanProvince, where the Yinxu site located in, plays an important role in the beginning and development of Chinese civilization.


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