Chinese symbol history 2
Tortoise Shells and Bone Inscriptions (Jia-Gu-Wen)
The earliest Chinese characters found in unearthed relics are "Jia-gu-wen" or "Tortoise Shell and Bone Inscriptions" that dated from Shang Dynasty of more than 3000 years ago.
Up to now, 150,000 pieces of Tortoise Shell and Bone Inscriptions have been unearthed. About 4500 characters have been found on these tortoise shells and bones and researchers have decrypted one third of the meanings. The contents of those Tortoise Shells and Bones Inscriptions relate to astronomy, calendar, weather, geography, nation, generations, family, persons, officials, war, prison, agriculture, cattle breeding, hunting, commuting, religion, disease, birth and disaster etc.
Bronze Inscriptions (Jin-wen)
Bronze Inscriptions or "Jin Wen" refers to the Chinese characters that were inscribed on bronze instruments. It started from the end of Shang Dynasty and became popular in the West Zhou Dynasty.
A total of over 3000 Bronze Inscriptions have been found in relics, in which the meanings of over 2000 characters have been identified by researchers. The topics talked about in Jin Wen texts were mostly related to the activities of nobles including fetes, commissions, expeditions, hunting units and contracts etc.
The most representative Jin Wen texts are those inscribed on the Mao-gong-ding or "Tripod of Sir Mao", which is now preserved at the Taipei National Gu-gong Museum.