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Tortoise plastron with oracular inscription (Part2 867, R044852)

Tags: divination | oracle bone | Shang dynasty | turtle shell | Wu Ding

Obtained in the Institute of History and Philology's 13th Xiaotun excavation in 1936, it belongs to late Shang period 1, a divination inscription of Wu Ding. The layout of this tortoise plastron is completely intact. The inscription's contents record divining whether the agricultural crop will or will not result in a good harvest. A part of the engraved characters have been smeared with vermillion paste, and the character "Wei" (韋) therein is the name of the diviner.
Generally, oracle bone inscriptions will usually have carved beside the divination charge an opposite, negative charge, called the bi zhao (避兆). In the case of this piece, there is an inscription carved upon the divination crack itself, called a fan zhao (犯兆).


Rubbing dimensions: length 20.54 cm, width 12.31 cm Object dimensions: length 20.3 cm, width 11.7 cm


Excavation date: 1936, 13th Xiaotun excavation
Place of excavation: Xiaotun, Anyang County, Henan Province


Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica
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