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"Houmuwu Quadripod" debuts at National Museum of China

03-28-2011 10:27 BJT

The National Museum of China has reopened to the public for free, after nearly four years of renovation. China's ancient bronze art, "Houmuwu Quadripod", highlights the new beginning as the first exhibition in the new facility.

"Houmuwu Quadripod" debuts at National Museum of China

National Treasure's Name Amended

- "Simuwu Quadripod" officially renamed  "Houmuwu Quadripod"

The bronze ware known as the Simuwu Quadripod, one of China's national treasures, are officially renamed "Houmuwu Quadripod".

 According to the National Museum of China's official website, experts misinterpreted the first character on the inscription on the Quadripod as "Si" when it was unearthed in March of 1939. As other bronze wares of the same period have since been found, archaeologists now understand that "Hou" is the correct Chinese character as it reflects the status of the tomb's owner. As calligraphy had a more free style in the Shang Dynasty, Chinese characters could be written both backwards and forwards. As it happens, "Si" looks like "Hou" written backwards.

Academics came up with the new interpretation of the inscription as early as the 1970s. Only now are they making the change because the old interpretation had been popularized in textbooks and other media.

The Houmuwu Quadripod is a casting product of the late Shang Dynasty (1400 �C 1100BC). The biggest and heaviest bronze ware currently known represents the superb technical craft of the Bronze Age of China.

The quadripod is an art form of traditional Chinese culture, which expresses the grandeur and prestige of the subject. Quadripod caldrons were cast to memorialize important events in Chinese history.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: CNTV.CM

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