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Old 07-04-2008, 02:07 PM   #1
China Jim
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Join Date: Jun 2002
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Dig The Lung-Shan peoples Neolithic temples of Niuheliang

Within the Northeastern province of Liaoning in the region known as Manchuria
city,called Niuhelian is there.This archeological site is a (19-square-mile/50-square-kilometers) complex of religion ritual architecture decorated murals paintings;jade statues of humans,dragons,and tortoises,and elaborate stone tombs and hills throughout the area. Also circular temples and astronomical structures long abandoned have been discovered as well.
Many rare artifacts including a earth Goddess temple and within it confines stands a 5,000 year old painted clay statue with rosy cheeks lips painted red and eyes made of blue green disks of jade sits at the apex of the complex.( wow) The goddess temple and the sacrificial alters surrounding the site underscores its uniqueness. During this period the presence of this temple and statue confirms the idea that goddess worship had a leading role in neolithic Chinese religion.
This temple may show a time when woman were near too or at the peak of power during this highly stratified society. Since earth goddesses were considered signs of fertility,vitality,and the continuation of the people.Political leaders at the time would of turned to there priestess for divination,much like the oracles of Delphi on the efods of Sparta. This temple also suggest its laity would have been women only.
On a nearby man made hill topped by a three level circular altar constructed of white limestone and red granite, this hilltop altar was key to the predictions of the summer and winter solstice and the spring and fall equinox as well as other astronomical portents. By combining ancient astronomy the priestess at Niuheliang could compare celestial phenomenons with earth changes to help legitimize the rule of social and religious leaders. Much of the basics of Chinese cosmology which shows a square earth complimented by a circular heaven connected by celestial events can be traced back to Niuheliong. The sites circular and rectangular altars were later passed onto the Imperial Temple of heaven which is circular and the Earth Temple which is square both are in the Forbidden city in Beijing . Also the role of the shamans in offering sacrifices to the earth and heaven deities was later assumed by the Chinese emperors who preformed the rituals at the Heaven and Earth temple each year.
Quote: History is the search for facts not truths, if you want truths the philosophy class is down the hall.
China Jim
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