Why ancient China saw Kunlun Mountains as origin of Yellow River
Updated: 2016-08-31 14:51
As the source of many Chinese tales, the Kunlun Mountains have long been seen as the origin of the Chinese civilization.[Photo/Xinhua]
Field research on the Kunlun Mountains will kick off on September 1.
The research aims to unveil mysteries that have loomed over this area for centuries.
As the source of many Chinese tales, the Kunlun Mountains have long been seen as the origin of the Chinese civilization.
For ancient Chinese people, Kunlun transcended geography and became a cultural symbol, even though the mountain was just a legend, and the exact location was unclear to them.
Archeological expert Yang Lin of the Chinese National Museum says he thought the worship of Kunlun resulted from both cultural and political factors.
"Ancient Chinese thought Kunlun was home to gods and sacred animals. The record of Kunlun worship can be found on bone and bronze inscriptions of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties. In the Qin Dynasty, when people saw heaven and earth as the representation of gods and began to promote the idea of country unification, Kunlun was seen as the symbol of the emperor. "
By the West Han Dynasty, Emperor Wu had chartered the mountains that now bear the Kunlun name in South Xinjiang.
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Researcher Ye Shuxian says he thinks Emperor Wu named this place after the legendary sacred mountain because the region is abundant in jade.
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