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Shaanxi Provincial History Museum
The Qin Dynasty

The Qin people were an ancient tribal clan that used to live in Tiansbui, Gansu Province. In 770 B. C. , Qin Xianggong gained favour and was granted by King Ping of the Zhou Dynasty the title of a duke, and built Yongcheng City as its own capital in the pre- sent-day Fengxiang County, Shaanxi Province. Most of the cultural relics on display here were unearthed from the ruins of Qin's Yongcheng City.

Agriculture was the pillar of the economy of the state of Qin. The excavation of large quantities of iron farm tools reveals the ex- tensive use of these tools which replaced bronze ones at the time.

The palaces and temples in Yongcheng were constructed on a large scale. These are "jingang" which were bronze woodwork joints in architecture. The exact position and method of the wood- work joints used in buildings are shown in the picture. Before the discovery of "jingang", scholars believe that the evolution of China's early woodwork joints must have included the use of some kind of metal device in its progress from the simple tying up of woodwork members to the mortice and tenon structure. The dis- covery of the bronze woodwork joints proved this belief.

The mausoleums of the monarchs in the early Qin Dynasty were centred in Yongcheng. A total number of 13 tombs have been discovered thus far. The No. 1 Tomb of the Dukes of Qin is the largest excavation in China. It is 24 metres deep, and covers an area of 5,334 square metres. All together 166 people were buried alive with the dead. Archaeologists believe the dead monarch may be Duke Qin Jinggong. Unfortunately, the tomb has suffered many serious robberies. Even so, more than 3,500 various kinds of cul- tural relics have been unearthed.

In 350 B. C. , the Qin State moved its capital to Xianyang. Within ten years of Emperor Qin Shihuang's rise to power, he had annexed all six states, and founded the 'first multi-national, auto- cratic and centralized feudal empire in the Chinese history. Hence the Qin Dynasty was born. As the capital of the Qin Empire, Xi- anyang witnessed the construction of many magnificent palaces. Archaeologists unearthed the No. 1 and No. 3 palaces in Xianyang and discovered large quantities of valuable cultural relics. This is a picture of the restoration of Palace No. 1 in E'fang Palace. This picture shows fragments of a mural painting discovered at the ruins of Palace No. 3. It is the oldest material remains of frescoes discov- ered so far in China.

After national unification, Emperor Qin Shihuang adopted a series of measures to enforce a single currency, standardization of weights and measures, and a unitary script, making valuable contri- butions to the development of the feudal economy and culture in China. Take currency for example, before the standardization, there had been in circulation currency of numerous forms, varied sizes, face values and weights, and forthermore, the calculation system was quite difficult. Thus it caused tremendous inconve- niences to the people. Once in power, Qin Shihuang issued a round coin pierced with a square hole in the centre as the national curren- cy. The successive dynasties and the imperial rulers all followed the pattern of Qin's coins for the next 2,000 years until Qing Dynasty.

The various weapons, Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, huge tile ends and Bronze Chariots and Horses discovered in Emperor Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum and pits characteristically show the unprece- dented prosperity and progress of the Qin Dynasty in its military af- fairs, economy, science and technology, culture and so on.

(See Emperor Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum and Museum of Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses for details. )

The Prehistoric Age

the Zhou Dynasty (771--221 B. C. )

The Han Dynasty (206B. C. --220A. D. )

The Wei, Jin, South & North Dynasties (220--581 A. D. )

The Sui and Tang Dynasties (5817-907 A. D. )

The Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties (960--1840 A. D. )

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