Zoom buttonMenu button

Home> Notable Achievements

Notable Achievements

Wu culture still resonates in its birthplace thousands of years later

(China Daily)Updated: 2022-03-15

As the birthplace of Wu culture, Xinwu district in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, has a history that can be traced back 3,200 years.

At the end of the 11th century BC, prince Taibo, together with one of his younger brothers, moved to Meili, or today's Meicun Town in Xinwu district. There he founded the Wu state, developing the economy and culture to the south of the Yangtze River.

Hailing from the developed Yellow River basin, Taibo and his followers brought advanced farming techniques, as well as culture and etiquette, to the Yangtze River region. This spurred the growth of the local economy and civilization.

For the purposes of farm irrigation and flood control, Taibo led his people to build the Bodu River, one of China's earliest canals. The river, which spans 43 kilometers, was a crucial passage in the battles between the Wu and Yue states during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and the Warring States Period (475-221 BC). It remains a key water-way to this day in the southeast of Wuxi.

Thus Taibo was named the architect of the Wu culture. For thousands of years, Wu culture, which values morality, literature, pragmatism and innovation, has been passed down the generations, and brought prosperity to the region.

In memory of the founder of the Wu state, the Taibo Temple was built on his former residence initially in 154 during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220). After expansion and renovation in following dynasties, the temple has become an ancient complex of buildings. Most of those standing are from the Ming (1368- 1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.

The ancient Taibo Tomb is also among the places of interest in Xinwu. Nearby stands the Hongshan archaeological site, where the Nanjing Museum and Xishan District Cultural Relics Management Committee of Wuxi unearthed more than 1,000 funerary articles in tombs for nobles of the Yue state (770-446 BC).

Among these is a gray mud-pottery ball that fits into the palm, its interlocking coils spotted with turquoise, ruby and brown-glazed motifs.

Closer inspection reveals eight snakes intertwined, with the tail or body of one snake held in another's mouth, or the head possibly raised upward, its round eyes and slightly opened mouth part of the coiled body. The look of the object, as elusive as its origins, forms what archaeologists call "the mystery of the openwork snake ball". It is the only one of its kind, excavated at the Qiuchengdun site of the Yue state nobles' tombs.

One of the tombs at Qiuchengdun stretches nearly 60 meters in the shape of the Chinese character zhong (meaning "center"; characterized by a rectangle with smooth edges and a long line down the middle). It is the second-largest one of its kind built for a Yue noble, smaller only to the tomb of the Yue king in neighboring Zhejiang province.

The tomb site dates back to the early years of the Warring States Period, possibly during the reign of King Goujian who took the throne in 496 BC. The findings mark one of the most important archaeological discoveries about the Yue state to date. The site has far-reaching significance for the study of Yue history and culture. It offers insight into the history of the area as well as that of ancient music and porcelain production.

Visitors to Wuxi's Hongshan Museum based on the Hongshan tombs can get up close with these treasures.

The museum forms a key national cultural relic protection site, designed and built along natural and clean lines. The building resembles a bow and arrow, with surrounding waterways and special bronze tiles on the roof. The top of the buildings along the central axis form two slopes, while the courtyard between the entrance and the central hall, paved with black bricks, reflects the unique architectural style of the culturally important Jiangnan area south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

The museum was set up around the large Qiuchengdun Warring States aristocratic mausoleum. The tombs and unearthed relics exhibition tell of the discovery, excavation and protection of the tombs, showcasing the luxurious life-styles and burials of the aristocracy and the institution of rites and music during the Yue state.

Leave Your Message Here
Contact Us
Media Center
Investment Guides
Investment Procedures
Utilities and Safety
Preferential Policies
Talent Pool
Regulatory Bodies
Advisory Institutions
Q & A
Key Industries
Industrial Parks
Star Companies
Culture & Tourism
Useful Info
All rights reserved. Presented by China Daily.