How a Chinese Manuscript Written 2,300 Years Ago Ended Up in WashingtonBreaking News
tags: China, Archeology
Sitting in an underground storeroom near the Washington Mall is a tiny silk parchment. Written 2,300 years ago, it is a Chinese version of the Dead Sea Scrolls, with text that swirls like the stars through the firmament and describes the relationship between humans and heaven.
For decades, the ancient document, known as the Chu Silk Manuscript, has fascinated people seeking an understanding of the origins of Chinese civilization. But it has been hidden from public view because of its fragility — and the uncertain circumstances by which it ended up in the United States.
Now, a prominent Chinese historian and archaeologist has pieced together its remarkable odyssey in a meticulously documented analysis that has caused a stir in the rarefied world of Chinese antiquities and raised broader questions about collectors who profit from pillaging historic sites.
The 440-page study traces the provenance from tomb raiders who discovered it during World War II, to an antiques dealer whose wife and daughter died fleeing Japanese troops, to American spies who smuggled it out of China and finally to several museums and foundations in the United States.
comments powered by Disqus
- A Brief History of GOP Attempts to Kill the Education Dept.
- New York Is Building a New Monument to Women’s History—And It Wants the Public’s Help
- Charleston Apologizes for City’s Role in Slave Trade
- With 'America First,' Trump Challenges The World Constructed After World War II
- Newly Discovered ‘Limb Pit’ Reveals Civil War Surgeons’ Bitter Choices
- Conservative Mark Bauerlein says humanities faculty are in denial about their own role in the decline of the humanities
- President Trump Is Looking for Suggestions for Pardons
- Black history is still largely ignored, 70 years after Empire Windrush reached Britain
- Senegal historian decries long shadows of colonialism
- “As if George Wallace had won in 1968″