"China" inscription on Han mirror

In the history of Chinese copper mirrors, the two Han Dynasties can be called the peak period of casting mirrors. Among them, some Han mirror ornaments are heaven and earth, which is very interesting, and the inscriptions are rich in content and diverse in expression. Huo Hongwei, vice president of the National Museum Research Institute of China, published an article explaining the history behind the three Han Dynasty copper mirrors with the inscription "China".

"China" inscription on Han mirror

▲ Part of the mirror inscription of the Four Gods and Bo Bureau of the Western Han Dynasty "China Daning" unearthed in Changsha

The shape and ornamentation of the three-sided Han mirror

The shape of the three Han mirrors is round and round knobs. As far as the content of its ornamental theme is concerned, the first two copper mirrors are Boju mirrors, and the Wuhan mirror is a mythical beast mirror, and the ornamental themes are different.

The first is the gilded "China Daning" Four Gods Museum Bureau Mirror, which is treasured in the National Museum of China (hereinafter referred to as the "National Museum") and is designated as a first-class product. In 1952-1953, the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences excavated tomb No. 211 in Wujialing, a northern suburb of Changsha City, Hunan Province. The tomb is 6.9 meters long from north to south, 5.2 meters wide from east to west, and has an existing depth of 1.5 meters, which is presumed to be about 6 meters deep. Archaeologists cleared the copper mirror within the coffin in the northwest of the burial chamber. The mirror is placed in a lacquered mirror with a diameter of about 25 cm, which has decayed. In addition to this mirror, four breasts and four mirrors and one copper arc mirror were also unearthed in the tomb.

Because it has been buried underground for more than 2,000 years, the mirror body of the gilded "China Daning" Four Gods Bo Bureau mirror body is cracked into several pieces, which was later repaired by today. The mirror back decoration composition is inside and outside the circle, and the "inside" refers to the double-line square frame, and the inside of the frame is a four-leaf button base. The frame is surrounded by double-wire chords, short slash coils and inscription tapes, thus forming an "outer circle". The T, L, and V-shaped patterns inside and outside the chord circle echo each other, forming the classic pattern of the Bo bureau pattern. In the meantime, there are interspersed with the four gods of green dragon, white tiger, vermilion bird, Xuanwu, human-faced beast body patterns, winged beasts and other decorations. Diameter 18.6 cm, margin thickness 0.6 cm. The back of the mirror is gilded, and because it has been buried underground for a long time, it is dull in color. In 2017, this copper mirror was exhibited at the "Qin and Han Civilization" exhibition held at the National Expo.

The second side is a gilded "China Daning" Four Sacred Museum Mirror, which is collected in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Museum (hereinafter referred to as "Guangxi Museum", its collection is referred to as "Guangxi Mirror"), which is designated as a second-class product. In 1958, it was unearthed in the Eastern Han Tomb No. 2, Low Mountain, Wuzhou City, Guangxi. This mirror button base is four large leaf clips and four small leaf patterns, and the outer concave square frame. A T-shaped pattern protrudes from each of the four sides of the frame to form an inner area, and each side of it is decorated with a beast pattern. Wrapped around the inscription belt, the seal script body Yang inscription, a total of 28 characters. On the outside of the inscription band, the L-shaped pattern opposite the T-shaped pattern and the V-shaped pattern opposite the four corners of the button seat box. The two ornaments divide the outer area into eight small areas, and the left and right sides of the ornament are combined with the four gods and other animal figures. Peripheral double-line serrations plus bumps and short straight lines one week each. The back of the mirror is bluish green, gilt throughout, and some gilt traces remain. Poorly preserved, it was split into four pieces of various sizes, which were later repaired intact. Diameter 18.4 cm, thickness 0.5 cm, margin thickness 0.45 cm.

The third side is the five-breasted mythical beast portrait mirror of the "Chinese people" in the collection of the Wuhan Museum (hereinafter referred to as the "Wuhan mirror"), which is designated as a first-class product. In 1972, this mirror was selected in the Hubei Province Gensheng Warehouse. The mirror was acquired by the Wuhan Cultural Relics Store in 1985 and later stored in the Wuhan Museum. This mirror is a round button seat, with four tigers facing each other in pairs, around the button. The main area is divided into five areas with five round-seated nipples, each cast with different ornaments, such as the feathered dragon, whose long hair is fluttering; Two winged beasts ran forward, and one beast behind stretched its neck to look back; The two winged tigers opened their mouths and came towards each other; The unicorn wing beast and the two-horned wing beast are opposite each other, twisting their necks and looking back. The outer seal body Yang inscription belt, a total of 21 characters, between the first and last characters, separated by three bumps. Around the ctenophore, serration, deformed birds and animals one week each, narrow plain margin. Diameter 18 cm, edge thickness 0.6 cm, button diameter 2.8 cm, button height 2.4 cm.

"China" inscription on Han mirror

▲Photo courtesy of Guangxi Museum of the Eastern Han Gilded "China Daning" Four Gods and Museums Mirror

"China" inscription on Han mirror

▲Photo courtesy of Fan Guodong, a five-breasted divine beast mirror of the Eastern Han Dynasty "Chinese people" in the Wuhan Museum

Inscription on three Han mirrors

The above three Han mirrors all have "Chinese" seal script body Yang inscription. Among them, the first two mirror inscriptions contain the inscription "China Daning", and the third side has the words "Chinese people". There are differences in the content of the mirror inscription, the number of words, the font style, etc.

Three-sided mirror inscription and interpretation

We first record the three copper mirror inscriptions, and then analyze some of the contents of the mirror inscriptions.

The work of the saint is mirrored, taken from the five elements. Born in Dao Kangxi, Xian has articles. The light is like the sun and the moon, and its quality is clear. To see the jade and the face, to remove the sheep (auspicious). Daning, China, descendant Yichang. Huang Chang (裳) Yuanji, Yuki Gang (Tsuna). (National Expo Jingming)

Seeing the mirror of the right as the right, the five elements of qi have a rigid (outline) discipline, and the law seems to be the end of the sky, and the grandson of China's Da Ning Yi. (Guangxi Jingming)

Qinggai as a mirror and four clothes, Taga Chinese the people are rich, and the grains are ripe in the clouds and rains. (Wuhan Jingming)

The "saint" in the inscription not only refers to the person with the highest moral character and wisdom, but also the honorific title of the ancients for the emperor. For example, "Han Feizi Waichu Says Right Bottom" Yun: "It is because the saint is not close to the people, and the Lord does not bow down to small things." ”

"Light like the sun and the moon, its quality is clear", which means that the light of the copper mirror is like the sun and the moon, and the texture is pure and masculine. Derived from the Western Han Zhaoming mirror inscription, its complete example is: "Nei (Na) Qingqing to Zhaoming, Guangxuan (Hui) Xiangfu Sun and Moon." The heart is flickering and willing to be loyal, but it is not discharged. "Most of the Zhaomingjing inscriptions are reduced and slightly changed. In 1953, the Zhaoming Continuous Arc Mirror unearthed from the late Western Han Dynasty tomb at No. 136A Burnou, a suburb of Luoyang, Henan, with the inscription "Inner Qing to Zhaoming, light like the sun and the moon, the heart is suddenly unearthed (leaking)".

The term "Chinese Daning" or "Wanguo Xianning" evolved from the "Zhou Yi Qiangua". "Zhou Yi Qiangua": "Yi Yu: Da Ya Qianyuan, the beginning of ten thousand materials, is the rule of heaven." ...... The first thing to come out, Wanguo Xianning. From 1975 to 1980, eight pieces of late Western Han dynasty seal script Yangwen Wadang were unearthed at the site of the Han Chang'an City arsenal in Xi'an, Shaanxi, with the inscription: "Wei Tian descends the spirit, Yanyuan 10,000 years, the world is Kangning." This inscription expresses a good wish for peace and peace similar to that of "Daning, China".

"Huang Chang (裳) Yuanji", derived from "Zhou Yi Kun Kuan": "Six Five, Huang Cang Yuanji." Scholars believe that in the ancients' cognition, "yellow robe" symbolizes noble status and gentle and humble virtues, which is very auspicious (Yu Dunkang: Modern Interpretation of Zhou Yi, Zhonghua Bookstore, 2016). "The Twelve Years of Zuo Chuan Zhao Gong" records an example of divination and interpretation of "Huangchang Yuanji" in history, believing that although the trigram of "Huangchang Yuanji" is auspicious, the truth may not be so:

Nan Kuang Mingzhi, Yu Kun Zhi Bi, "Huang Xiang Yuanji", thought that it was also lucky. Shizi obeyed Huibo, saying: "If you want to have something, what is it?" Hui Bo said: "I try to learn this, and I can do faithful things, otherwise I will be defeated." Strong outside and warm inside, loyal; and Yi Zheng, Shinya, so known as 'Huang Cang Yuanji'. Yellow, the color of the middle also; clothes, lower ornaments also; Yuan, the good of the long also. In disloyalty, it is not good; If the lower is not shared, it must not be adorned; If things are not good, they cannot be extreme. Outside and inside advocate peace for loyalty, lead things with faith as common and provide for the three virtues for goodness, otherwise these three are not the best. And the husband is easy, you can't take the risk, what will happen? And can it be decorated? China and the United States can be yellow, the upper beauty is the yuan, the lower beauty is the clothes, and the participation can be done. There is still Que Ye, although Xiao is auspicious, it is not also. ”

The meaning of "Ji Gang" in the National Expo mirror is the same as the "Gang Ji" in the Guangxi Mirror. The original meaning of "Ji Gang" is the program of the net, and by extension, the meaning is the program and the law. Pre-Qin "Five Sons Song": "Only Pi Tao Tang, there is such a hope." Now if you lose the way, mess up its discipline, and perish. (Lu Qinli Compilation: "Pre-Qin, Han, Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern Dynasty Poems, Pre-Qin Poems Volume 1, Song Shang", Zhonghua Bookstore, 2013.) Eastern Han Dynasty Cui Yu's "Motto": "The world's reputation is not enough, only benevolence is the jigang." [(Liang) Xiao Tong, (Tang) Li Shan's Note: Selected Works, Volume 56 "Ming", Zhonghua Bookstore, 2005] "Gangji" refers to the law and the program. "Hanshu Lile Zhi II": By the time of Emperor Wen, Jia Yi thought: "Husbands and ministers, wait for the upper and lower, so that the discipline of the Gang is orderly, and the six relatives are harmonious. ”

Guobo Jingming and Guangxi Jingjingming have some similarities in content, such as "taking gas from the five elements", "looking at the jade appearance", "China Daning", "descendant Yichang", "Youjigang (gang)" and so on.

The inscription "Chinese the people" on the Wuhan mirror has caused great repercussions in the world. In 1986, at the "First Exhibition of Rare Cultural Relics" held at the Wuhan Cultural Relics Store, this copper mirror attracted attention when it was exhibited. Some viewers asked in amazement: Was there the word "Chinese people" two thousand years ago?! Some people also suspect that the word "people" is miscast. However, after repeated research by experts, no doubts were found.

The word "Chinese Min" in the inscription seems to be a modern word, but it actually appears in Sima Qian's "History of Goods and Colonies" of the Western Han Dynasty: "Fushan Xi Rao wood, bamboo, valley, yun, xuan, jade; Shandong has many fish, salt, lacquer, silk, sound color; Jiangnan out of Nan, Zi, ginger, gui, gold, tin, lian, dansa, rhinoceros, tortoiseshell, pearl, tooth leather; Longmen, Jieshi Beidoma, cattle, sheep, coats, tendons; Copper and iron are often placed in chess: this is also a big match. All Chinese liked by the people, and rumors were served and eaten to serve life and death. The "people" in the text refers to the common people, the common people.

"China" inscription on Han mirror

▲The twelve-character inscription Wadang excavated from the site of the Han Chang'an City Arsenal in Xi'an, Shaanxi, is excerpted from "Han Chang'an City Arsenal", Cultural Relics Publishing House.

"China" Jingming and Qin and Han were unified

The "China" inscription first found on the Western Zhou bronze He Zun refers to the national capital Luoyi, and later refers to the Central Plains. In 1963, members of the second squad of the Jia Village Brigade of the former commune of Jia Village in Baoji County, Shaanxi Province at that time, found a bronze statue of the early Western Zhou Dynasty when they were taking soil from the cliff; Around 1975, an inscription was found while rusting its inner bottom, which contained the words "Zhaozizhong, or (Guo)". Mr. Ma Chengyuan believes that the "China" in this inscription "refers to the central area of the four directions of the world, that is, Luoyi between Iran and Luo."

By the Han Dynasty, the meaning of the word "China" had greatly exceeded its original meaning. For example, "Hanshu Wudi Ji": In June of the sixth year of Yuan Shuo (123 BC), Emperor Wu edicted: "The five emperors do not pay homage to each other, and the three generations have different laws. Gai Confucius to Dinggong to be far away, mourning the Duke to discuss the minister, Jing Gong to use thrift, non-expectation, urgent and different affairs. Today's China is unified and the north is not safe, and it is very mourning. The Hanshu Wang Mang Biography, on the other hand, records: "Mang Nian China has been pacified, but the four Yi have not changed, but he sent messengers with gold coins and heavy bribes to the Xiongnu alone." The "China" mentioned in these two documents should include the territorial scope under the jurisdiction of the Han Dynasty government at that time.

The three copper mirrors recorded in this article all have "China" inscriptions, and the Guobo mirror and the Guangxi mirror are archaeological excavations, and the land points are clear, namely Changsha, Hunan and Wuzhou, Guangxi. The Wuhan mirror is a heirloom product, and the place of excavation is unknown. However, the Wuhan mirror belongs to the sacred beast mirror, which was mainly popular in the southern region in the middle and late Eastern Han Dynasty, so it is speculated that the three copper mirrors may all be cast in the south, which also reflects the influence of the culture of the northern region of the Central Plains on the south during the Two Han Dynasty.

The three bronze mirrors mentioned above are from the south, and a brocade arm with the word "China" on it originates from Xinjiang, located in the northwest. In 1995, a brocade arm guard was excavated in Tomb 8 of Nya No. 1 Cemetery in Minfeng County, Xinjiang, with the following words: "Five stars out of the East to benefit China." "The tomb is dated from the late Eastern Han Dynasty to the pre-Wei and Jin Liang periods, and more precisely, when it was in the pre-Wei-Jin Liang period, its ins and outs and cultural connotations deserve further exploration by scholars.

It can be seen that the concept of "China" unification since the Qin and Han dynasties has long been deeply rooted in the hearts of the people, and it is also reflected in the copper mirror as a living utensil. As archaeologist Mr. Xu Pingfang said: "The archaeological discoveries also fully illustrate that China's unification began in the Qin Dynasty and completed in the Han Dynasty." The relics that best represent Han culture are coins, copper mirrors worn daily, and wadang on buildings. ”

"China" inscription on Han mirror

▲ He Zun excavated from Baoji, Shaanxi, from Wang Chunfa, ed.: "Zhaizi China: Bronzes and Golden Essence Unearthed in Baoji", Beijing Times Chinese Literary Bureau, 2020

"China" inscription on Han mirror

▲ Photo courtesy of the National Museum of the New Mang, a knife level, and a flat 5,000 National Expo

A manifestation of the calligraphy of the three-sided Han mirror inscription

The expression of the calligraphy of the three-sided Han mirror inscription can be said to be the same with the difference, and the difference in the same.

First, in the layout, because the three Han mirrors are round, the inscription layout follows the shape, are distributed in a circle belt, arranged in a clockwise direction, the position of the inscription belt is slightly different, the Guobo mirror inscription is located in the outermost circle of the mirror back ornament, the space of the inscription belt is larger, and the number of words reaches fifty-two characters. The Guangxi mirror inscription belt is located on the dividing line between the inner and outer areas, and its space is small, only 28 characters are cast. It is separated by a circle pattern, naturally forming four sentences. The Wuhan mirror inscription belt is between the ornament and the trim in the main area, the number of words is small, only twenty-one characters, the inscription is easy to arrange, and the word spacing is sparse. The above-mentioned three-sided Hanjing inscriptions are orderly distributed, balanced and even, and the word spacing is dense, which can be seen to be carefully designed at that time.

Second, in the knot, carefully examine the single-word structure of the mirror inscription, and the knot of the Guobo mirror inscription is generally more square. If there are complex strokes, the structure is longitudinal, such as "qi", "Daokang", "quality" and other characters; If the stroke is simple, the glyph shape is flat, such as the character "Xi", reflecting the characteristics of flexibility and change. Most of the font structure of Guangxi Jingming is slightly longitudinal, and Wuhan Jingming is clear and ethereal.

Third, in the use of pens, most of the strokes of the Guobo mirror are straight, and more square pens are used, and occasionally round pens are seen, showing masculine beauty; Guangxi Jingming strokes are uniform, round and gentle, more round pens are used, and most of the starting and closing pens are exposed; Wuhan Jingming's strokes are delicate and slender, showing the beauty of femininity.

The prevalence and reasons for the Boju mirror from the late Western Han Dynasty to the Xinmang period

Of the above three copper mirrors, two are four-god Boji mirrors. It is necessary to explore when such mirrors began to appear.

In 1959, the compiler of the excavation report of the "Luoyang Burning Gou Han Tomb" believed that the earliest appearance of the Four Gods Bo Bureau Mirror may have been before Wang Mang, and the heyday should be Wang Mang, and its lower limit may have been until the middle of the Eastern Han Dynasty. The geometric Bo Bureau mirror evolved from the Four Gods Bo Bureau Mirror, and its age should be during the reign of Wang Mang or the early Eastern Han Dynasty.

In 1996, the Four Gods Bo Bureau Mirror unearthed in the second year of the Western Han Dynasty (15 BC) unearthed in the Xinmang Tomb No. 267 of the dormitory building of the Luoyang Station Public Security Branch confirmed that the Four Gods Bo Bureau Mirror had appeared in the late Western Han Dynasty. According to the author's research, this is the earliest chronological mirror found in Chinese archaeology.

The inscriptions on the mirrors of the two Bobureau in the Shanghai Museum both record the construction of the Yongyong and Ming Halls by Wang Mang in the late Western Han Dynasty. On one side is the mirror of the Four Gods and Bo Bureau, with the inscription: "Xinxing Yong built the Ming Hall, but in the king of Tuliehou, the descendants will regain the rule of the central government." ”。 On the other side, the geometric pattern simplified Bo Bureau mirror, the inscription cloud: "Xinxing Pixiong (Yong) Jianming Hall, but in the marquis of Tulie, the general ordered Yin Minhu to travel, the kings are in the north, Le Weiyang." "The historical events of Wang Mang building the Ming Hall and Piyong are also reflected in the literature. The Book of Han and Emperor Ping records that in the fourth year of the Yuan Dynasty (4 AD), "An Han Gong played Liming Hall and Yongyong." The "Hanshu Wang Mang Biography" also has a similar record: In the fourth year of the Yuan Dynasty, "it was the year, and Mang played the Ming Hall, the Yong Dynasty, and the Lingtai, and built a district for scholars, making a city and a constant warehouse, and the system was very prosperous." "Combined with the content recorded in the literature, it is speculated that the upper limit of the age of the two Bo Bureau mirrors in the Shangbo Zang should be the fourth year of the Emperor Ping of the Western Han Dynasty. Ming Hall and Piyong are important ceremonial buildings in the Western Han Dynasty, located in the southern suburbs of the ruins of Chang'an City in Xi'an, Shaanxi. In 1956, archaeologists made a large-scale excavation of the Western Han architectural sites found in the north of Datumen Village in Xi'an, so as to further understand its architectural layout and structure. Mr. Yang Hongxun, an architectural historian, believes that the Ming Hall of the Western Han Dynasty and the Piyong are one, so he called it the "Western Han Ming Hall (Piyong) Site". If you compare the Boju mirror topology with the Ming Tang and Piyong restoration plans, you will find that the plan layout of the two is extremely similar, both are outer circles and inside.

Some scholars believe that the casting date of the Guobo Tibetan gilded "China Daning" Four Gods and Treasures Mirror should be before May of the fifth year of the Western Han Dynasty (5 AD), and compare and interpret this mirror inscription with the edict of the Empress Dowager. "Reading this text, it will remind people of the praise of Wang Mang in the edict of Empress Dowager Wang in the fifth year of Emperor Ping's first year. Comparing the two reveals many striking similarities. ...... It shows that the production of the copper mirror is related to the formation of the edict. ...... This bronze mirror should have been the work of his struggle for 'Jiuxi', but it was not made by him, a "saint", but by order; it should be in the Ping Emperor period before May of the fifth year of the Yuan Dynasty. (Ma Liangmin: "Historical Shadows in the Mirror Ming of the Western Han Dynasty", Proceedings of the International Symposium on Archaeology and Han Culture in the Han Dynasty, Qilu Books, 2006)

A mirror of the Four Gods of the Four Gods and Bo Bureau of the "Present Name of the Period" was unearthed from the Han tomb in Yangzhou, Jiangsu, and its casting date should be in the second year of the Western Han dynasty (7 AD). The content of its mirror inscription is rare: "The name of the Ji Seven Words Stops, Zhizhi (Ye) Tonghua to Evil Zai (滓), Cast the Wrong Sword Tianxia Xi, An Han Baozhen Shimu (none) has, Changle Rijin Yi grandson." "Casting the wrong knife is the joy of the world", the "wrong knife" in the mirror inscription refers to the large-denomination metal currency minted after Wang Mang's regency in the second year of the Western Han Dynasty, and the knife was 5,000. "Hanshu Wang Mang Biography" contains: In the second year of Ju Xing, "In May, more goods: wrong knife, always five thousand; Cut knife, all the way five hundred; Big money, always fifty, parallel to five baht money. "An Han Baozhen Shimu (non) has", "An Han" refers to the Duke of An Han Wang Mang. In the first month of the first year of the Western Han Dynasty, the Empress Dowager issued an edict: "The new capital of Great Sima, Hou Mang III, is a duke,...... With Mang as the taifu, he did the things of the four auxiliaries, and was called the Duke of An Han. With the former Xiao Xiangguo Jiadi as the Duke of An Han, it was fixed in the order and passed on endlessly. "According to the casting age of the gold wrong knife recorded in the literature, the approximate age of the casting of this copper mirror can be inferred.

The National Museum Collection has a mirror of the Rui Beast Bo Bureau in the second year of the founding of the People's Republic of China (10 AD), with a diameter of 16.1 cm. The inscription clouds: "Only the new family honored in the second year of the founding of the People's Republic of China, and the edict counted the most graces." Jia Ren City, do not bow to the field. He also served as a school official of Yongzhi, and the five grains became Dun (mature) and the world was safe. Those who know are blessed, and those who are worthy of official rank are preserved for their descendants. The inscription also mentions the important ceremonial building built in the late Western Han Dynasty.

The Shanghai Museum houses the mirror of the Four Gods and Treasures of the second year of the founding of the Tianfeng of Xinmang (15 AD), with a diameter of 16.6 cm. The inscription reads: "In the second year of the founding of the kingdom of Tianfeng, he made a good mirror, Changle Guifu Zhuang Junshang, Changbao's second father and wife, was the official high and moved to the throne, and the hereditary title was passed down to his mother (un)poor." ”

The National Museum collects a mirror of the four gods of the Xinmang period "Xinyou Zen Copper", with a diameter of 20.5 cm. In addition to the ornamentation of the main area, there is an inscription belt of a week, which is a forty-nine-character seal script body Yang inscription:

Xin Youshan Tong out of Danyang, and Yiyin Xiqing and Ming, Zuo Long Right Tiger, Zhu Jue (Sparrow) Xuanwu Shun Yin Yang, Zi Jiuzhi Central, Kelou (Feng) Bo Bureau Go Buyang (Xiang), Jiuchang Dafuyi Jun.

In 1987, some scholars believed that the copper mirror that used to be called the rule mirror should be renamed "Bo Bureau Mirror" based on the inscription on a copper mirror in the collection of the Chinese Museum of History. The article says: "When the author recently sorted out the old copper mirror topography of the Chinese Museum of History, I found a 'Four Gods Rule Mirror' (a total of two papers) from the Xinmang period, which is such strong evidence that can confirm the arguments of the above comrades." It is not said where the copper mirror is hidden (Zhou Zheng: "The "Rule Mirror" Should Be Renamed as the "Boju Mirror", Archaeology, No. 12, 1987). The author carefully compares the above-mentioned copper mirror physical picture with the rubbology published by Mr. Zhou Zheng, and it can be seen that it should be the same mirror, both of the same size, both with a diameter of 20.5 cm; from the perspective of the copper mirror pattern, whether it is the Bo bureau pattern located in the main area, the combined image of the four gods and birds and beasts, or the cloud pattern on the mirror edge, they are all exactly the same; In addition, judging from the 49-character mirror inscription, not only the overall layout is consistent, but also the knot and pen of the single-character inscription are exactly the same. Therefore, the author believes that the Bo Bureau mirror, which was previously thought to be the only mirror and whose physical whereabouts are unknown, is also collected in the National Expo.

The above list of eight Boju mirrors with typical characteristics from the late Western Han Dynasty to the Xinmang period, mainly to illustrate that this period was the heyday of the popularity of Boju mirrors, and some of them inscribed the names related to Wang Mang. Regarding the phenomenon of the prevalence of Boji mirrors, Mr. Kong Xiangxing and others once raised this question: "Why do you use games (instruments) on the back of the copper mirror for daily necessities?" This is not easy to explain. It should be said that the pattern of rules that appeared at the same time as Lu Bo and the copper mirror just shows that this pattern has its own meaning and represents a certain concept that was popular at that time, so it will be more expressed in people's daily life. (Kong Xiangxing and Liu Yiman: Copper Mirrors in Ancient China, Cultural Relics Press, 1984) So, what exactly was "a certain concept that was popular at that time"? According to scholars' research, from the late Western Han Dynasty to the Xinmang period, Wang Mang vigorously advocated the worship of the Western Queen Mother, and the Bo Bureau became an important tool in the sacrifice of the Western Queen Mother (Ma Feibai: A New Interpretation of the Light and Heavy Chapters of the Pipe, Zhonghua Bookstore, 1979; Tang Yu: "Exploring the Image of Liubo in the Xinmang Period", Journal of the National Museum of China, No. 11, 2018). It is further inferred that the Bo Bureau mirror was therefore prevalent at that time.

brief summary

From the discovery of the inscription "Zhai Zi China" on the Western Zhou bronze He Zun in Baoji, Shaanxi in 1963, to the "China" inscription on the three Han mirrors in this article, the ancient ancestors of different eras used different methods to shape the "China" common to the ancients on different carriers.

In a cultural sense, ancient China was a fairly stable "cultural community". And when we shift our gaze from ancient times to contemporary times, everyone also retains a "China" image in their hearts, and has a "China" complex rooted in the depths of their hearts.

Author/Huo Hongwei, Vice President of the National Museum Research Institute of China

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