Classic of Mountains and Seas
The Classic of Mountains and Seas or Shan Hai Jing romanized as the Shan-hai Ching, is a Chinese classic text and a compilation of mythic geography and myth. Versions of the text may have existed since as early as the 4th century BC, but the present form was not reached until the early Han dynasty a few centuries later, it is a fabulous geographical and cultural account of pre-Qin China as well as a collection of Chinese mythology. The book is divided into eighteen sections; the exact author of the book and the time it was written are still undetermined. It was thought that mythical figures such as Yu the Great or Boyi wrote the book. However, the consensus among modern Sinologists is that the book was not written at a single time by a single author, but rather by numerous people from the period of the Warring States to the beginning of the Han dynasty; the first known editor of the Classic was Liu Xiang from the Western Han, who among other things cataloged the Han imperial library. Guo Pu, a scholar from the Western Jin, further annotated the work.
The book is not a narrative, as the "plot" involves detailed descriptions of locations in the cardinal directions of the Mountains, Regions Beyond Seas, Regions Within Seas, Wilderness. The descriptions are of medicines and geological features. Many descriptions are mundane, an equal number are fanciful or strange; each chapter follows the same formula, the whole book is repetitious in this way. It contains many short myths, most exceed a paragraph. A famous ancient Chinese myth from this book is that of Yu the Great, who spent years trying to control the deluge; the account of him is in chapter 18, in the 2nd to last paragraph. This account is a much more fanciful account than the depiction of him in the Classic of History. ‘Shan Hai Jing’ is a book full of magical works. It has various kinds of contents, it has a rich knowledge of geography, folklore, history of science, ethnology and other valuable information. Its academic value involves so many scientific areas, it and orderly records the features of natural geography and the content of human geographies, such as mountains, animal, mineral, national geography, social culture.
A lot of information can be explored if the reader searches and carefully. Some scholars believe that: "Shan Hai Jing" is China's first geography. "Shan Hai Jing" is not a purely geographical book, the geographical knowledge is in the top position. It orderly describes the geographical features by location, including nature geography and culture geography. First, "Shan Hai Jing" has a natural geographical description; this includes the record of many mountains, such as "the mountain of the court", "mountain of niuyang", "blue hill mountain", "Kei tail mountain" and so on, each mountain is named according to the mountain landscape, these mountains reflect the direction of the mountain. The beginning of the river can be in some foothills, its injection is far away from this mountain; the narrator noticed the full picture of the river streams. Despite the river routes were not recorded, but their approximate flow through region can be known through the route of tributaries to the mainstream such as Huanghe and Weishui.
Secondly, it recorded the human geography. For example, in the "sea" section, it records lots of regional social and cultural customs, economic development and technological achievements at that moment; as a mythological literature, ‘Shan Hai Jing’ at least has three valuable facts: 1. Different kinds of records of seven categories of ancient Chinese mythology. 2. Left a reliable text in the relationship between the physical world and mythical world. 3. The preservation of a vast number of primitive items with primitive cultural information, it contains the potential mythological value, it is inappropriate to classify Chinese mythology based on the principle of western mythology classification, based on the presentation of human consciousness and spiritual growth process. It should classify based on the main contents, basic spirit, inner structure and important features which formed by above. ‘Shan Hai Jing’ does not have too many records about the mythology, looking for the origins of content, but it has many records of heroic mythology and tribal warfare and it reflects the basic feature of Chinese historical culture and the value orientation of cultural spirit.
‘Shan Hai Jing’ has rich and varied literary value and it can be explored from many aspects. Reader can discover and interpret the literary value from the perspective of the influence of the traditional romantic creation literature, the expression of the original logic, the rich emotional experience in the humanistic care and the judgment of the pragmatism and all these can be understood by mythical thinking. ‘Shan Hai Jing’ has a rich of mythology thinking, it has a huge and far-reaching impact in the tradition of the romantic literary. In-depth study of mythological thinking and reveal this impact is not only good for discovering the reasons for the creation of romantic literary, but it helps clarify the development of various literary phenomena. There are at least three facts can explain how mythical thinking impacts the tradition of romantic literature: 1; the impact of the rich intuitive imagination on the creation of romantic literature. 2. The mythologies which contain abundant mythological thinking are always the creative material of romantic
Wangliang is the name of a malevolent spirit in Chinese mythology and folklore. This word inclusively means "demons. Interpretations include a wilderness spirit like the kui 夔 "one-legged mountain demon", a water spirit like the long 龍 "dragon", a fever demon like the yu 魊 "poisonous 3-legged turtle that causes malaria", a graveyard ghost called wangxiang 罔象 or fangliang 方良 "earth demon that eats the livers or brains of corpses", a man-eating "demon that resembles a 3-year-old brown child with red eyes, long ears, beautiful hair". In modern Chinese usage, wangliang "demon. In Warring States period usage, wangliang was phonetically transcribed using the character pronunciations wang 罔 and liang 兩, written 蝄蜽 with the "animal radical" 虫 or wangliang 罔閬 using liang 閬 "dry moat" with the "gate radical" 門; the earliest recorded usages of wangliang in the Chinese classics are: 魍魎 in the Guoyu, 罔兩 in the Zuozhuan, 罔閬 in the Shiji, 蝄蜽 in the Shuowen jiezi. While liang 魎 only occurs as a bound morpheme in wangliang, wang occurs in other expressions such as wangmei 魍魅 "evil spirits".
Wǎngliǎng "demons and monsters" occurs in the synonym-compound chīmèiwǎngliǎng 魑魅魍魍 "demons. Since commentators differentiate between chimei "demons of the mountains and forests" and wangliang "demons of the rivers and marshes", chimeiwangliang can mean either "demons. For example, James Legge's Zuozhuan translation syllabically splits chimeiwangliang into four types of demons, "the injurious things, the hill-sprites, monstrous things, water-sprites". Chinese scholars have identified wangxiang 罔象 and fangliang 方良 as probable synonyms of wangliang < Old Chinese *maŋʔp.raŋʔ 魍魎. Wangxiang < *maŋʔs.aŋʔ 罔象 means "water demon" and the reverse xiangwang < *s.aŋʔmaŋʔ 象罔 means "a water ghost" in the Zhuangzi. The Guoyu distinguishes wangliang 罔兩 "a tree and rock demon" and wangxiang 罔象 "a water demon". Fangliang < *paŋaŋ 方良 names a "graveyard demon", identified as the wangliang < *maŋʔp.raŋʔ 罔兩, exorcized in the Zhouli. A simple explanation for these phonological data and revolving identifications of demon names is that they were dialectic variations or corruptions of each other.
William G. Boltz gives a more sophisticated interpretation that these were not just a confusion between various similar, but independent, but all variants of one and the same underlying designation: an initial consonantal cluster **BLjang ~ **BZjang "see". Citing Bernhard Karlgren's reconstructions of Old Chinese, Boltz gives *mjwang-ljang 罔兩 < **BLjang, *pjwang-ljang 方良 < **BLjang, *mjwang-dzjang 罔象 < **BZjang. Furthermore, if these names derived from a common protoform **BLjang or **BZjang "see", that implies that the spirits were not so much "demons" as "specters" or "visions". Another proposed etymology for xiangwang < *s.aŋʔmaŋʔ 象罔 is the Austro-Tai root *saŋ "spirit. The semantics of wangliang 罔兩 or 魍魎 are complicated, as evident in these translation equivalents of wangliang and wanggxiang 罔象 in major Chinese-English dictionaries. 罔兩 see. 罔象 an imaginary monster which devours the brains of the dead underground. — 魍 A sprite. An animal which eats dead men's brains, it fears tigers. 罔兩 the penumbra.
罔象 an imaginary monster of the waters. — 魍魎 An elf. A sprite. An animal, said to eat the brains of the dead underground. 罔兩 spirits, monsters of the mountain rivers the penumbra — 魍魎 a kind of monster 罔兩 spirits, demons of the wilds. — 魍魎 mountain spirits, demons. 魍魎 demons and monsters 魍魎 demons and monsters Wangliang first appears in the Chinese classics from around the 4th-century BCE and was used in a variety of sometimes contradictory meanings. While the dates of some early texts are uncertain, the following examples are arranged chronologically; the Guoyu "Discourses of the States" quotes Confucius using wangliang 魍魎 and wangxiang 罔象 to explain ancient demon names to Ji Huanzi 季桓子 of Lu. A grandee of the state of Lu, caused a well to be dug, when they fetched up something like an earthen pot with a goat in it, he had interrogated about it, in these words: "I dug a well, got a dog. On which the Sage answered: "According to what I have learned, it must be a goat; this mushi 木石 means "trees and rocks" and figuratively "inanimate beings.
The Shanghainese language known as the Shanghai dialect, Hu language or Hu dialect, is a variety of Wu Chinese spoken in the central districts of the City of Shanghai and its surrounding areas. It is classified as part of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Shanghainese, like other Wu variants, is mutually unintelligible with other varieties of Chinese, such as Mandarin. Shanghainese belongs to the Taihu Wu subgroup, contains vocabulary and expressions from the entire Taihu Wu area of southern Jiangsu and northern Zhejiang. With nearly 14 million speakers, Shanghainese is the largest single form of Wu Chinese, it serves as the lingua franca of the entire Yangtze River Delta region. Shanghainese is rich in consonants. Like other Taihu Wu dialects, Shanghainese has voiced initials: neither Cantonese nor Mandarin has voiced initial stops or affricates; the Shanghainese tonal system is significantly different from other Chinese varieties, sharing more similarities with the Japanese pitch accent, with two level tonal contrasts, whereas Cantonese and Mandarin are typical of contour tonal languages.
Shanghai did not become a regional center of commerce until it was opened to foreign investment during the late Qing dynasty. Languages and dialects spoken around Shanghai had long been subordinate to those spoken around Jiaxing and Suzhounese. In the late 19th century, most vocabulary of the Shanghai area had been a hybrid between Southern Jiangsu and Ningbonese. Since the 1850s, owing to the growth of Shanghai's economy, Shanghainese has become one of the fastest-developing languages of the Wu Chinese subgroup, undergoing rapid changes and replacing Suzhounese as the prestige dialect of the Yangtze River Delta region, it underwent sustained growth that reached a hiatus in the 1930s during the Republican era, when migrants arrived in Shanghai and immersed themselves in the local tongue. After 1949, the government imposed Mandarin as the official language of the whole nation of China; the dominance and influence of Shanghainese began to wane slightly. Since Chinese economic reform began in 1978 Shanghai became home to a great number of migrants from all over the country.
Due to the national prominence of Mandarin, learning Shanghainese was no longer necessary for migrants, because those educated after the 1950s could communicate in Mandarin. However, Shanghainese remained a vital part of the city's culture and retained its prestige status within the local population. In the 1990s, it was still common for local television broadcasts to be in Shanghainese. In 1995, the TV series Sinful Debt featured extensive Shanghainese dialogue; the Shanghainese TV series Lao Niang Jiu was broadcast from 1995 to 2007 and was popular among Shanghainese residents. Shanghainese programming has since declined amid regionalist/localist accusations. From 1992 onward, Shanghainese use was discouraged in schools, many children native to Shanghai can no longer speak Shanghainese. In addition, Shanghai's emergence as a cosmopolitan global city consolidated the status of Mandarin as the standard language of business and services, at the expense of the local language. Since 2005, new movements have emerged to protect Shanghainese from fading away.
At municipal legislative discussions in 2005, former Shanghai opera actress Ma Lili moved to "protect" the language, stating that she was one of the few remaining Shanghai opera actresses who still retained authentic classic Shanghainese pronunciation in their performances. Shanghai's former party boss Chen Liangyu, a native Shanghainese himself supported her proposal. There have been talks of re-integrating Shanghainese into pre-kindergarten education, because many children are unable to speak any Shanghainese. A citywide program was introduced by the city government's language committee in 2006 to record native speakers of different Shanghainese varieties for archival purposes and, by 2010, many Shanghainese-language programs were running; the Shanghai government has begun to reverse its course and seek fluent speakers of authentic Shanghainese, but only two out of thirteen recruitment stations have found Traditional Shanghainese speakers. Professor Qian Nairong is working on efforts to save the language.
In response to criticism, Qian reminds people that Shanghainese was once fashionable, saying, "the popularization of Mandarin doesn't equal the ban of dialects. It doesn't make Mandarin a more civilized language either. Promoting dialects is not a narrow-minded localism, as it has been labeled by some netizens"; the singer and composer Eheart Chen sings many of his songs in Shanghainese instead of Mandarin to preserve the language. Since 2006, the Modern Baby Kindergarten in Shanghai has prohibited all of its students from speaking anything but Shanghainese on Fridays to preserve the language amongst younger speakers. In 2011, Professor Qian said that the sole remaining speakers of real Shanghainese are a group of Shanghainese peoples over the age of 60 and native citizens who have little outside contact, he urges that Shanghainese be taught in the regular school system from kindergarten all the way to elementary, saying it is the only way to save Shanghainese, that attempts to introduce it in university courses and operas are not enough.
Fourteen native Shanghainese speakers had audio recordings made of their Shanghainese on May 31, 2011. They were selected based on accent purity, wa
The Jin Chan called Chan Chu or "Zhaocai Chan Chu", is most translated as "Money Toad" or "Money Frog". It represents a popular Feng Shui charm for prosperity; this mythical creature is said to appear during the full moon, near houses or businesses that will soon receive good news. The money toad is associated as the sennin's animal companion; the Jin Chan is depicted as a bullfrog with red eyes, flared nostrils and only one hind leg, sitting on a pile of traditional Chinese cash, with a coin in its mouth. On its back, it displays seven diamond spots. According to Feng Shui beliefs, Jin Chan helps attract and protect wealth, guards against bad luck; because it symbolizes the flow of money, Feng Shui lore insists that a Jin Chan statue should not be positioned facing the main door. It "should never be kept in the bathroom, dining room or kitchen". Maneki Neko Nang Kwak Ch’an Chu: The Lucky Money Toad, The Anthropology of Money in Southern California
The Longshan culture sometimes referred to as the Black Pottery Culture, was a late Neolithic culture in the middle and lower Yellow River valley areas of northern China from about 3000 to 1900 BC. The first archaeological find of this culture took place at the Chengziya Archaeological Site in 1928, with the first excavations in 1930 and 1931; the culture is named after the nearby modern town of Longshan in Shandong. The culture was noted for its polished black pottery; the population expanded during the 3rd millennium BC, with many settlements having rammed earth walls. It decreased in most areas around 2000 BC until the central area evolved into the Bronze Age Erlitou culture. A distinctive feature of the Longshan culture was the high level of skill in pottery making, including the use of pottery wheels, producing thin-walled and polished black pottery; this pottery was widespread in North China, found in the Yangtze River valley and as far as the southeastern coast. Until the 1950s, such black pottery was considered the principal diagnostic, all of these sites were assigned to the Longshan culture.
In the first edition of his influential survey The Archaeology of Ancient China, published in 1963, Kwang-chih Chang described the whole area as a "Longshanoid horizon", suggesting a uniform culture attributed to expansion from a core area in the Central Plain. More recent discoveries have uncovered much more regional diversity than thought, so that many local cultures included within Chang's Longshanoid horizon are now viewed as distinct cultures, the term "Longshan culture" is restricted to the middle and lower Yellow River valley. For example, the contemporaneous culture of the lower Yangtze area is now described as the Liangzhu culture. At the same time, researchers recognized the diversity within the Yellow River valley by distinguishing regional variants in Henan and Shaanxi from the Shandong or "classic" Longshan. In the fourth edition of his book, Chang moved from a model centered on the Central Plain to a model of distinctive regional cultures whose development was stimulated by interaction between regions, a situation he called the "Chinese interaction sphere".
In the 1980s, Yan Wenming proposed the term "Longshan era" to encompass cultures of the late Neolithic across the area, though he assigned the Central Plain a leading role. The most important crop was foxtail millet, but traces of broomcorn millet and wheat have been found. Rice grains have been found in Shandong and southern Henan, a small rice field has been found on the Liaodong peninsula. Specialized tools for digging and grinding grain have been recovered; the most common source of meat was the pig. Sheep and goats were domesticated in the Loess Plateau area in the 4th millennium BC, found in western Henan by 2800 BC, spread across the middle and lower Yellow River area. Dogs were eaten in Shandong, though cattle were less important. Small-scale production of silk by raising and domesticating the silkworm in early sericulture was known. Remains have been found in Shaanxi and southern Henan of scapulae of cattle, pigs and deer that were heated as a form of divination. Evidence of human sacrifice becomes more common in Shaanxi and the Central Plain in the late Longshan period.
Excavations in the 1950s in Shanxian, western Henan, identified a Miaodigou II phase transitional between the preceding Yangshao culture and the Henan Longshan. A minority of archaeologists have suggested that this phase, contemporaneous with the late Dawenkou culture in Shandong, should instead be assigned to the Yangshao culture, but most describe it as the early phase of the Henan Longshan; some scholars argue that the late Dawenkou culture should be considered the early phase of the Shandong Longshan culture. Miaodigou II sites are found in central and western Henan, southern Shanxi and the Wei River valley in Shaanxi; the tools and pottery found at these sites were improved from those of the preceding Yangshao culture. Agriculture was intensified, the consumption of domesticated animals increased. Similarities in ceramic styles of central Henan Miaodigou II with the late Dawenkou culture to the east and the late Qujialing culture to the south suggest trade contacts between the regions. There were expansions from middle and late Dawenkou sites toward central Henan and northern Anhui which coincides the era of maximum marine transgression.
The late period of the Longshan culture in the middle Yellow River area is contemporaneous with the classic Shandong Longshan culture. Several regional variants of the late middle Yellow River Longshan have been identified, including Wangwan III in western Henan, Hougang II in northern Henan and southern Hebei, Taosi in the Fen River basin in southern Shanxi, several clusters on the middle reaches of the Jing River and Wei River collectively known as Kexingzhuang II or the Shaanxi Longshan; as the Neolithic population in China reached its peak, hierarchies of settlements developed. In physically circumscribed locations, such as the basin of the Fen River in southern Shanxi, the Yellow River in western Henan and the coastal Rizhao plain of southeast Shandong, a few large centers developed. In more open areas, such as the rest of Shandong, the Central Plain and the Wei River basin in Shaanxi, local centers were more numerous and evenly spaced. Walls of rammed earth have been found in 20 towns in Shandong, 9 i
The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is a nearly perfect sphere of hot plasma, with internal convective motion that generates a magnetic field via a dynamo process, it is by far the most important source of energy for life on Earth. Its diameter is about 1.39 million kilometers, or 109 times that of Earth, its mass is about 330,000 times that of Earth. It accounts for about 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System. Three quarters of the Sun's mass consists of hydrogen; the Sun is a G-type main-sequence star based on its spectral class. As such, it is informally and not accurately referred to as a yellow dwarf, it formed 4.6 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of matter within a region of a large molecular cloud. Most of this matter gathered in the center, whereas the rest flattened into an orbiting disk that became the Solar System; the central mass became so hot and dense that it initiated nuclear fusion in its core. It is thought that all stars form by this process.
The Sun is middle-aged. It fuses about 600 million tons of hydrogen into helium every second, converting 4 million tons of matter into energy every second as a result; this energy, which can take between 10,000 and 170,000 years to escape from its core, is the source of the Sun's light and heat. In about 5 billion years, when hydrogen fusion in its core has diminished to the point at which the Sun is no longer in hydrostatic equilibrium, its core will undergo a marked increase in density and temperature while its outer layers expand to become a red giant, it is calculated that the Sun will become sufficiently large to engulf the current orbits of Mercury and Venus, render Earth uninhabitable. After this, it will shed its outer layers and become a dense type of cooling star known as a white dwarf, no longer produce energy by fusion, but still glow and give off heat from its previous fusion; the enormous effect of the Sun on Earth has been recognized since prehistoric times, the Sun has been regarded by some cultures as a deity.
The synodic rotation of Earth and its orbit around the Sun are the basis of solar calendars, one of, the predominant calendar in use today. The English proper name Sun may be related to south. Cognates to English sun appear in other Germanic languages, including Old Frisian sunne, Old Saxon sunna, Middle Dutch sonne, modern Dutch zon, Old High German sunna, modern German Sonne, Old Norse sunna, Gothic sunnō. All Germanic terms for the Sun stem from Proto-Germanic *sunnōn; the Latin name for the Sun, Sol, is not used in everyday English. Sol is used by planetary astronomers to refer to the duration of a solar day on another planet, such as Mars; the related word solar is the usual adjectival term used for the Sun, in terms such as solar day, solar eclipse, Solar System. A mean Earth solar day is 24 hours, whereas a mean Martian'sol' is 24 hours, 39 minutes, 35.244 seconds. The English weekday name Sunday stems from Old English and is a result of a Germanic interpretation of Latin dies solis, itself a translation of the Greek ἡμέρα ἡλίου.
The Sun is a G-type main-sequence star. The Sun has an absolute magnitude of +4.83, estimated to be brighter than about 85% of the stars in the Milky Way, most of which are red dwarfs. The Sun is heavy-element-rich, star; the formation of the Sun may have been triggered by shockwaves from more nearby supernovae. This is suggested by a high abundance of heavy elements in the Solar System, such as gold and uranium, relative to the abundances of these elements in so-called Population II, heavy-element-poor, stars; the heavy elements could most plausibly have been produced by endothermic nuclear reactions during a supernova, or by transmutation through neutron absorption within a massive second-generation star. The Sun is by far the brightest object in the Earth's sky, with an apparent magnitude of −26.74. This is about 13 billion times brighter than the next brightest star, which has an apparent magnitude of −1.46. The mean distance of the Sun's center to Earth's center is 1 astronomical unit, though the distance varies as Earth moves from perihelion in January to aphelion in July.
At this average distance, light travels from the Sun's horizon to Earth's horizon in about 8 minutes and 19 seconds, while light from the closest points of the Sun and Earth takes about two seconds less. The energy of this sunlight supports all life on Earth by photosynthesis, drives Earth's climate and weather; the Sun does not have a definite boundary, but its density decreases exponentially with increasing height above the photosphere. For the purpose of measurement, the Sun's radius is considered to be the distance from its center to the edge of the photosphere, the apparent visible surface of the Sun. By this measure, the Sun is a near-perfect sphere with an oblateness estimated at about 9 millionths, which means that its polar diameter differs from its equatorial diameter by only 10 kilometres; the tidal effect of the planets is weak and does not affect the shape of the Sun. The Sun rotates faster at its equator than at its poles; this differential rotation is caused by convective motion
Xin Zhui known as Lady Dai or Marquise of Dai, was the wife of Li Cang, the Marquis of Dai, during the Western Han dynasty of ancient China. She gained fame more than 2,000 years after her death, when her tomb was discovered inside a hill known as Mawangdui, in Changsha, China. After opening the tomb, workers discovered her exceptionally well preserved remains alongside hundreds of valuable artifacts and documents, her body and belongings are under the care of the Hunan Museum, which has allowed occasional international exhibits. Xin Zhui lived an extravagant lifestyle, she enjoyed having her own musicians for entertainment, whom she would have play for parties as well as personal amusement. She may have enjoyed playing music as well the qin, traditionally associated with refinement and intellect; as a noble, Xin Zhui had access to a variety of imperial foods, including various types of meat, which were reserved for the royal family and members of the ruling class. Most of her clothing was made of silk and other valuable textiles, she owned a variety of cosmetics.
As she aged, Xin Zhui suffered from a number of ailments that would lead to her death. Along with a number of internal parasites, she had coronary thrombosis and arteriosclerosis, most linked to excessive weight gained due to a sedentary lifestyle. A fused spinal disc caused her immense pain, which contributed to a decrease in physical activity, she suffered from gallstones, one of which lodged in her bile duct and further deteriorated her condition. A total of 138 melon seeds were found in her stomach and esophagus, it is inferred that she died in summer, when melons ripen. The presence of food in her stomach indicates that she died within two to three hours after eating the melon. After outliving her husband and her son, Xin Zhui died around 50 years of age in 168 BCE, her cause of death was a heart attack, brought about by years of poor health. She was buried in an immense tomb at Mawangdui in Changsha, with more than 1,000 items ranging from drink and food vessels, to silk clothing and tapestries, to figurines of musicians and mourners.
In 1971, workers digging an air raid shelter for a hospital near Changsha unearthed the tomb of Xin Zhui, as well as the tombs of her husband and a young man, most thought to be her son. With the assistance of over 1,500 local high school students, archaeologists began a large excavation of the site beginning in January 1972. Xin Zhui's body was found within four rectangular pine constructs that sat inside one another which were buried beneath layers of charcoal and white clay; the corpse was wrapped in twenty layers of clothing bound with silk ribbons. In the tomb of Xin Zhui, four coffins of decreasing sizes enclosed one another; the first and outermost coffin is painted the color of death and the underworld. All painted images sealed inside this coffin were thus designed not for an outside viewer but for the deceased and concern the themes of death and rebirth, protection in the afterlife, immortality; the second coffin has a black background but is painted with a pattern of stylized clouds and with protective deities and auspicious animals roaming an empty universe.
A tiny figure, the deceased woman, is emerging at the bottom center of the head end. Only her upper body is shown; the third coffin exhibits iconography. It is shining red, the color of immortality, the decorative motifs include divine animals and a winged immortal flanking three-peaked Mount Kunlun, a prime symbol of eternal happiness. Inside this tomb on top of the fourth and innermost coffin the excavators found a painted silk banner about two meters long. Yellow and black feathers are stuck on the cover board of the coffin. People at that time believed that in order to fly up to the heavens and become immortal, one needs to go through a "featherization" phase, growing feathers on the body. Many texts during and before that time mentioned the connection between growing feathers and becoming a celestial being. A celestial being is referred to as a "feathered person" in some texts. One celestial being on Nanyang Han stone portraits has feathers all over the body; the feathers stuck to the coffin was expressing the hopes that Xin Zhui would grow feathers on the body and enter the heavens to become immortal.
Xin Zhui's body was remarkably well preserved. Her skin was soft and moist, with muscles that still allowed for her arms and legs to flex at the joints. All her organs and blood vessels were intact, with small amounts of Type A blood being found in her veins. There was hair on her head, with a wig pinned with a hair clasp on the back of her head. There was skin on her face, her eyelashes and nose hair still exist; the tympanic membrane of her left ear was intact, her finger and toe prints were distinct. This preservation allowed doctors at Hunan Provincial Medical Institute to perform an autopsy on 14 December 1972. Much of what is known about Xin Zhui's lifestyle was derived from other examinations. Xin Zhui's body was soaked in an unknown liquid, mildly acidic with some magnesium in it. More than 1,000 precious artifacts were found with Xin Zhui's body. In Western Han Dynasty and lavish burials were common practice. One reason was the notion of imperishability of the soul: it was believed that another world existed for the dead, they needed food and accommodation just like the living.
Therefore, the consecration for the dead should be the same as what was provided for the living, all the necessities in life should be brought into the grave for use in the afterlife