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Book copied on silk, Laozi (Version B)

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Book copied on silk, Laozi - Version B


Date:Western Han (206 BCE-9 CE)
Dimensions: Length: 79.5 cm; Width: 44 cm

Origin: Unearthed from Han Tomb No.3 at Mamangdui, Changsha, in 1973


This book on silk was discovered in the lower layer of an oblong lacquer cosmetic box found in the eastern case of the Tomb 3. It was copied onto a breadth of wide silk together with four ancient canons. As it was folded up, the book broke into 32 pieces when discovered. 

There are altogether 160000 Chinese characters in 152 lines, written with brush and ink. The book was copied in very neat early official script, making it a precious material for studying the change of the Chinese character and the art of calligraphy. As this version avoid the taboo of mentioning the name of Liu Bang but does not avoid mentioning the name of Liu Hui, Emperor Huidi, the time of its being copied should be during the reign of Emperor Huidi or Empress Lu. 

~ Hunan Museum



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Edited by Ano Eremita
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