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Western Zhou dynasty (西周, Chinese: Xī Zhōu, 1046 - 771 B.C.)

The first 200 years of the Zhou dynasty (周朝, 1046–256 B.C. ), during the Western Zhou, was the last period when oracle bone script (甲骨文, こうこつぶん, kōkotsbun) was in official use.

The earliest text carved in stones ever found was 石鼓文 (せっこぶん, sekkobun, i.e. “stone drum inscriptions”), the dating of which is debatable and ranges from the late Western Zhou (1046 - 771 B.C.), i.e. the 8th century B.C., to late Warring States period (戰國時代, 475 – 221 B.C.) i.e. the late 3rd century B.C.

The irregularities and inconsistencies within kinbun script (金文, きんぶん, lit “text on metal”) of the Shang dynasty (商朝 1600 – 1046 B.C.), seem to dissipate towards the early Zhou dynasty (周朝, 1046–256 B.C.). Some zoomorphic patterns were simplified and became more abstract. During the Western Zhou (西周, 1046 - 771 B.C.) when ancient calligraphy reached the first peak of its development, kinbun was showing the first signs of transformation into small seal script (小篆, しょうてん, shōten) which had more standardized character forms. Please click here to read more about the history of Chinese calligraphy.

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Page last modified on November 15, 2011, at 06:17 AM