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Huangdi Culture Beyond North China: Experts


Nearly all Chinese history textbooks say that Huangdi, or the Yellow Emperor, lived solely in the area of the Yellow River Valley (today's northern and central China) 5,000 years ago.

However, experts have pointed out, after years of research, that the emperor had been to the area of the Yangtze River Valley in southern China as well, and that Mount Shicheng in Yongkang City, Zhejiang Province, was once a center of the Huangdi culture.

The findings were based on historical data, legends and site investigations, said Hong Bo, a professor of the Zhejiang Normal University.

"Huangdi once lived in Mount Shicheng and visited several mountains in the provinces of Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi and Guangdong", said Hong.

Some of the mountains Huangdi once visited are well-known today, including Mount Jinhua, Mount Huangshan and Mount Lushan.

Huangdi's visit to Mount Shicheng was recorded in the Book of Mountains and Seas, an authoritative account of noted places in Chinese history.

During their investigation tours to Mount Shicheng, experts found some remains of a huge stove, which coincides with the legend that Huangdi once cast a bronze cauldron with ore.

Meanwhile, a discovery of an ancient well, which is believed to be one of the 18 in Mount Shicheng, a road known as "the imperial road" to the locals, and some temples, wells and land named in commemoration of Huangdi's descendants have all supported the experts' hypothesis, said Hong.

The experts further suggested that Huangdi had chosen to stay in Mount Shicheng because of its rich kaolin resources, a perfect ore for smelting bronze and casting caldron.

As legend goes, Huangdi once lost a fight against his arch foe Chiyou, whose clan had learned how to smelt bronze when Huangdi was still using stoneware.

Members of Huangdi's clan then traveled to many places for better materials to make their weapons. They finally found the rich mineral resources in Mount Shicheng, where they settled down.

Today, Yongkang City is China's largest metal base and over 90 percent of its industrial output comes from smelting and casting industries.

"This must attribute to the craftsmanship handed down generation upon generation from Huangdi's age," said Lou Chaoyang, mayor of Yongkang.

Huangdi, the legendary founder of the Chinese nation, was said to have defeated Yandi, another emperor, and Chiyou, and united China.

(Xinhua News Agency February 28, 2002)

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