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Museum of Chinese Characters to Be Established in Henan
Anyang, a city in central China's Henan Province, famous for its discovery of "Jiaguwen", referring to inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells dating back to the Shang Dynasty (16th-11th century B.C.), will establish the country's first Chinese character museum.

The museum, built at a cost of 40 million yuan (about US$5 million), will cover over 6.67 hectares. The museum will be divided into several exhibition halls, each focusing on characters from different dynasties and ethnic groups in China.

Chinese archeologists have excavated nearly 600,000 pieces of bone or tortoise inscribed with "Jiaguwen", with 26,700 pieces currently on display in 12 countries including Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia.

Jiaguwen, with a history of over 3,000 years, is one of the world's four paleography, or ancient writing systems. The other three ancient systems have disappeared. Over a period of 3,000 years, Jiaguwen gradually evolved into the modern Chinese characters in use today.

Construction of the museum will be completed by the end of 2003.

(Xinhua News Agency June 12, 2003)

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