Stories of Resurrection in the Qin Manuscripts and the Transformation of Burial Customs in the Qin Dynasty


In: Bamboo and Silk
Kanli Chen (陳侃理) Peking University Department of History (北京大学歷史學系) Peking (北京)

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The stories *Dan from the Fangmatan 放馬灘 Qin manuscripts, and Taiyuan you sizhe 泰原有死者 from the Peking University Qin manuscript collection, tell of the afterlife and the proper burial and sacrificial practices for the dead through the words of two men who died and returned to life. The proper burial and sacrificial practices proposed in the texts include the replacement of money and silk with symbolic objects, the abandonment of burying a body in the bent position and the breaking of burial goods, the restriction on joint burial of husband and wife, and advocating moderation and cleanliness in sacrificial rituals at the grave. The two texts reflect how the literate class endeavored to make the old burial and sacrificial customs in Qin culture closer to the collective customs of the six eastern states.

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