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Lineage of the Zhou Kings

Western Zhou bronzes often bore long engravings of important historical events, with the implication that future descendants should preserve and cherish the history as well as the vessel. The 284-word engraving upon the bronze pan basin of Qiang and the 372-word engraving upon the bronze pan basin of Lai resemble genealogies, describing the feats of prowess performed by the ancestors of the Wei and Shan clans, and providing a clear record of the Western Zhou dynastic succession. The engravings respectively detail the royal lineage from King Wen to King Gong, and from King Wen to King Xuan, effectively proving the historical accuracy of the Western Zhou line of kings recorded in the Shiji, and dispelling two thousand years of skepticism regarding ancient Chinese history. The Western Zhou dynasty comprised eleven generations and twelve kings: King Wu, King Cheng, King Kang, King Zhao, King Mu, King Gong, King Yi, King Xiao, King Yi, King Li, King Xuan, and King You.

 Bronze pan basin of Qiang
(New window)  Bronze pan basin of Lai
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