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The cosmic center in Early China and its archaic resonances

  • David W. Pankenier (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1743921311012737
  • Published online: 26 July 2011
Abstract
Abstract

Study of the role of astronomical alignments in shaping the built environment suggests that centuries before establishment of the Empire in 221 BCE, the Chinese had already developed practical, geometrical applications of astronomical knowledge useful in orienting high-value structures. The archaeological record clearly shows this fundamental disposition was already firmly established by the formative period of Chinese civilization in the early 2nd millennium BCE. The cosmological identification of the imperial center with the celestial Pole and an intense focus on the circumpolar ‘skyscape’ are manifested in the highly symbolic orientation of early imperial capitals. Certain features of this cosmological world-view may have emerged as early as the Neolithic.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

S. J. Hotaling 1978, Toung Pao 64 (1–3), 1.

D. W. Pankenier 2004, Journal of the American Oriental Society 124 (2), 211.

S. J. Tambiah 1985, Culture, Thought and Social Action: an Anthropological Perspective, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA.

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Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
  • ISSN: 1743-9213
  • EISSN: 1743-9221
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-international-astronomical-union
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