During recent archaeological
excavation, an ancient observatory site was discovered
Province (陕西省), where over 6000 terra
warriors guard the mausoleum of the First
Emperor Qin. The towering structure in the picture
is confirmed to be part of an observatory platform situated
in Fangta Village of Jia County (佳县方塌镇方塌村).
The astronomy research site, dating back to First Emperor's
Qin Dynasty more than 2,000 years ago, covered a huge area
of 28,000 km2 and was consisted of 1,424 earthen platforms
in round or square shapes, corresponding to 332 major stars
and galaxies in the sky, as well as 332 tangible landmarks
and intangible social aspects in the kingdom, which exhibits
the ultimate Chinese aspiration that is to create
a Heaven on Earth.
According to historical records, after having established
an united Chinese kingdom from 7 warring states, the First
Emperor Qin ordered General Meng Tian (蒙恬) to set up a giant
communication superhighway between Heaven and Earth. General
Meng proved himself not only a terrifying warrior but a terrific
engineer, and fulfilled this enormous mission in just 6 years.
The site plan of the superhighway purposefully resembles
the figure of mythical goddess Nuwa (女娲), who is said to
have repaired damaged sky with precious
stones in five different colours to respond to five
agents of the cosmic
forces (see, China does have many stones, and wonderful
stones), and created first group of Chinese men and women
using earth collected from the Yellow River Basin (now you
must have some idea why Chinese have yellowish skin and a
deep attachment to land in general and homeland in particular).
Nuwa the Mother of Chinese is believed to be a big girl,
very big, about 337 kms tall and 152 kms wide, thus it is
how the space area of the observatory site is measured. Legend
has it that when Her Ladyship worked on sky repairing tasks,
she lay on her back in the ground with her head in northwest
(the location of Heaven Graph 乾卦 in Eight Trigrams) and feet
in southeast (the position for Earth Graph 坤卦 in
Eight Trigrams), so the ancient Chinese architects, engineers
and astronomers captured this posture and reflected it in
the site plan with the inspiration of following her noble
example to maintain the world in a good order.
Traditionally, Chinese regard yin
world as a timely delayed and visually shadowy existence
of this yang world on earth, while this earthly reality
is a delayed and shadowy expression of heaven; hence when
built an observatory, ancient Chinese would structure a
sacrificial altar, completed with ceramic and bronze rites
articles, for stars (祭星台), in order to forecast the earthly
due events by monitoring minute occurrence in the sky.
The ceramic pot shown in the picture was unearthed from
the sacrificial alter site and has white spots painted
on the surface which is believed to represent certain stars
in the sky.
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