Saturday, May 8, 2010

Significant Rock Art Find in Henan Province, China

From People's Daily Online (English)
1,000 ancient rock paintings found in east-central China
16:13, May 06, 2010

Archaeologist Ma Baoguang recently found some 1,000 hieroglyphic rock paintings in Yangce Town, Biyang County of east-central China's Henan province, acording to the report from

Ma went to Yangce with his students for an archaeological investigation on the eve of the May Day holiday. They spent over a week there and have found approximately 1,000 rock paintings of various types within an area of 5 square kilometers in villages such as Chenzhou, Tangligou, Xuzhuang, Leigutai, Anzhai, and Guogang.

Ma told reporters that he was deeply impressed by a large cambered stone which is 8 meters long and 3.7 meters wide. There are more than 500 small craters of different sizes on the surface of the stone and several relatively larger craters that are 13 to 20 centimeters in diameter and three to seven centimeters in depth. These craters are connected by various lines, forming a very large ancient diagram (as shown in the above picture).

"It is quite incredible that a large stone goat carries 'Hetu and Luoshu' (map of the Yellow River and the book of the Luo River) on its back," Ma said.

The neck and back of the stone goat are carved with many craters. This is the first time that a Juci Mountain-style rock painting has been found on a stone animal, which is extremely rare and valuable. [Which means that shortly after this story was published in China, the stone was probably bulldozed and hauled away in a truck in the middle of the night and will never be seen again.]

By People's Daily Online
If "Hetu and Luoshu" sound familiar to you, it's because part of the tale is the discovery of the first perfect 3x3 magic square on the back of a tortoise by one of China's legendary emperors.  The graphic above, is an old one from years ago, from Tony Smith's website, called the "magic square of Ho Tu," showing the arrangement of the magic square:

4 9 2

3 5 7
8 1 6

All rows and diagonals add to the same number, 15.  The Lo Shu magic square is the smallest perfect magic square ever discovered.

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