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Title: The Han documents From Chuyen
Author: Loewe, Michael Arthur Nathan
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1963
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Approximately ten thousand fragments of Chinese documents, written on wooden strips, were discovered near Chuyen, central Asia, in 1930. Early studies of the material, which can be dated between 100 B.C. and 100 A. D., have been directed to the interpretation of individual strips and to an investigation of the methods of Han administration that are revealed in the archive. In this thesis an attempt has been made to assemble pieces which can be identified as parts of the same original document or similar sets of records. It is suggested that forty-three such cases, comprising some seven hundred fragments, can be isolated. In each case there is reason to believe that the fragments were found at the same site, and they can be shown to possess certain characteristics of form rind handwriting in common. The number of fragments collected as parts of a single set of documents varies from two to an hundred and eight. The documents include records of the despatch and delivery of mail; lists of officers, with reports on their qualifications; accounts of the receipt and disbursement of money, grain and other stores; records showing the control exercised on the passage of civilian travellers; records of the work done by servicemen; reports of incidents; and the results of the inspection of smell military units. In addition there is a signals' log; a book of decrees; and the remnants of an attempt to write a calendar. The introductory chapters to the transcriptions and translations of these fragments include a brief account of the various finds of inscribed wooden material in China, and a statement of the means whereby fragments from Chuyen have been as ambled together. The uses of wood for documentary purposes are then studied, and an attempt has been made to describe the historical context of the material.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral