D.卡尔顿 罗西
D. Carlton Rossi

Fushan 6


Where is Fu Mountain on which the Yellow Emperor Unified Totem

Fu Mountain of Unifying Totem Veiled in the Mists of History

The Blurry Historical Shadow Cast by Fu Mountain in Xushui County

The Research of Ancient Civilization should extensively absorb the Non-Governmental Strength

Research of Ancient Culture continues the Cultural Memory of the Chinese Nation

Where is Fu Mountain on which the Yellow Emperor united Totem


Guangming Daily 

May 5, 2009

Reporters:   Yuan Xiang and Wang Yiyin

Shiji (Records of the Historian) has the record that the Yellow Emperor unified totem on Fu Mountain. The Yellow Emperor and representatives of other tribes unified totem and made an alliance between them. After that time, all the tribes whether big or small of the Chinese nation were in the charge of the Yellow Emperor thereby initiating the 5000 year history of the Chinese nation.

Where is Fu Mountain on which the Yellow Emperor Unified Totem

A research question of ancient Chinese civilization aroused the achievement of a non-governmental organization.  Xushui Hebei Studies of Fu Mountain Culture is a non-governmental organization launched by Hebei entrepreneur whose name is Sun Dawu.  It has obtained the preliminary conclusion, through looking up historical documents and making on-spot investigations, that it is probable that the Fu Mountain on which the Yellow Emperor unified totem is the one in Xushui County.

The achievements of this nongovernmental academic organization attracted the attention of both Zhangwenbin (former Chief of the State Cultural Relics Bureau) and Liboqian who is Chief Scientist of “Dynastic Project of Xia, Shang, Zhou Dynasties and expert on cultural relics. Not long ago, a seminar of experts was specially held for this study. And two topics were put forward as follows: first, how the Chinese Studies of Ancient Civilization extensively absorbs the nongovernmental strength.  And second, how the Study of Ancient Civilization continues the memory of the Chinese nation.

Fu Mountain of Unifying Totem Veiled in the Mists of History

The phrase ‘Unifying Totem on Fu Mountain’ stems from some related records in the Shiji (Records of the Historian). Simaqian who is the author of the Shiji, wrote in the Biographies of five Emperors, the first article of Shiji, that the Yellow Emperor once unified totem on Fu Mountain. The historian told how the totem, also named Fujie (a totem used in ancient times) or Fuxin (a totem used to represent a pledge), was often made of bamboo, wood, animal leather, jade or bones etc.  The totem was divided into halves carried by two owners as seals. Unifying totem was a keepsake system of alliances before the creation of written characters and it was very popular for a long time and applied to the big political events, administration, ceremonies and military affairs.  Fu Mountain was the place where the Yellow Emperor and representatives of other tribes unified symbol and made an alliance. After that, all the tribes of the Chinese nation, big or small, were in the charge of the Yellow Emperor, initiating the 5000 year history of the Chinese nation.

Zhangwenbin, Executive Vice-Chairman of China Research Institute of the Culture of the Yellow Emperor and Emperor Yan and who was also the former Director of State Cultural Relic Bureau, said," Unifying totem on Fu Mountain is an important turning point in the history of the Chinese nation. From then on, the tribes developed into an alliance of tribes, walking towards the fusion and unification of the Chinese nation. It played an essential role in the formation and development of the Chinese nation."

Some experts also hold that Chinese unification started on Fu Mountain which was the origin of the Chinese nation. Thereupon, to locate the position of Fu Mountain and unveil the mystery of history is the goal for which many experts and nongovernmental organizations are striving.

Opinions are widely divided on the location of Fu Mountain of unifying totem recorded in the Shiji (Records of the historian).The majority of the positions of Fu Mountain taken down in historical documents includes:

1.  the Fu Mountain in Libao, a county-level city in Henan province

2.  the Fu Mountain in Gaoping, a county-level city in Shanxi province

3.  the Fu Mountain in Zhuolu,  Laishui  and Xushui  Counties in Hebei Province

The Blurry Historical Shadow Cast by Fu Mountain in Xushui County

In the past few years, Sun Dawu and his team have consulted a number of historical books and scriptures, made on-the-spot investigations, and invited experts to hold seminars validating the issue. Finally, they came to the conclusion that it is probable that the event of unifying totem on Fu Mountain took place on the Fu Mountain in Xushui County.  In October 2008, in order to conduct in-depth studies, Xushui Studies of Fu Mountain Culture was set up and a book was compiled which was named The Beginning of the Yellow Emperor and Emperor Yan--the Inspection of Fu Mountain. The book explained the fact that the Yellow Emperor unifies totem on Fu Mountain in the following aspects:  the shape of the mountain, places named after Fu Mountain, historical records, historical traces, and folk legends etc.

The Fu Mountain is an isolated mountain located at the east foot of Taihang Mountain, about 22.5 kilometers to the northwest of Xushui County town.  Fu Mountain got its name because it is like a reversed pot. There are many records about the Fu Mountain in historical documents.  Zizhi Tongjian  written in the Song dynasty has it that “The Yellow Emperor unified totem on Fu Mountain which is in Wusu.  Suicheng, in Xushui, was once called Wusui ).  Xushui County was once called as Ansu.  According to the records in the Annuals of Ansu (written in Qing dynasty) and the New Annuals of Xushui County (written in the Republic of China), Xuanyuan, the Yellow Emperor once visited places to know the custom. He also killed Chiyou (a leader of a tribe) in the field of Zhuolu (a county of Baoding city in Hebei Province).Then he climbed to the top of Fu mountain and summoned the vassals to a unifying of the totem, showing his prestige in Xushui County.

The more than 46 ancient cultural traces discovered in the regions of Xushui county provide to a great extent some strong evidences to prove the fact of unifying totem on Fu Mountain.

In 1986,  Liboqian, a professor of the Department of Archeology, Peking University, and the archeological team excavated the Nanzhuangtou Ancient Ruins to the due east of Fu Mountain in Xushui County. There were a large number of cultural relics coming to light, including, stone saddle-querns, stone bars for millstone mill, bone stabbers, bone needles, a few dark-grew potteries with sand marks, pieces of russet earthenware with sand buckles, and some stone pieces. “I forgot the date of that day when the first piece of pottery was discovered, but I can remember the time was a quarter past ten in the morning.” When recalling the sight of more 20 years ago, Professor Liboqian is still very excited. “The excitement at that moment was beyond words, because that piece of pottery was the earliest piece we had discovered in North China Region.”

According to evaluation, Nanzhuangtou ancient ruins are the earliest historical sites of the New Stone Age in the North of China, about 9,700 to 10,500 years old. The Wencun, Jinjiafen, Suicheng, and Pu River ancient ruins of Painted Pottery Culture and Black Pottery Culture were also found in the regions around the Fu Mountain in Xushui County. They were in the middle and late periods of the New Stone Age, roughly the same age as the Yellow Emperor, dating back to 5,000 years ago. In these ruins, pottery axes, pottery basins, pottery bowel, and pottery tripods with three bulbous hollow legs were found, demonstrating a development process of thousands of years from the epoch of the Yellow Emperor and Emperor Yan, going through dynasties Xia, Shang, Zhou, to the Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States.

In addition, there are many legends about the Yellow Emperor spreading among the folks in Xushui County; for instance, the Platform of Unifying Totem on the top or around Fu Mountain, the Temple of the Xuanyuan (represents carriage invented by the Yellow Emperor, so the Yellow Emperor is also called Xunyuan) Yellow Emperor, and the Cliff of the Yellow Emperor, etc. These legends, to some extent, reflect the blurry shadow cast by history.

Research of Ancient Culture continues the Cultural Memory of the Chinese Nation

Although there are historical records, archaeological discoveries and folk legends, experts still take a deliberative attitude towards the achievement accomplished by the non-governmental organization. They hold that the location of Fu Mountain needs further investigation. 

Zhangwenbin thinks that Xushui Studies of Fu Mountain Culture ought to focus on the deep study, arrangement, and analysis of historical old scriptures and documents. Do not pay much more attention to the records of the Qing dynasty. These records can only be regarded as your references. The older the records are, the more valuable they can be. So you should hunt for the historical records between the Han dynasty and Tang Dynasty, and then sort them out completely.”  Mr. Zhang also suggests that Hebei Research Institute of Cultural Relics should attach more importance to Xushui and do some further archaeological work. "It is not possible that the Fu Mountain is isolated, and there must be more valuable things for us to discover. I conjecture that the mystery of Fu Mountain will be unveiled one day."

However, the work of Xushui Studies of Fu Mountain Culture gets its universal recognition as an attempt of folk strength participating in the study of ancient culture.

“Personally speaking, we should take different approaches to study Chinese ancient civilization. On one hand, we can rely on the scholars. On the other hand, we should depend on people from all fields of the society, who are interested in Chinese ancient culture”.

Acting as the present dean of Peking University’s
Sinian Period Civilization Research Center and a consultant of Sun Dawu’s team, Liboqian is presiding over  the Project of Tracing to the Source of Chinese Ancient Civilization. He believes that in a sense we should carry forward Chinese ancient spirit, meanwhile, develop Chinese ancient culture, and the latter is more important because it connects all aspects of the society.  “Xushui Studies of Fushan Culture had better give priority to the collection, arrangement and protection of the non-material things, such as folk legends, etc. And the archeological departments should be responsible for the clearing of the ancient construction sites. Both can accomplish study in a cooperative manner without coming into conflict.”

Non-governmental promotion has achieved successful results. Xushui County Party Committee and government attatches great importance to the study of Fu Culture, and takes it as a great event.  At the same time, actively do a lot of related work of protection, management, and utilization on historical culture sites. The Fushan historical ruins has also been made a major historical and cultural site under state protection of Xushui County.

Zhangwenbin speaks frankly, “Now there are many places claiming to be the Fu Mountain. It is impossible for the cultural relics departments and culture departments to devote so many efforts to verification. We must depend on the local party committees, governments, and folk strength to promote and participate in the issue through combing with experts from academia.”

Mr. Zhang also maintains that the folk force should be absorbed extensively to participate in the study of ancient Chinese civilization. What’s more, the tight combination between folk entrepreneurs and scientists and academic circles indicates that the research power is rising. “The study of Fushan culture is a kind of strength generated by the integration between folk force and experts and scholars who have walked out of the ‘Ivory Tower’.

Where is Fu Mountain on which the Yellow Emperor united Totem

Various myths and legends have been a controversial topic in academic research all the time. As a matter of fact, like other peoples in the world , Chinese civilization has its own fairy tale times and legend times at the beginning . Because at that time, there was no characters to record and the best way to hand down civilization from generation to generation was speaking and listening.

Zhangwenbin states clearly that we can not take the national nihilistic attitude toward the myths and unifying totem on Fushan which just rely on the legends. Nor can we be absolutely affirmative. Instead, as for fairy tales and historical mysteries, we should consciously conduct research with a scientific attitude. 

Most importantly, the Shiji (Records of Historian) has a high credibility. Both the excavation of the Yin Ruins in Anyang, Henan Province and the bronze inscriptions unearthed in Tianma ancient ruins in Shaanxi Province are fairly accorded with the records in Shiji. “This also shows that Simaqian (the author of Shiji) actually maintained meticulous scholarship. The topic of unifying totem on Fu Mountain is worth our continuative further study.” says Zhangwenbin.

From the point of view of Chengguangquan, Vice Dean of the School of Philosophy and Sociology of Beijing Normal University, the greater significance of researching the culture of Fu Mountain is to continue the cultural memory of the Chinese nation.“There exists a viewpoint in the international academic circles that peoples are a kind of imagined communities”, says Chengguangquan.  “This imagination is not fancied, but based on a kind of social fact. The social fact is national identity, including psychological identity and linguistic identity”.

Mr. Cheng also thinks that in the age of globalization, a people will be flooded by the time if it does not have its own historical context and characteristics. “If we want to strengthen our national cohesion, we must do an important job to continue our national memory.” But the reality is that it is pretty difficult to fix up in a short time the history through archaeology between 5,000 B.C and 3,000 B.C.  So it is a great significance for the present development of the Chinese nation to collect and arrange our national memories; such as, myths and legends which have come down from that period.

Chengguangquang reminds us that “With the changes of modern society, some of these memories will break off, and some even vanish.”   “It is necessary to do more such work as the study on Fu Mountain culture to continue our national memory, allowing the Chinese nation to further establish its position in the world’s nation community in the present atmosphere which stresses identity.

Sun on Fushan

May 03, 2007