"the picture has been unfolded, just waiting for our generation to draw"-experts suggest that oracle bones should be excavated, arranged, protected and studied to establish national standards.
"Spring has come for the study of oracle bone inscriptions." A few days ago, this sentence became the opening words of academic experts at a forum held by the Ministry of Education to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the discovery and study of oracle bone inscriptions.
Joy, excitement, excitement. Great responsibility and glorious mission.
Wang Ziyang, a professor at the Oracle Research Center of Capital normal University, forwarded the contents of General Secretary Xi Jinping's congratulatory letter to his circle of friends, filled with "happiness." This is undoubtedly a "cold subject" highlight of the moment.
In addition to the excitement, at the forum, the experts still talked about some hopes and some urgent problems to be solved, in the hope that the subject would go through the spring and summer and enter the fruitful autumn season.
Hope 1: try to recruit talents who are interested in the study of ancient philology at the undergraduate stage.
Once upon a time, there were only 50 scholars engaged in the study of oracle bone inscriptions in the country. Wu Zhenwu, a professor at Jilin University and president of the study of ancient Chinese characters, said: "this also requires some scholars who do not fully study oracle bone inscriptions."
In this regard, Prince Yang is deeply convinced that even when he chose this major, the first words thrown out by his family and friends were "what is the use of studying oracle bone inscriptions?" He also heard a teacher say to another teacher, "this is the one who studies tortoise shells." 'This view is superficial and stinging, 'Mr. Yang said.
In addition, there are a large number of lonely moments, other professional students write papers, may be achieved in a short time, but for oracle bone inscriptions research, a few years of sharpening a sword is too much.
In October 2016, Guangming Daily issued an announcement rewarding Oracle for its outstanding achievements in interpretation. Jiang Yubin, a researcher at Fudan University, won the first prize for his interpretation of the word "stupid." The result is also considered to be the most successful example in the industry in more than a decade. He first interpreted a form in oracle bone inscriptions as "tun", discussed the original meaning of the word "tun", and read "tun" as "stupid", that is, "stupid". At that time, there were some restless Fangguo, known as "stupid Yifang" and so on. This kind of statement is rare in later generations, but it has been read in an instant by contacting the "stupid Yin" in "Shangshu", the "stupid state" in Tsinghua brief, the "stupid Zi you Miao" in Mozi, and so on.
It took Jiang Yubin several months to make the study. "it takes only a few minutes to find key evidence in a multitude of clues, but the process of quantitative change ahead is very long. We know too little about oracle bone inscriptions and the social history and culture of the Shang Dynasty. If the social and cultural features reflected in oracle bone inscriptions are a jigsaw puzzle, what we know is only a very small part, and the most important thing is that we do not know what the whole picture looks like. And some of the puzzles may never be found. As a result, some oracle bone characters have been pondered for many years, but we still do not understand them. "
With relatively few results, it is bound to be lonely, but Wu Zhenwu says the success rate in the industry is high and all social science awards have never been absent. We want to work hard to enroll and train more students, and if one in 10 students works in this industry for life, we win.
At present, Oracle research professionals are trained from the master's degree students, at the forum, many experts suggested that we can pilot from the undergraduate stage to recruit talents. "in the early days of this industry, we need a lot of knowledge reserve and accumulation, some students from the undergraduate stage to learn ancient characters from me, and so on graduate students, can obviously feel faster than their peers. I wonder if it is possible to adopt a special training approach to select outstanding students who are really interested in ancient characters at the undergraduate stage. " Jiang Yubin said.
Hope 2: to establish a unified database of unearthed documents as soon as possible
Why is oracle bone inscription major difficult to produce results? Liu Zhao, a professor at Fudan University, says, "sometimes researchers have to do repetitive, low-quality work."
The so-called low-quality, repetitive work refers to the database aspect. Experts said that although Oracle's literature research has some cloud platforms and databases for scholars to retrieve, they are all internal information of various units or research institutes, and there are some barriers to each other. Therefore, some scholars have worked for a long time and found that they have already done it before.
Wang Guiyuan, a professor at the School of Literature of Renmin University of China, told reporters: "Literature can be divided into two categories: handed down literature and unearthed literature. At present, the database and collection of documents handed down from generation to generation have been done well, and the retrieval is convenient and standardized. Unearthed documents can not do this, including oracle bone inscriptions, Jinwen, bamboo slips of the warring States, Qin and Han dynasties, stone carvings, Dunhuang documents, Turpan documents and so on. Unearthed documents to do the database is very difficult, not to say that a word photo upload on the line, the meaning of a word, different experts may have different interpretations, need to be sorted out by the chief editor. At present, this area needs to be solved urgently. "
On the one hand, the establishment of database can save data, on the other hand, it can be used by experts and scholars. "although there is a lot of research on this subject, it can be made public very little, basically internal information, and the authoritative database at the national level is still blank. If the unearthed literature database can be built, I think it can greatly promote the development of academic research. " Wang Guiyuan said.
Liu Zhao further said that 11 units across the country specializing in Oracle research, including nine schools and one hospital. If the power can be integrated from the national level, it is bound to coruscate new vitality. "We are now going to engage in big data and cloud computing, but many oracle bones only have rubbings, there are no photos, and everyone contributes their respective forces to promote the development of the discipline."
Hope 3: the study of oracle bone excavation and protection should establish the national standard as soon as possible.
Why is it difficult to build the unearthed literature database? An important reason is that there is no strict working standard in the excavation and finishing of oracle bones. Many experts point out that in different units, the principle of example writing, the use of symbols and the definition of terms are different. Some researchers in their own school interface can open the report, a school report can not be opened, the norms are not uniform.
"We should study and promulgate the national standard for the study of oracle bone excavation and protection as soon as possible from the national level, that is, the national standard." Liu Zhao told reporters, "there are professional procedures for oracle bone excavation, but should we take pictures first and then take pictures, or should we take pictures first?" These specific examples should be regulated. "
At present, oracle bone photography has become a specialized technology, therefore, a large number of oracle bone inscriptions need to apply the latest technology to rearrange, "only after the basic data is complete, can we talk about the future of big data and cloud computing." Liu Zhao said.
Wang Guiyuan also corroborated this, saying that many oracle bone characters, which are not found in the current computer font, need to be photographed and numbered to create new characters, and this number is different from each unit. "I think the construction of the database and the construction of national standards should be carried out at the same time, because how many words are there and what words we have mastered at present must be investigated clearly. There are some such documents in the hands of each unit, and if you compare them, you will find that most of the important documents are duplicated. Because of some barriers, there has been a lot of repetitive work. "
Fundamentally speaking, these hopes are how to cooperate and innovate. "the world of oracle bone inscriptions is vast and promising, a large number of oracle bone inscriptions have not been revealed, nearly 2/3 of oracle bone characters have not been correctly interpreted, and the picture has been unfolded. Just waiting for my generation to paint. " Prince Yang said. (reporter Yao Xiaodan)