In 1899 several ancient relics were discovered in Anyang. Dating back to the Shang Dynasty, these ruins are now preserved in the Yin Ruins Museum. This location is considered the birthplace of Chinese archeology and one of the 100 Patriotic Education Centers of China.
Large quantities of relics were found here including bone and shell inscriptions, bronze and stone wares, jade and rare cultural relics from over 50 ancient palaces. Archeologists describe these finds as the unearthing the glorious achievements of ancient Shang civilization as well as their cruel and morbid slavery practices. Fuhao is a particularly important find. Excavated in 1976, this tomb is one the largest and most intact remnants of the Shang Dynasty. Housing numerous valuable artifacts of jade, bronze and ivory, Fuhao is also the final resting place of 16 slaves. Buried alive to serve their masters in the afterworld, the remains of these poor souls is evidence of the nefarious Shang practice of human sacrifice.
Another important archeological find is theChariot Pits of the Yin Ruins. The earliest chariot and road remains found in Chinese archeology, these ruins point to the likelihood that the Chinese invented animal drawn carts. Excavated by the Archeology Research Institute of China's Social Science Academy, these pits are largely intact and demonstrate both technological advances as well as the archaic cruelty of slave culture. In each pit a chariot is buried along with two horses and one immolated human slave.
Many of the cultural relics found here originate from the Palace of the Yin Ruins. These artifacts show the creativity, wisdom and workmanship of the ancient Chinese. According to famed historian, Guo Moruo, the Yin Ruins are the starting point of Chinese central plains civilization and touring here is more enlightening than reading ancient books. Among these great historical relics are the Oracle Bone and Shell Inscriptions. Marked with early Chinese characters, these Yin Dynasty inscriptions are known as ancient China's earliest "archive." With over 4,500 single Chinese characters recorded on 150,000 bones and shells, these artifacts reveal the political, military, scientific and cultural practices of their time.
Also represented in the Yin Ruins Museum are pieces from the Chinese Bronze age. The various bronze wares include sacrificial vessels and weapons, showcasing the workmanship of the Yin people. Among the most important bronze relics found here is the Simuwu Quadripod. The largest bronze sacrificial vessel in the world, the Yin Ruins Museum displays a reproduction, as the original is housed in the Museum of Chinese History.