Chinese authorities announced Tuesday that Chinese oracle-bone inscriptions – the earliest documentary evidence found in China – have been included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.
China has been preparing these artifacts for the UNESCO program since 2013, and on Oct 30 UNESCO announced on its website oracle-bone inscriptions were included.
The inscriptions were excavated from the Yin ruins in Anyang city, Central China’s Henan province, which provide records of divinations and prayers to the gods from people in the late Shang Dynasty (c.16th century-11th century BC).
Oracle-bone inscriptions are the prototype of modern-day Chinese characters and the embodiment of the continuous evolution of Chinese civilization.
Initiated by UNESCO in 1992, the Memory of the World Program aims to rescue the gradually aging, worsening and disappearing documentary heritage in the world and to raise public awareness of the significance of documentary heritage.
The program takes place every two years, and China has 13 examples of documentary heritage inscribed on the Memory of the World Register so far.
The most recently included Chinese documentary evidence, “Archives of the Nanjing Massacre”, was inducted in 2015.