(Related to my previous question)

Does anyone have a link to an image of the oracle bone that has this specific inscription:

The inscriptions include the oldest observation of a nova (1300BCE) ‘A great new star appeared in company with 心宿二 xīn xiù èr (Antares, in Scorpio)’ is recorded on the bones. 

(Taken from chinasage.info)



For anyone looking into Oracle Bones a GREAT reference had been provided by droooze with full transcriptions for your research: [《甲骨文合集》11503]. Thank you droooze !

For anyone who is interested I have asked a further question on the Chinese Language Stack Exchange for a translation of the Oracle Bone 11503.

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    The full transcription of the oracle bone is given in 《甲骨文合集》11503.
    – dROOOze
    Jan 14, 2019 at 11:10
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    To clarify, 11503 is the number of this particular fragment in the publication 《甲骨文合集》, which is itself is an anthology of transcribed oracle bone fragments (more than 20,000 in number, if I'm not mistaken), all available in that link (just type in the number). Of course, since it was written in the 1980s, research has been updated since then and some of the transcriptions may be a bit outdated.
    – dROOOze
    Jan 15, 2019 at 3:57
  • @droooze Yes. Thanks a lot ! A great reference for anyone looking into Oracle Bones. The full transcriptions is a must have. Great find !
    – Johan88
    Jan 15, 2019 at 4:16
  • @droooze I've asked a further question on the Chinese Language Stack for a translation of OB 11503 in case you're interested. Link in the bottom of my question.
    – Johan88
    Jan 15, 2019 at 7:31

1 Answer 1


There is a picture of that oracle bone in the chapter Chinese and Korean Star Maps and Catalogs by F. Richard Stephenson in the University of Chicago's History of Cartography (p514):

Oracle bone

There is also a sketch of the bone, together with a brief discussion of the inscription on pp 3-4 of The Astronomy Revolution: 400 Years of Exploring the Cosmos by Donald G. York, Owen Gingerich, & Shuang-Nan Zhang.

The Taosi Solar Observatory

Discovered in 2003, this ancient observatory is located at Taosi. Paragrah below is from Early China: A Social and Cultural History (Cambridge, 2013), p.33:

Stratigraphic evidence suggests that the building was constructed and used for perhaps a few centuries during the middle period of Taosi before its destruction around 2100 BCE. On-site experiments that took place in the years following the discovery leave little doubt that the platform was used for solar observation between two solstitial extremes in any given year, and it is one of the oldest astronomical observatories in the confirmed by archeology. ... Taosi astronomers are concerned with with correlations between the lunar months and the solar year and this eventually gave rise to a lunar-solar combined calendar with the intercalary thirteenth month inserted in the regular year circles, a system that was definitely in use in China by the thirteenth century BC, proven by the late Shang by oracle-bone studies.

More info:

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    Oh my God. Thank you. How do you do the amazing things that you do ?? Thanks again and again and again Sempaiscuba. Always you to the rescue.
    – Johan88
    Dec 23, 2018 at 2:15
  • Please, I couldn't see in the book whether it is an ox sacrum or a turtle plastron. Do you know?
    – Johan88
    Dec 23, 2018 at 2:22
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    @Johan88 According to the text accompanying the figure in Stevenson's chapter, it's Ox bone. Dec 23, 2018 at 2:39
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    @sempaiscuba - I thought info on the Taosi Solar Observatory might be useful, given OP's interest in astronomy and oracle bone studies. Hope it doesn't change your answer too much. Feel free to edit.
    – J Asia
    Dec 31, 2018 at 9:03
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    @JAsia Thank you very much for the additional info and the marvelous book reference. Awesome !
    – Johan88
    Jan 15, 2019 at 6:20

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