One inscription proposed sacrificing prisoners to an ancestor. The object of the divination questionswas the realm of the spirits, and the relevant spirits were most often royal ancestors. Importance of cultural heritage. Users of oracle bone divinations sought advice and predictions on matters such as raising of crops, the outcome of battles, illness, and childbirth. They sold them as "dragon bones" to apothecaries for use as a raw material in medication for wounds. Then, at the time when a divination query was addressed to the spirits, a hot poker or some other such item was applied to a hollow, causing the bone to break and a crack to appear on the flat side above the hollow. Scientists and scholars have devoted a lot of time to the study of Taoism and Confucianism, but Chinese superstition and everyday spiritual life remain little studied.
Oracle bones were no longer items that occasionally turned up in antique shops, and the artifacts that accompanied oracle bones from the ground provided first-hand evidence for researchers to understand Shang history and to penetrate Shang civilization.
Ancient West Asian Civilization
Theodore de Bary et al. The archaeological harvest from the Yin Ruins has been abundant with more than twenty thousand pieces of bone and shell bearing inscriptions being unearthed. The stench of scorched bone mingles with the aroma of millet wine scattered in libation. They also sought advise from the dead, the meaning of dreams, and suggestions on how many people to sacrifice. Wang noticed that some of them had scratchings on them that looked like Chinese writing. For example, they already possess the principles of character construction the six classes of characters include pictographs, ideographs, and compound ideographs, as well as more abstract extended meanings, determinative phonetics, and loan characterssentence structure, and grammar. The predictions, often made by the king rather than the diviner, and answers were engraved on the bones.