English      Simple Chinese       
  Current location: Exhibitions--Permanent Exhibition--The Ancient Astronomy--
The Ancient Astronomy Ancient Astronomy
The Ancient Astronomy
Cultural Relics of Ming Qing Dynasty
Ancient Jade Culture of Henan
Bronze Wares of Chu Kingdom
Highlights of Civilization in Ancient Central China
       Updated:2006-08-21      Text:Large /  Medium  /  Small  
The history of the Chineseancestors living and reproducing in the Central Plains can betraced back to at least 1 million years ago. In the endless daysaccompanied by rising and falling sun, moon and stars, theancestors, for the sake of living, had long ago began observing andexploring the mysterious space, whilst transforming the nature. Asthe old saying goes, “By looking up we can observe the skyphenomena, and by looking down we can explore laws governing thenature.” Through the boundless process of inquiring, learning,researching, and inventing, a peculiar knowledge system was formedwithin ancient China’s conception on the earth and sky by theobservation of sky phenomena for telling time, the observation ofcelestial bodies for recording event, and the unity of heaven andman. In this field talents emerged from generation to generation,marking the splendor in China’s astronomy. Henan, located at aplace of “The Sky over Head”, is the birthplace of ancient China’sastronomy, and this place of culture entertains numerous miraclesthat have astonished the world. The most representative include theseismograph invented by Zhang Heng, Han Dynasty, and the astroobservatory by Guo Shoujing at Dengfeng, Yuan Dynasty.
The great scientist Zhang Heng of ancient China’s Western HanDynasty is the inventor of the world’s earliest seismoscope – theHoufeng Seismograph. Though the original has long been lost, thehistory of over two thousand years cannot set people’s memory tooblivion. According to the merely 195 words recorded by thehistory, the later scholars have been ceaselessly trying to restorethe seismograph’s real identity. This seismograph means not onlythe restoration of a seismic-measuring apparatus, but also theprogress of our ancestors in search of the great spirit of scienceas “Seeking Truth and Evading Emptiness”.
Dengfeng, or even the Heluo Area at large, is the center ofthe earth and sky, as regarded by the ancient Chinese. A lot ofancient Chinese emperors founded capitals to establish a statehere. It is said that, when movingthe capital to Luoyang, Jidan, Emperor of Zhou, had the soil depthmeasured and the shadow cast by the sun rectified with gnomon, theancient Chinese sundial. In this area is now still preserved theZhougong Astronomical Observatory built in Tang Dynasty. To revisethe calendar by observing the astronomical phenomena, Guo Shoujing,the great astronomer of Yuan Dynasty, chose the same area for theAstro Observatory. The ancient observatory, consisting of measuringwith gnomon, observing the sky phenomena, and telling time, marksthe immortal achievement in ancient China’s astronomy.