Talk:Oracle bone

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I have greatly expanded this page, with extensive references, while leaving out all information on the nature of the oracle bone script itself, so as to keep these pages separate; there is only a little room for further expansion of oracle bone without excessive lengthiness IMO, but there is quite a bit of room for expansion on the script itself. We also need more pictures. Dragonbones (talk) 14:12, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Hi Pericles, thanks for the Fairbanks reference. You wrote "Dragonbones, I'm not used to this style of citation where the full reference is not spelled out, but I will add a citation from Fairbank's book here according to your style." Actually, the reason for the lack of full reference is because the in-text refs are used again and again, with different page numbers for different facts; the full refs are given in the reference section at the end. Thus, your full Fairbanks reference should be added under the References section. Cheers! DBDragonbones (talk) 15:30, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Oh! I see. When I saw "further references" I assumed that the title of that section implied they were all for "further reading". My mistake. I added Fairbank to the list.--Pericles of AthensTalk 16:34, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh, sorry, I didn't realize the confusion that name would cause. I've changed it back to "References".Dragonbones (talk) 01:08, 27 May 2008 (UTC)


An editor came in today and changed one instance of BCE to BC, which is inappropriate. First, the rest of the article uses BCE, and Wiki guidelines require consistency. Second, it is specifically stated in the style guidelines that while either style is acceptable, it is not appropriate for an editor to come along and change all of one to the other simply due to preference. My understanding is that what this means is that whichever style gets set first in an article stays.Dragonbones (talk) 13:07, 5 June 2008 (UTC) my toothbrush is an example of this —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:57, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Merge Plastromancy into Oracle bone?[edit]

It seems that everything that the Plastromancy article has is (or should be) in the Oracle bone article as well. Would it make sense to merge the former to the latter, and to set a redirect? Otherwise, it seems to invite needless duplication. Vmenkov (talk) 04:31, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

I'm inclined to keep the two subjects with different article. What specificity is the duplication? Regards, SunCreator (talk) 14:24, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
As Vmenkov said, the whole Plastromancy article (all 3 paragraphs of it) repeats material covered in greater detail in the Oracle bone article; the third paragraph isn't about plastrons at all. There seems to be nothing to say about plastromancy outside the context of ancient China, and within that context no-one seems to be saying they were used significantly differently from ox scapulae. Kanguole 15:09, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Kanguole above said pretty much what I wanted to say. (Incidentally, I seem to recall that some sources - maybe Sarah Allan - speculated that the use of turtle plastrons in divination may have been influenced by the special role of this animal in the ancient Chinese mythology; but even then, I would not view this as an argument for keeping 2 separate articles). -- Vmenkov (talk) 20:45, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
I support the merger too. Objects like mirrors can be described independently from their use in divination ("catoptromancy"), but oracle bones as artifacts are inextricably tied to their mantic use. And as Kanguole points out, there seems to be no information on plastromancy outside of ancient China. Plastromancy is therefore a content fork of Oracle bone. Plastromancy should be kept as a redirect, and its content merged into the present wiki. Scapulimancy is a different case, because other cultures seem to have used ox scapulae for divination. Madalibi (talk) 01:44, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Not the earliest writing in China?[edit]

This sentence is oddly inconsistent:

The oracle bones are not the earliest writing in China--a very few isolated mid to late Shang pottery, bone and bronze inscriptions may predate them.

It begins with an emphatic statement, but then says the same thing with "may". I think it needs to be clarified what the source (Qiu?) is saying here. Kanguole 09:35, 14 May 2011 (UTC)