Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

中国左江花山岩画与老挝巴添岩画的关联性研究 (A Study of the Relationship between the Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art in China and the Pha Taem Rock Art in Laos)

Xiao, Bo; Gao, Qian

中国左江花山岩画与老挝巴添岩画的关联性研究 (A Study of the Relationship between the Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art in China and the Pha Taem Rock Art in Laos) Thumbnail


Authors

Bo Xiao



Abstract

The Zuojiang Huashan rock art area, which consists of approximately 80 rock art sites distributed along the Zuojiang river valley, is located in China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, which borders Vietnam. It is generally believed that these rock paintings were created by the ancient Luo Yue people between the 5th century BCE and the 2nd century CE, depicting their life and rituals. For a long time, studies on the correlation between the Zuojiang Huashan rock art area and other rock art sites were often limited to southwestern China, ignoring possible cultural connections with rock painting sites in Southeast Asia, due to geopolitical boundaries and nationalism. Most scholars agree that the Luo Yue people lived in an area stretching from Guangxi in China to the Red River Plain in Vietnam based on historical records and archaeological findings, but no rock art remains similar to the Zuojiang Hushan rock paintings have been discovered in Vietnam. However, rock painting sites similar to those in southwestern China can be found in north-eastern Thailand and northern Laos, which border northern Vietnam. The aim of this paper is to investigate such cultural correlations by systematically examining the similarities between the Zuojiang Huashan rock art area and the Pha Taem rock art site in Laos. The Pha Team rock art site is located on a water-facing cliff overlooking the Ou River. It contains over 300 reddish pictograms, including hand prints, anthropomorphs, zoomorphs, and other images thought to depict ‘hunting scenes’ and ‘boats’. The cross-dating analysis indicates that the paintings were created around the same period as, or slightly later than, the Zuojiang Huashan rock art area. A comparison study reveals many similarities between the Huashan rock paintings of Zuojiang River and the rock paintings of Pha Taem, the most striking of which are the paintings pigments and the choice of painting locations. According to research, the painting pigments for these sites were made of a hematite and binder mixture. Over 80% of rock painting sites in the Huashan area are located at a river bend, a feature shared by the Pha Taem site. The orientations of the rock art sites also hint at possible shared religious beliefs of the paintings’ creators, and the sites’ proximity to periodic flooding further suggests a connection between these rock art traditions. There are also similarities in the content of the rock paintings, such as subject matter, style, and image combination. These similarities not only imply a possible cultural association between these rock painting sites, but also insinuate that the rock paintings of Pha Taem may have served as a relay station for cultural transmissions between southern China and Southeast Asia, and that some elements were preserved and passed on as cultural factors to the next station, while others vanished. This argument is supported by the fact that there are complex similarities and differences among rock painting sites in China’s Yunnan and Guangxi, as well as northern Laos and north-eastern Thailand. Such parallels and differences are a tangible manifestation of the complexities of early peoples’ migration and integration in southern China and Southeast Asia, which warrants further investigation.

Citation

Xiao, B., & Gao, Q. (2023). 中国左江花山岩画与老挝巴添岩画的关联性研究 (A Study of the Relationship between the Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art in China and the Pha Taem Rock Art in Laos). 1902 Committee news series, 78-93

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jan 23, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Feb 7, 2023
Publicly Available Date Feb 8, 2023
Journal 1902 Committee
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Issue 2
Pages 78-93
Publisher URL https://www.1902committee.com/news-series

Files





You might also like



Downloadable Citations