Art at Site  unkown Civilisation Forest


Civilisation Forest

Lujiazui Central Green Space
Identification of the stone:
Civilisation Forest
Buddhist Stone Inscriptions in Northern China
The second half of the 6th century AD was a significant period in the history of Chinese Buddhism. In the years 577/578 Buddhist believers were subjected to severe persecution, but the reception of the holy scriptures of a religion originating in India was not greatly affected by this. In the course of adapting the foreign doctrine to the indigenous traditions of calligraphy and landscape appreciation, Chinese monks created unique stone inscriptions. The sacred texts were laboriously carved into the natural rock with characters up to nine feet high. The inscriptions were also integrated into the architecture of cave temples. With this “network” of stone inscriptions the Chinese Buddhists created the most significant monuments to the cultural history of northern China that have come down to us.
Steles (Chinese: bēi 碑) have been the major medium of stone inscription in China since the Tang dynasty. Chinese steles are generally rectangular stone tablets upon which Chinese characters are carved intaglio with a funerary, commemorative, or edifying text. They can commemorate talented writers and officials, inscribe poems, portraits, or maps, and frequently contain the calligraphy of famous historical figures.
Chinese steles from before the Tang dynasty are rare: there are a handful from before the Qin dynasty, roughly a dozen from the Western Han, 160 from the Eastern Han, and several hundred from the Wei, Jin, Northern and Southern, and Sui dynasties. During the Han dynasty, tomb inscriptions (墓誌, mùzhì) containing biographical information on deceased people began to be written on stone tablets rather than wooden ones.
Erecting steles at tombs or temples eventually became a widespread social and religious phenomenon. Emperors found it necessary to promulgate laws, regulating the use of funerary steles by the population. The Ming dynasty laws, instituted in the 14th century by its founder the Hongwu Emperor, listed a number of stele types available as status symbols to various ranks of the nobility and officialdom: the top noblemen and mandarins were eligible for steles installed on top of a stone tortoise and crowned with hornless dragons, while the lower-level officials had to be satisfied with steles with plain rounded tops, standing on simple rectangular pedestals.
Steles are found at nearly every significant mountain and historical site in China. The First Emperor made five tours of his domain in the 3rd century BC and had Li Si make seven stone inscriptions commemorating and praising his work, of which fragments of two survive. One of the most famous mountain steles is the 13 m (43 ft) high stele at Mount Tai with the personal calligraphy of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang commemorating his imperial sacrifices there in 725.
Civilisation Forest
Besides the United States, China has done more than any other country to contribute to climate change. But while China’s greenhouse gas emissions are rapidly warming the planet, the Asian nation is quickly shifting its focus to climate change mitigation to ensure a sustainable biosphere for future generations. According to a new United Nations report, China plans to build an “ecological civilization” that could be a model for the rest of the world. The project includes an initiative to cover nearly one quarter of the country with forests by 2020."