Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Museum
This museum was established in 1978 on the east side of the People's Square in Nanning City and in 1988 a new People's Cultural Hall was added to it. The entire Museum occupies 56,757 square meters of space with a building space of 22,761 square meters. The exhibition building is a modern structure with southern architectural characteristics, which contains six exhibition halls.
The 'Guangxi Historical Artifacts Exhibition exhibits all periods of Guangxi history from Primitive Society up to the Opium War (1840-1842), reflecting local culture and the interchange with the Central Plains and neighboring regions and the process of cultural melding and development. The exhibition of the 'Liujiang Man' shows the earliest hominid fossil found to date within the borders of Guangxi. It belongs to the late period of hominids and is the earliest representative of modern man found to date not only inside China but in all of the Southeast Asia region.
Stone tools manufactured in more than one hundred sites have been found in Guangxi. Mesolithic-period polished?blade stone tools and stones with finely wrought holes in them are displayed in the museum, as well as a wealth of artifacts from the Neolithic period. Neolithic sites are divided into three main types, those in caves, on hills, and on mountain slopes and artifacts are exhibited from all three. Of particular note is a large ceremonial shovel-shaped object that is 66.4 cm in length and 44.8 cm wide. The quality of its manufacture, its size, and its polishing make it a superlative work.
the Shang and Zhou periods, two tribes who lived in Guangxi began to have
political, economic and cultural relations with the Central Plains region.
Certain bronze items are evidence of this cultural interchange although
there is also evidence that 2,500 years ago, during the late Western Zhou
period, Guangxi s ancient inhabitants were creating their own brilliant
bronze culture. Items in the Museum that demonstrate this culture include
spears, axes, ladles, bells, and many other items found the 'Matou Yuanlongpo'
grave in Wuming County. Early
Among the bronzes exhibited are some that allow the visitor to understand something of the ancient Guangxi bronze-drum culture. There are more than 300 drums from this culture in the Museum. One such drum is exhibited in a prominent position; other bronzes include a snake-headed frog-patterned vessel called a zun, and other items that clearly show the influence of local artistic traditions. A group of iron objects excavated from the Northern Guangxi region indicate that Guangxi had entered the iron-culture stage by the Warring States period. Qin-dynasty evidence in Guangxi attests to a more than two?thousand-year-old practice of systematic canal-making in the region. Han-dynasty objects are primarily excavated from Han-period tombs and indicate that from this time onward the parallel cultures began to merge.
The regional-culture treasures that are exhibited include bronze drums with carved inscriptions, lacquer painted bronze basins, bronze horses, bronze phoenix lanterns, lacquer eared cups, bamboo flutes, celadon bowls, glass cups and so on. A 'Yellow Dragon' bronze mirror is unique among all Three Kingdom bronze mirrors. An excavated inscribed tablet excavated from a Jin-dynasty grave notes that'disasters are reigning throughout the land but south of the river all is peaceful.' This reflects the warring conditions on the central plains during the end of the Western-Jin period, whereas Guangxi was relatively peaceful and the economy was developing rapidly.
The 'Ancient Bronze Drums Exhibit' displays representative works of the eight main types of bronze drums from the Spring and Autumn period to the Qing dynasty, together with relevant documents, drawings and models. It narrates the chronological development, distribution, types, uses, and modern usage of bronze drums in the region. One drum of note is the so-called thundercloud-patterned drum, excavated from Beiliu County in Guangxi. It has a diameter of 165 centimeters and weighs 300 kilometers, and to date is the largest bronze drum to have been found.
Another exhibition reflects the customs of the eleven national minorities in Guangxi. It exhibits their costumes, weavings, dying techniques, embroidery and so on, as well as items to do with local festivals. The Ethnic Minorities Cultural Relics Garden is an outdoor exhibition of rooms of national minority customs. This reproduces certain minority-people's architecture, such as the wooden railing buildings of the Zahuang, bamboo structure of Yao, hanging buildings of Miao, homes of Maonan, drum towers, wind and rain bridges of Dong, and other special features of local architectural design.