The Oracle Bones and Solar Eclipses

by | Oct 3, 2018 | Eclipses

Top Stories



Solar eclipses are nothing new. In fact, did you know long before the invention of solar eclipse viewer glasses someone recorded an eclipse in China? It was in the year 1050 BCE, and the record is in the Oracle Bones. Also called “Dragon Bones” the etched records come from the Shang Dynasty culture. Here is more about these amazing ancient relics.

The Royal House of Shang

The Shang ruled China from the Sixteenth Century to the Eleventh Century BCE. This is the oldest dynasty on record. Archeological evidence includes royal tombs, human sacrifice remains, and thousands of jade, bronze, bone, and stone artifacts.

The texts of the oracle bones are on turtle shells and the shoulder blades of oxen. They are the oldest Chinese documents in existence. The dragon bones are an ancient FAQ on a variety of subjects with the answers provided by the Shang. Some questions include dream interpretation, weather issues, medical solutions, war, and eclipses.

Where Did They Get the Answers?

The Shang received inspiration from the dead. Because they had no modern solar eclipse viewer glasses, they took a lot of chances by viewing eclipses, but they depended on their deceased ancestors for protection and guidance.

How Did the Oracle Bones Work?

A Chinese fortune teller used a carving tool to inscribe questions into bone. They then subjected the bone to heat from a fire until it cracked. By looking at how the cracks ran through the bone, they predicted the future.

Become a Part of History

When you put on your solar eclipse viewer glasses for the next event, think about the Oracle Bones, and for a few brief moments, you can become part of something much larger. Take a deep breath as the earth stands still and appreciate everything you have. Then, after the sunlight reappears, you can return to your everyday existence, feeling a little better.