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Overview

Anyang, a city of five million in the northernmost corner of Henan Province, draws tourists almost solely because it is home to the largest archaeological excavation in China, the Yin Ruins (Yin Xu). This UNESCO World Heritage Site marks the location of Yin, China's oldest capital and location of the largest royal cemetery from the Shang Dynasty (1554 BC-1045 BC). Once regarded as entirely legendary, the Shang kings ruled during China's Bronze Age. Evidence of their existence comes from these tombs. Treasures include palace foundations, ancient weaponry, jades, bronzes, ceramics and skeletal remains, as well as 100,000 bones of turtles and ...

Anyang, a city of five million in the northernmost corner of Henan Province, draws tourists almost solely because it is home to the largest archaeological excavation in China, the Yin Ruins (Yin Xu). This UNESCO World Heritage Site marks the location of Yin, China's oldest capital and location of the largest royal cemetery from the Shang Dynasty (1554 BC-1045 BC). Once regarded as entirely legendary, the Shang kings ruled during China's Bronze Age. Evidence of their existence comes from these tombs. Treasures include palace foundations, ancient weaponry, jades, bronzes, ceramics and skeletal remains, as well as 100,000 bones of turtles and cattle inscribed in the oldest Chinese script in existence. The Shang used these "dragon bones" to make divinations. Six pits containing 3,000-year-old chariots and the skeletons of both horses and human sacrifices have also been discovered at Yin Xu. The only unlooted tomb is that of military general and Shang Dynasty queen, Fu Hao. Fu Hao's Tomb (1250 BC) contains jewels, carvings and the skeletons of sixteen slaves and six dogs. Other historical attractions at Anyang are Youli Town, where the I-Ching was devised by a duke of the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC); the Tianning Temple, dating from the same period; and the five-story Wenfeng Pagoda (Literature Peak Pagoda), built in 925 AD, which today still affords a fine view of Anyang and the surrounding rugged countryside.

J.D. Brown
About the Expert

J.D. Brown is a contributor to Frommer's China and Frommer's Beijing, coauthor of Frommer's China: The 50 Most Memorable Trips, Berlitz Shanghai, Berlitz Singapore, and other books.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Anyang is the northernmost city in Henan province, located in eastern China.
  • Language: Mandarin
  • Currency: Chinese Yuan
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The semi-arid climate of Anyang translates to cold, dry winters and hot, humid summers. The bulk of the rain falls from June to September, making April and October the mildest times to visit.