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Jinwen

Jinwen, also called Bronzeware Script, in a broad sense, means characters inscribed on all kinds of bronze artifacts during the period of the late Shang dynasty, Chou dynasty, Spring Autumn period, Warring States period, Qin dynasty and Han dynasty for a period of 1,000 years. In ancient China "ding" (tripods) were the main instruments in ritual and "zhong" (bells) were widely used in musical performance. Therefore, Bronzeware Script was also known as "zhong ding wen" (bell and tripods script).

   

Generally Jinwen was first inscribed on a mould and then cast on bronze. These characters were more balanced in shape, rounder and just right. During the Warring States period Jinwen were directly inscribed on the bronze artifacts. These characters were thinner. In the later stage Jinwen had developed into a beautiful Chinese calligraphy, was systematic and had many choral words (words formed with one side of the character denoting the meaning and the other side denoting the pronunciation).