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August 21, 2017

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A lost version of 'Analects' unearthed after 1,800 years

A lost version of the"Analects of Confucius" (論語) has been unearthed from the tomb of a Han Dynasty emperor, experts have said.

In January, ancient texts were uncovered from Haihunhou Tomb(海昏侯墓) in Nanchang of southern China's Jiangxi Province after having gone missing for over 1,800 years.

Experts have now confirmed that the texts are the long-lost"Qi Analects" (齊論語).

There are three versions of the"Analects," namely the Old (古論), Lu (魯論) and Qi versions.

The Qi version differs from the first two in having two additional pieces: "Knowing" and "Asking the King."

Chinese media Global Times said on its Weibo page on May 23 that researchers were working on restoring and analyzing the artifacts in order to release the missing text to the public.

The two pieces, written on strips of bamboo, have been scanned for preservation.

Global Times reported that a huge lode of ancient artifacts had been unearthed from Haihunhou Tomb, which was discovered in 2011.

Over 5,200 pieces of bamboo were found in January and are considered by Chinese experts and scholars to be the greatest treasure yet to come out of the site.

The material inscribed on the bamboo ranges from "Analects" to the "Book of Changes" to the "Book of Rites."

China's CCTV recently released two images of a bamboo strip. One side is inscribed with a brief passage and the other with the Chinese characters for "knowing."

Experts said "knowing" is likely the title of the 22nd piece in the Qi version of the "Analects," according to a description in "Yiwenzhi" (漢書.藝文志), the bibliographical section of the "Book of Han" (漢書).

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