Conclusions & References Cited
All the material remains here &discussed are testimony of the historic role played by the landscape in the shaping of identities and spirituality of local groups, but also of the ethnic and cultural richness of the frontier area. Sacred or other remains ascribable to different groups, from the Han Chinese, to Turkish, Mongolians and other inner Asian nations, highligh the contested nature of these places and the sacrality of the territory for diverse populations. This heritage reminds us that, like today, in antiquity this region was inhabited by a variety people who were actively constructing their home and sacred landscapes. The impression is that, beyond any specific religion, this place could be contrued as “sacred” to many peoples and in different ways.
Indeed, more then individual beliefs, it is the structure of the landscape, real or imagined, religious and political, with its network of routes and visually or materially significant places that creates the sacrality (Bradley 2000, Ashmore and Knapp 1999). Yet, by this very definition, it also shows that the profane is never very far from the sacred and that the “sacred,” though theoretically remote and difficult to achieve, must be accessible and consumable. Elevation and remoteness are attempts at distancing from the everyday, but waterways and travel routes indicate that such distancing was temporary and relative. No matter the structure of belief or its complexity, or whether the believers were roaming nomads who relied on the natural environment for sustenance, traveling merchants who sought respite from it, or urban dwellers who longed for lost nature, particular places acquired sacredness or sacred value because of their positions, structures and cumulative histories.
FAshmore, Wendy and A. Bernard Knapp editors
1999 Archaeologies of landscape: contemporary perspectives. Blackwell Publishers, Malden, Ma.
2000 Animal and shaman. Ancient religions of Central Asia. New York University Press, New York.
1997 Rock art and the prehistory of Atlantic Europe: signing the land. Routledge, London and New York.
2000 An archaeology of natural places. Routledge, London and New York.
Bunker, Emma, Trudy S. Kawami, and Katheryn M. Linduff
1997 Ancient Bronzes of the Eastern Eurasian Steppes. A. Sackler Foundation, New York & Washington.
Cahill, Suzanne Elizabeth
1993 Transcendence and divine passion : the Queen Mother of the West in medieval China. Stanford University, Stanford, Ca.
1996 How to get from space to place in a fairly short stretch of time: Phenomenological prolegomena. In Senses of place, edited by Steven Feld and Keith H. Basso, 13-52. School of American Research Press. Santa Fe, NM.
1991 Zhonguo yanhua faxian shi (History of the discovery of Chinese rock art). Renmin, Shanghai.
2002 Gudai yanhua (Ancient rock art). Wenwu, Beijing.
2004 Beyond Shamanism: Landscape and Self-Expression in the Petroglyphs of Inner Mongolia and Ningxia (China). Cambridge Journal of Archaeology 14(1):1-20.
2011 Mobile and Settled: the petroglyphs of Helankou, Ningxia, Western China. Rock Art Research 28 (1) in press.
Di Cosmo, Nicola
1999 The Northern Frontier. In The Cambridge history of ancient China: from the origins of civilization to 221 B.C., edited by Michael Loewe and Edward L. Shaughnessy, 885-966. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK.
Di Cosmo, Nicola
1994 Ancient Inner Asian Nomads: Their Economic Basis and Its Significance in Chinese History. Journal of Asian Studies 53 (4):1092-1126.
Dong, Yuxiang and Banghu Yue
1988 Binglinsi deng shiku diaosu yishu. In Binglingsi deng shiku diaosu. Zhongguo meishu quanji, Diaosu bian vol. 9, 1-32, Renmin Meishu Press, Beijing.
1986 Yinshan Yanhua (Petroglyphs in the Yinshan Mountains). Wenwu, Beijing.
Gansu Provincial Museum
1990 Gansu Jiayuguan Heishan gudai yanhua (Ancient rock art of the Heishan, Jiayuguan, Gansu) Kaogu 4:344-359.
Guyuan Museum ed.
2004 Guyuan lishi wenwu. Historical and cultural relics from Guyuan. Kexue, Beijing.
1995 Xi Xia wang ling (Xixia imperial mausolea). Gansu Wenhua, Lanzhou.
Hong, Y.T., H.B. Jiang, T.S. Liu, L.P. Zhou, J. Beer, H.D. Li, X.T. Leng, B. Hong and X.G. Qin
2000 Response of climate to solar forcing recorded in a 6000-year !18O time-series of Chinese peat cellulose. The Holocene 10(1): 1-7.
Juliano, Annette L.
2002 Buddhist art in northwest China. In Monks and merchants. Silk road treasures from northwest China, edited by Annette L. Juliano and J. A. Lerner, pp. 118-143. Asia Society, New York.
Jiayuguan City Cultural Heritage Investigative Team
1972 Gansu diqu gudai youmu minzu yanhua (Rock art of the ancient pastoral populations of Gansu). Wenwu 12:42-46.
Kleeman, Terry F.
1994 Mountain deities in China: the domestication of the mountain god and the subjugation of the margins. Journal of the American Oriental Society 114(2):226-238.
1983 The earthly paradise: religious elements in Chinese landscape art. In Theories of Art in China, edited by Susan Bush and Christian Murck, pp. 165-183. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J.
Li, Xiangshi & Cunshi Zhu,
1993. Helanshan yu Beishan yanhua. The Rock Art in Mt. Helan and Mt. North. Ningxia Renmin, Yinchuan.
2000. Taoism and the Arts of China. Art Institute of Chicago and University of California Press, Chicago & Berkeley.
1991. Sacred Mountains in Chinese Art. University of Illinois Press, Urbana.
Naquin, Susan and Yü Chün-fang
1992. Pilgrims and Sacred Sites in China. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles.
Ningxia Heritage Preserving Committee & Archaeology Dept. Beijing Univ. eds.
1997. Xumishan shiku neirong zonglu (Summary of content of Xumishan grottoes). Wenwu, Beijing.
Ningxia Institute of Archaeology and Cultural Relics
2005. Baisigou Xixia Fangta. Xixia quadrilateral pagoda in the Baisigou valley. Wenwu, Beijing.
1997. Buddhist Cosmology. Kosei, Tokyo.
Steinhardt, Nancy Shatzman
1993. The Tangut Royal Tombs near Yinchuan. Muqarnas 10:369-381.
1977. Space and Place. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
Xu, Cheng & Wei Zhong,
1993. Helanshan yanhua (The rock art of the Helan Mountains). Wenwu, Beijing.
Yuan, Ke ed.
1985. Shanhaijing Jiaoyi. Guji, Shanghai.
→ Itinerant Creeds: The Chinese Northern Frontier
→ Cults of Place: Mountains, Rivers and Beyond
→ >Case Studies: Inner Mongolia: Yinshan
→ Case Studies: Ningxia: Helankou
→ Case Studies: Gansu: Heishan
→ Conclusion & References Cited
→ About the Author
→ The China Rock Art Archive