No. 3
鹿頭骨刻辭 (《甲編》3941, R041039)
Engraved deer skull (Part1(《甲編》) 3941, R041039)
Excavation date: 1929, 3rd Xiaotun excavation
Place of excavation: Xiaotun, Anyang County, Henan Province
Object dimensions: length 10.5 cm, width 12.5 cm
Rubbing dimensions: length 10.59 cm, width 13.15 cm
A deer skull obtained in the Institute of History and Philology's 3rd excavation of the Yin ruins in 1929. About ten oracle bone characters comprise the inscription, which is from late Shang period five: a graven record of affairs from the time of Di Yi and Di Xin. In the time of the Shang tortoise plastrons and cattle scapulae were often used to perform divination or record affairs. Occasionally the bones of other animals were used and inscribed upon, including the skulls of deer or even of humans. This piece records the king of Yin's hunting, and includes the time and place of the hunt.