The archaeological materials recovered from the Anyang excavations by the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, in the period between 1928 and 1937, published in several series of Archaeologia Sinica since wartime, have laid a new foundation for the study of ancient China. They are important for a number of reasons; the following three may be considered primary.
In the first place, when oracle bone inscriptions became known to the antiquarians at the end of last century, they were considered as mere curiosities and left in the hands of peddlers and curio-dealers. The learned world at large was more or less skeptical about the academic value of these written inscriptions. In fact one of the leading paleographers in the early Republican era openly charged that these new curiosities were mere forgeries, in spite of the publication of many scholarly investigations and inquiries about the nature and contents of the inscriptions by a few serious students. When the . . .