The Oldest Extant Building in China?

Feb 2011
1,595
#1
What are the oldest extant buildings in China? Note that while all buildings are structures, not all structures are buildings. As a building I regard an above-ground structure that has load-bearing walls and/or columns which have been assembled from any processed building material known at the time (wood, mudbrick, concrete, stone or fired brick). This specifically excludes rock-cut architecture such as caves. Buildings typically enclose an inner space, they could be roofed, vaulted or domed, but also be open towards the sky.

There is some leeway concerning the preservation state of these buildings. They do not need to be in a perfect, original state, but they should not be mere ruins, reduced to their fundaments in the worst case, either; they should be still by and large recognizable as buildings. They do not need to have been in continued use and could have fallen into disrepair for centuries, but they should not be buried ruins which have only been recently discovered, excavated and made accessible to the public by modern archaeology. They could have been restored and even incorporate later additions, but - this is important - only to the extent that one can reasonably say that the original fabric still dominates.

Examples for buildings are houses, temples, granaries, towers, barns, shipsheds, theatres, amphitheatres, circuses, baths, triumphal arches, mills etc. Structures which are not buildings are roads, walls, dams, canals, bridges, triumphal columns, monumental sculptures etc.
 
Feb 2011
6,156
#2
You must think fellow forum members are so incredibly dull as to not know your ulterior motive for this thread, which is just a continuation of you bashing Indian/Chinese architecture for a while now here: http://historum.com/asian-history/53031-true-india-world-s-richest-country-47.html

Come back when you achieved a modicum of a modicum of genuine academic curiosity. And don't insult me for denying it down below.
 
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Feb 2011
1,595
#3
Ad hominem, you truly come in (your) style. I created a new thread because the discussion tended to overgrow the topic about India's historical wealth. If you cannot contribute constructively, simply stay away from the topic, instead of lamely trying to torpedo it.
 
Feb 2011
6,156
#4
You mean you haven't torpedoed it already with your ulterior motives? Uh-huh. Sorry if pointing out the incredible obviousness of your intentions is "ad hominem". Am I supposed to think you have an ounce of genuine attitude when you made unsourced statements like how Indian architecture "finally" arrived at the "Neolithic" period, and other non-constructive statements? Even if we assume you said that with no intention to bash, the lack of tact proves otherwise.


For those who are genuinely interested, they can go to related threads such as here: http://historum.com/asian-history/28676-oldest-castle-tower-china.html

But I'm not going to help those who are obviously and painfully disingenuous and is not going to like what he reads anyways.
 
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Feb 2011
1,595
#5
The oldest extant building in China I could find in a quick search is the [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_Wild_Goose_Pagoda"]Giant Wild Goose Pagoda[/ame] in Xian, dating in its current form to 704 AD (Tang dynasty).
 
Jan 2014
254
Canada
#7
I am well aware of Aetius's record for bashing China, though if any of you are genuinely interested then I've actually looked into this topic quite intensely. Considering the differences between a building and a structure, I've read and seen photos of a stone tower dating to the Jin dynasty (300 AD). it is more of a ornate pillar actually. It was part of a temple complex that is in ruins now, and I don't remember the name of the tower/pillar though I'm sure you can find something about it online. I also read about a small stone family shrine dating back to the Han dynasty, but it may have been destroyed in the chaos of the 20th century as the source on it was dating to the 20th century.

One of the best examples of a well preserved extant ancient building in China that I can think of off the top of my head is the Songyue Pagoda, dated to the Northern Wei dynasty around 500 AD. I know for sure there are older buildings but I can't think of any at the top of my head.

There are also even older STRUCTURES in China though this thread is not about that, and so I won't mention them. Much of ancient Chinese architecture has been lost to time due to the fact that up until the Yuan-Ming dynasties, the Chinese had quite a preference for wood instead stone as their primary building material and clearly, wood is not meant to last as long due to decay and durability. Another thing is that China had quite a lot of wars in its past, and it was a bit of a custom to destroy or renovate buildings from the preceding dynasties. Because of this, there are actually many temples in China that could date back to the Han or Warring Sates period, but their present buildings were built over the originals repeatedly over the past 2000 years.
 
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Jan 2014
254
Canada
#8
I just read the thread recommended by Hackneyed. It was quite disappointing seeing your comment there Aetius, I don't get why you feel the need to bash on Chinese/Indian civilizations. I've seen you do this a number of times on other threads as well. If you have this sort of bias/distaste for others you should keep it to yourself. I don't even get why you are on the Asian section of the forums if all you want to do is insult others.
 
Jan 2014
254
Canada
#9
I also don't get why you say in this thread that the oldest building you could find was the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda while you clearly made reference to the even older Songyue pagoda in the other thread. Your "hidden agenda" is showing...
 
Dec 2013
433
Gaia
#10
Another good question is what is Europe's oldest extant autochthonous script, and how old is their agricultural tradition?

Europe has been the rectum of the world for millennia.
 

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