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Wang Yirong.jpg

Wang Yirong (Chinese: 王懿榮; pinyin: Wáng Yìróng) (1845–1900) was a director of the Chinese Imperial Academy, best known as the first to recognize that the symbols inscribed on oracle bones were an early form of Chinese writing.[1] His work on the oracle bone script was curtailed when he accepted a local command during the Boxer Rebellion, despite his belief that the cause was futile. When an international force occupied Beijing in August 1900, Wang committed suicide, together with his wife and daughter-in-law.[2] A museum devoted to Wang is located in his birthplace of Yantai, Shandong.[3]


  1. Wilkinson, Endymion (2000). Chinese history: a manual (2nd ed.). Harvard Univ Asia Center. p. 391. ISBN 978-0-674-00249-4. 
  2. Hessler, Peter (2007). Oracle Bones: A Journey Through Time in China. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-082659-8. 
  3. "王懿荣纪念" (in Chinese). Wang Yirong Memorial. 

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