明朝的骨架揭示了缠足的秘密
A high caste lady's feet were bound to 澳门金莎网上游戏form the "lotus shape," in China around 1900.
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在中国,缠足已有大约1000年的历史。The memory of this practice is preserved in historical documents,在精英墓穴中发现的鞋子,以及如今幸存下来的绑着脚的妇女人数不断减少的证词。

But only in recent years have archaeologists looked at skeletons with bound feet to learn more about the women who experienced this extreme 澳门金莎网上游戏form of body modification.

伊丽莎白·伯杰,密歇根大学中国研究博士后,曾在中国西安附近的阳关寨遗址进行过考古发掘。陕西省.考古队,陕西考古研究院李萍杨为首,was primarily interested in a Neolithic village buried there;they unexpectedly found an overlaying cemetery from a much later era,the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644),他们抢救了坟墓。[Gallery: Ancient Chinese Warriors Protect Secret Tomb]

伯杰在接受《现场科学》采访时说:“我在看这些骨头,发现它们的脚有些奇怪。”澳门金沙网上游戏“我的第一个想法是它可能会缠足,and I started to look into it and found that at that point there hadn't been many publications on what the bones of foot-bound feet actually look like,although there was a lot of research on the history of it."

在2019年3月发行的一篇文章中,古病理学国际期刊,伯杰和她的同事们报告说,八位精英女性中有四位有缠足的迹象。

研究人员认为,最早的缠足形式始于南宋(1127-1279)。澳门金莎网上游戏起初,这个练习的目的是让脚更窄,a process that didn't alter the bones too severely.更极端的脚捆绑成一个更短的拱形开始于明朝。澳门金莎网上游戏The practice started among elite women and later spread to other classes.

Binding typically started at a young age;the tight bandages that folded the foot into its "lotus" shape had to be worn throughout a woman's life.A northern style and southern style of foot-binding existed by the 1600s.脚趾保持南方风格的笔直,in the northern style,all the toes except the big toe were curled under the sole,making the foot even less stable.Women with bound feet faced health consequences throughout their lives,包括感染,lost toes,失去机动性,行走时疼痛,老年跌倒骨折率较高,research has found.

历史学家和经济学家们仍在发表论文,研究影响足部约束的因素,因为在实践背后的动机似乎是复杂的,而不仅仅是关于执行美容标准。一recent study inthe journalPLoS一号showed that foot-binding,至少在20世纪初,was linked to high productivity among girls and women in craft industries like weaving and embroidering textiles,which contradicts a conventional assumption that the practice was a拜物教习俗that continued despite the economic burden it placed on families.

“当然,there's a lot more research that needs to be done about exactly how the practice changed over time in different places in China," Berger said."I see a lot of descriptions in Western literature that describe it as one thing,作为一个整体实践,whereas in fact it was practiced for 1,000 years and it changed from one place to another."

The sample from the excavations at Yangguanzhai was small,but Berger thinks that the pattern observed may reflect foot-binding as an evolving practice.

阳关寨明朝公墓女子绑足(左)和男子未绑足的跖骨。
阳关寨明朝公墓女子绑足(左)和男子未绑足的跖骨。
Credit: Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Berger

The researchers noticed that the women's metatarsals,那是足弓里的长骨,仅存的几块脚趾骨也发生了巨大的变化。However,与少数已知的后来的脚部骨骼病例相比,在阳关寨发现的那些人的脚后跟周围有跗骨,没有那么明显的改变。虽然它们的尺寸略有减小,Berger said.她说:“这表明,在清朝,随着时间的推移,这种束缚的极端程度可能有所增加。”

Christine Lee,an anthropologist at California State University,Los Angeles,has also been studying archaeological evidence of foot-binding found in graves at the Xuecun archaeological site in China's Henan Province that date to the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Lee explained that there is normally an aversion to digging up graves that are less than 1,000 years old in China.“他们担心不小心打扰了他们的祖先,which would cause bad luck today," Lee said.Excavations on cemeteries from the last millennium,当练习绑脚的时候,除非坟墓面临被摧毁的威胁,否则是罕见的。The Xuecun site had to be dug up during recent rescue excavations as part of the world's largest water-diversion project,它是从Yangtze Riverto Beijing.

李也在研究一个小样本,但她注意到了一个普遍的模式:从明朝到清朝(1644-1911),妇女之间的缠足率似乎增加了。与实践的历史知识相适应。

Foot-binding became more widespread,especially among elite women,during the Qing Dynasty.During this era,Manchurian rulersin charge suppressed the culture of the Han Chinese ethnic group.One part of Han identity that couldn't be policed was foot-binding,正如妇女在家庭空间中所做的那样,Lee said,adding that the tradition could also have provided a way for women to escape their socioeconomic class.但是,几乎没有关于女性个人如何经历脚绑的历史记录。

“直到20世纪初,女性才有任何关于脚的文章,当他们呼吁废除它的时候,”李说。"So,what happened for those thousand years [before]?"

如果生物考古学家(那些在考古遗址专门研究骨骼残骸的人)不能完全重建女性对缠足的感觉,the researchers might at least be able to gain some insights into the physical experience.Berger and her colleagues wrote in their paper that most accounts of foot-binding before the 19th century didn't include explicit or 澳门金沙网络娱乐场technical explanations of the practice but simply described the feet as "slender," "pointed," "bowed" or shaped like lotuses.

"One of the things bioarchaeology can do is it can tell us about people's experiences that were never written down," Berger said,“现在我们可以看到了。”

Originally published on澳门金沙网上游戏.