Map of the Grand Canal, Source of Water Conservancy, in Shandong Province


This map, folded as in accordion pleating, a style also known as sutra binding, has no frames on the pages. Executed in the traditional Chinese painting style, the map depicts the Grand Canal in Shandong Province during the middle of Qing dynasty, with south on the right and north on the left. This section of the Grand Canal began from Huanglin Zhuang, the juncture of Pizhou, north of Jiangnan (present-day Jiangsu Province), and Yixian, south of Shandong. It meandered northwards, passing on its way more than 30 cities and counties, beginning with Yixian, and then Tengxian, Laiwu, Sishui, Yutai, Zouxian, Qufu, Yanzhou Fu, Taishan Zhou, Jinxiang, Jining Zhou, Ningyang, Danxian, Jiaxiang, Feicheng, Chengwu, Pingyang, Wenshang, Caozhou Fu, Dongping Zhou, Yanggu, Yuncheng, Boping, Tangyi, Jiping, Guantao, Qinghe, Xiajin, Wucheng, and Gucheng, and ending, at the juncture of Dezhou and Zheyuan Zhen, with Jingzhou (a city administered directly by the capital). The canal flowed into Weishan Lake at Tengxian, then Zhaoyang Lake, and many other lakes. In its path were many small and large tributary rivers, such as the Wenhe and Sihe, with some of their courses depicted as densely woven as nets. Also indicated are numerous springs, all named, spreading around the tributaries. All the tributaries as well as lakes, mountains, forests, cities, villages, bridges, monasteries, pagodas, temples, sluiceways, dams, sandbanks, sluice gates, distances between locations, and depths of water are noted. For example, a brief note at the beginning reads: “The Shandong Canal begins at Huanglin Zhuang, bordering Pizhou, south of Jiangnan, and ends at Zheyuan Zhen, bordering Jingzhou. The distance is measured at 1,125 li [1 li = 576 meters] and 180 bu [1 bu = 1.6 meters].” These words summarize the entire map. Such notes appear at other places on the map, written in very small characters, in orderly and aesthetic brush strokes. The very detailed descriptions indicate that the map was made by the river-transport authorities of the Shandong branch of the Grand Canal. Very few maps exist from the Qing dynasty, especially maps of the Grand Canal. This map depicts only the Shandong section of the canal, but it is treasured for its precision and detail.


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1 volume : 419 centimeters x 22.7 centimeters, unfolded

Last updated: June 25, 2015