Fragment of human skull engraving, Shang dynasty, Bronze Age, Yin Ruins, Xiaotun, Anyang County, Henan Province, Collection of Institute of History and Linguistics, Academia Sinica, R040438.

Fragment of a human skull with the character "Wu" engraved on it.

After the Yin people conquered the enemy state, they often sacrificed their ancestors by capturing the heads of the enemy rulers. For example, there is a divination in which "the Qiang side is used by the sect, and Wang Shouyou", "the Qiang side is used for its use, and the king is received" ( "Will the head of the leader of the Qiang side be sacrificed in the ancestral temple, will the king be blessed?". See "Yin Ruins Text A" 507). After the divination, the Yin people will also engrave words on the skull of Fangbo to remember their events. There are not many human skulls that can be seen in the world, only about ten pieces. In addition to this one, there are two human skulls in the original collection, one has been lost, with the inscription "□ Fang Bo □ Qie Yi Fa" ("Oracle Bone Inscriptions Collection" 38758), and it is recorded that "the leader of a certain party was killed and sacrificed to ancestor Yi" The other is a collection, PR09326, with the inscription "Ugly used for bows and righteous friends" ("The Collection of Oracle Bone Inscriptions" 38762), the specific meaning is unknown.

Historical books have recorded the use of the head of the enemy leader as a drinking vessel. For example, "Zhao Ce of the Warring States" records that Zhao Xiangzi "used the head of Zhi Bo as a drinking vessel"; The king of the clan uses his head as a drinking vessel.” The custom is similar to this.