The earliest version of the "Book of Songs" in known existence was recently unveiled after Chinese researchers restored bamboo slips from 2,400 years ago.
The 93 slips, crafted during the Warring States Period (475 BC-221 BC), are 48.5 centimeters long and 0.6 centimeters wide each, and feature 58 poems from the "Book of Songs."
Proclaimed as a Confucian classic, "The Book of Songs," which dates from the Western Zhou Dynasty to the Spring and Autumn Period (1100 BC-476 BC), features at least 305 poems and is the oldest existing collection of Chinese poetry in the world.
"This version of 'The Book of Songs' is of great value in the research of Chinese philology, linguistics, philology, literature, ancient ideology and culture," said Xu Zaiguo, a professor of Anhui University in Hefei, capital of Anhui province, East China.
Bamboo slips were used before paper was invented, around 100 AC The slips were tied together to make scrolls.
"The Book of Songs" was part of a rare collection of 1,167 bamboo slips acquired by Anhui University in 2015.