Material Custom in Changsha(A.D.235-237):Marriage and Age
032 , 2015-06
This paper considers the marital customs in Linxiang County, Changsha Commandery, through examining bamboo strips named Liminbo that were unearthed in Zoumalou (Changsha, Hunan Province); the period under consideration is the fourth to sixth year of Jiahe in the Wu Kingdom during the Three Kingdoms Era.Since it is easier for us to determine whether women were married or not, the following aspects are considered: their average age of first marriage, whether or not allot them were married, whether remarrying was common, and until what age they remarried.The average age of first marriage of women in Linxiang County was fifteen to twenty years old, which corresponds with the opinion of previous studies. Moreover, unmarried women in their twenties and thirties were extremely rare, and the large majority married by their twenties.Furthermore, the average life span in this period was around forty to fifty years, and the marriage rate of women who were to be married to men of the above age does not decline in their thirties, and only starts to decline in their sixties. Women in this era remarried after their husbands died, and it was common for them to continue remarrying until they were in their fifties. The fact that women got married for the first time in their late teens is related to their reaching childbearing age. Moreover, it seems that women could get married at a relatively old age due to the importance of their role in maintaining the household; they contributed to productive labor such as farming and also carried out much of the housework.