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China Perspectives
Hongshan culture and Honhshan jade

Hongshan culture and Honhshan jade

The Hongshan culture formed in a late Neolithic period, about 6000~5000 years ago. It located mainly in Liaohe region, an adjacent area of Liaoning province, Inner Mongolian province and Hebei province. In 2001, a "pyramid" was discovered by an archaeologist on a mountain ridge, about one kilometers away from the north of Sijiabei twon, Hebei province. The foundation of the "pyramid" is more than 30 meters long and 15 meters wide. In addition, 7 tombs and a goddess temple were unearthed on the top of the "pyramid". There are many shattered statue pieces, including female head, shoulder, hands, breast pieces. The face of the goddess was painted with red color, and her two eyes were embedded with green jade pieces. There are a lot of scattered pottery pieces with "*" character carved on the inner wall of pottery. In addition, a palm-long male genital is also unearthed.


A unique characteristic of Hongshan culture is the coexistence of pottery and stone and jade ware. There are very diverse classes of jade ware, which have different sizes from small ornament to huge ritual ware and can have usage in every aspect of the social functions. Hongshan culture jade article can be categorized into five classes: tool class, such as axe, spin, rod, etc.; ornament class, such as ring, bracelet, pin, tube, etc.; ritual ware class, such as bell, battel-axe, sei-annular pendant, Pei, etc; animal class, such as dragon, pig dragon, bird, turtule, silkworm, etc.; and statue class. The most representative pieces are "C"-shaped dragon and pig dragon. The manufacturing process of Hongshan jade articles utlized mill and polishing technique, such that there is no carving marks on the jade articles. The processing technique of Hongshan culture is quite different from that of Liangzhu culture. It was a general belif of Chinese archeologist that the process of Liangzhu Jade articles utilized teeth from shark, agate, and crystal. Japanese archaeologist think diamond was used for processing.
 
 
 

 

 
   
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