Aug 18, 2016
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Jade figurines of the Hongshan culture (4700 to 3000 BCE), China

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Jade figurine of the type “horned demon” scanned from a book of the series “China Ancient Jade Collection” published in August 2005 (ISBN 7-80158-626-3, amazon). © Xu Qiang via Friends of Jade. This book carries extensive pictorial material on Hongshan jades artifacts as assembled by a private collector, a Mr. Xu Qiang of Shenyang, Liaoning Province. Mr. Xu is a director of the Liaoning Film Studio and got interested in ancient jades by his grandfather.

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The Hongshan Culture itself is the successor of much older Neolithic Cultures such as the Xinglongwa (≈ 5000BC), Zhaobaogou (≈4500BC) and Chahai (≈4000BC) ones which blossomed in what is now the Liaoning Province of the North East China and the eastern areas of Inner Mongolia.

(…) Jade seems to have had a particular role and position in the Hongshan Cultures as it is the principal and often the sole type of burial good. All the types of jades appear to have been of decorative nature either being worn directly on the body or sewed onto cloths or attached to wooden utensils.

(…) The most prominent and emblematic Hongshan Jade objects are the “Zhulong” or “pig dragon” and its large derivate, the so called “Crested pig dragon” or “Large C dragon” of the Sanxingtala site. The association with a pig, known to be revered in the Honghsan Culture, is given by the flat ended snout, big round eyes and flat ears.

(…) Other typical Hongshan Jade artifacts are represented by birds with spread wings, cicadas and similar insects and open work flat pendants of rectangular or square profile whose retained surfaces are scoped out as broad and smoothed groves.

(…) Other Hongshan specific jade artifacts are small seated statuettes of horned shamans or goods as also that of women not unlikely to similar ones found in European Neolithic sites.

More images from the book:

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