Photos show the jadeware, excavated in November from Tianmen county, Hubei province, include (clockwise from top left) a tiger, double-head figurine, two birds, human head and curved cicada.[Photo provided by Shijiahe Relics Archaeological Team of Hubei Provincial Archaeological Research Institution]
Today the figures, unearthed in November in Central China, are communicating a different story: Leading experts from both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan believe the discovery of a large amount of jadeware at a late Neolithic burial site in November are a missing link, a key to prove that jade culture in the Shang Dynasty (c. 16th century-11th century BC) was profoundly influenced and may have been inherited from the late Neolithic jade culture in the midstream region of the Yangtze River.
Unlike previous Shijiahe jades excavated nearby-which are simple in design and crafting-the pieces found last year, about 240 in total, represent what is likely the highest level of jade art in China or even eastern Asia, according to Fang Qin, director of the Hubei Provincial Archaeological Research Institution.
The sophisticated jade carvings and sculptures dating back to about 4,000 years ago, were excavated in Tianmen county, Hubei province. Previous archaeological research and excavations there have determined that the pieces were made in the late Shijiahe Culture (2,500 BC-2,000 BC) period, a late Neolithic culture that succeeded the Qujialing Culture (3,400 BC-2,600 BC) in the same region with rare artifact and design of painted spindle whorls.
China's age-old jade tradition is characterized by many innovations in different cultures and dynasties.
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