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Ritual implement
Place of Origin: China, Jiangsu province or Zhejiang province
Date: 3300-2200 BCE
Historical Period: Neolithic period (approx. 6000-2000 BCE)
Materials: Nephrite
Dimensions: Diam. 12 5/8 in x Th. 5/8 in, Diam. 32.1 cm x Th. 1.59 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: Chinese Art
Collection: Jade And Stones
Object Number: B60J957
On Display: Yes
Location: Gallery 14
Culture: Liangzhu culture

Description

Label:

While their use is not fully known, the number of bi found in burials of the Neolithic period indicate that they were of great importance as early as 5000 years ago or more. Over time, the bi came to be one of the six standard jade objects used in imperial and other rituals. By the Han dynasty, it had come to symbolize the sky and served as a political token.

The Liangzhu was one of a sequence of jade-working Neolithic cultures located along the lower Yangzi river basin. This is one of the two largest known examples of Liangzhu bi; it is nearly twice as large as the standard bi. The edge of this piece was incised with line work consisting of twenty-two connected meander designs. These are commonly interpreted as cloud scrolls.


Label:

While their use is not fully known, the number of bi found in burials of the Neolithic period indicate that they were of great importance as early as 5000 years ago or more. Over time, the bi came to be one of the six standard jade objects used in imperial and other rituals. By the Han dynasty, it had come to symbolize the sky and served as a political token.

The Liangzhu was one of a sequence of jade-working Neolithic cultures located along the lower Yangzi river basin. This is one of the two largest known examples of Liangzhu bi; it is nearly twice as large as the standard bi. The edge of this piece was incised with line work consisting of twenty-two connected meander designs. These are commonly interpreted as cloud scrolls.