China News Service, Beijing, February 21 (Reporter Sun Zifa) Miniature bird statues at the "Xuchang People" site, white pottery from Gaomiao, human face from Shuangdun pottery, Yangshao painted pottery, Hongshan Yulong, Liangzhu microcarving, Shimao stone carving, Erlitou Turquoise Dragon...

Erlitou Turquoise Dragon, also known as "Super National Treasure".

Photo by China News Agency reporter Sun Zifa

  On the prehistoric sites of the "starry sky" of Chinese civilization, the unearthed artistic remains are even more star-studded. These "high-value" prehistoric arts have influenced each other, borrowed from each other, and laid deep roots for the five thousand years of continuous development of Chinese culture. Thick veins.

Pottery sculpture human faces from 7,300 years ago were unearthed at the Shuangdun site in Anhui.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Sun Zifa

A "beautiful bird" dating back 13,500 years

  In December 2020, "a miniature bird statue unearthed from the Henan Xuchang people" site was selected as one of the top ten new archaeological discoveries in the world in 2020 by the American Archaeological Society.

This miniature bird statue is 13,500 years old and is the oldest sculpture ever discovered in China. It advances the performance of birds in Chinese art by more than 8,000 years, and becomes the fossil skull of Xuchang human beings unearthed from 80,000 to 100,000 years ago. After the exquisite fine stone tools, the site has another major archaeological discovery.

A miniature bird statue of 13,500 years ago was unearthed from the "Xuchang People" site.

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  Gao Xing, a researcher at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that the miniature bird sculptures are small and exquisite and lively in shape, reflecting the ancient humans' superb carving techniques and the meticulous observation of natural images and the high level of imitating and creative ability.

  He believes that this is an important archaeological discovery about ancient human technology, thinking, and aesthetic pursuits. It is very important for studying the technological level, aesthetic and idea expression ability of humans at that time, and the migration and communication of human groups between regions.

  It is understood that the miniature bird sculpture is made of evenly grilled deer antlers, exquisitely carved with a fine stone carver. The carving art is superb, the technique is exquisite, the bird's body has simple and smooth lines, perfect shape, and full of movement in calmness.

The engraved lines on the wings imply feathers, which are very detailed and lifelike.

It is 2.1 cm in length, 1.2 cm in height, and 0.6 cm in thickness. It is very well preserved, with clear engraving traces displayed locally.

  Researcher Li Zhanyang, an excavator of the miniature bird sculpture fossil and archaeologist, said that the feet of the sculptured bird are carved with symmetrical grooves at the front and rear ends, forming a very flat base.

If the bird is placed on a flat surface, it can stand steadily and be able to rotate, indicating that humans have mastered the principle of center of gravity balance at that time.

The "shocking beauty" of white pottery art: abstract elements, fashionable expression

  "The information revealed by the'Xuchang people' miniature bird sculpture fossils has brought us many reveries. This fossil-level immortal work of art must begin to lead the direction of the art trend."

  Wang Renxiang, a researcher and archaeologist at the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, pointed out that art was a flying banner of belief in prehistoric times. Chinese ancestors created gods in prehistoric times and used different art forms to express the image of gods.

Researcher Wang Renxiang instructed elementary and middle school students to conduct archaeological excavations.

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  He combed and said that the prehistoric god-making movement in China can be summarized as three art forms: white pottery, painted pottery and jade, which promoted the formation of three art waves.

"The prehistoric era has left countless artworks, which record the spiritual pursuits of the ancestors of that era."

  Although white pottery was discovered later than painted pottery and jade in the first wave of art, white pottery existed 8,000 years ago, earlier than painted pottery and jade, mainly in the south of the Yangtze River, and concentrated in Hunan.

There are many patterns on white pottery, not by painting, but by grate embossing.

Archaeologists introduced images of white pottery art in Gaomiao, Hunan.

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  The pattern imprinted by white pottery with grate points, its shocking beauty "can be said to be too beautiful, but also too mysterious."

The composition on the white pottery, "so abstract elements, so fashionable expression, so obscure intentions, so delicate production, this is an unexpected soul art".

  Painted pottery in the second wave of art is about 7000 to 5000 years ago. The Yangshao culture, the first archeological culture in China, is the prehistoric culture represented by painted pottery.

The wave aroused by painted pottery spreads the traditional and spiritual culture of painted pottery, a typical representative of the Yangshao culture, to a wider area. This shows that a cultural identity is a large-scale cultural identity in the formation of Chinese civilization.

Exquisite colored pottery exhibits unearthed.

China News Agency reporter Sun Zifa photo by Sun Zifa

  The painted pottery of Miaodigou culture has a huge proliferation power. “It makes us clearly feel that a large-scale artistic wave appeared in prehistoric China, and the internal driving force of the wave is the appeal of painted pottery culture itself.”

This dissemination is a process of cultural convergence. Painted pottery not only affected people’s lives and beliefs at the time, but also transcended history and region, bringing the traditions of ancient and modern to the same line. "We now see a lot of patterns and graphics, which can be found in painted pottery. Find the source".

An introduction to the exhibition of exquisite painted pottery unearthed.

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  The third wave of art jade is about 5,500 to 4,000 years ago. The focus is on the three jade bi, jade cong and jade yue pieces of the jade in the Liangzhu culture. The source may be traced back to the Hemudu culture 7000-5000 years ago. .

Xinglongwa cultural jade display.

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  Liangzhu jade carvings are extremely exquisite. The line density of the "sacred emblem" pattern on the "Cong King" is 1 cm wide. More than 20 lines are required. In terms of image, a line is carved between the two lines of the fingerprint. The difficulty is imaginable. And know.

"The micro-carving of the jade of Liangzhu people is actually to see the spirit in the fineness. Maybe it is to pursue a realm that ordinary people can't reach. This is an ingenious way to master the spirit. He has to cut it over and over again, day by day. , Carving from month to month is not only technology, but also spirit."

  Wang Renxiang pointed out that prehistoric jade carvings, white pottery and painted pottery art produced the "high value" are the crystallization of this spirit, "Why do we imitate painted pottery and jade now? It doesn’t have that charm, because you don’t have it in your heart. The goal in his heart, you can't enter that god, so you can't make or make such a great work."

In prehistoric China, there were "face value" contests and exchanges between North and South

  What is the relationship between the three art waves experienced by the Chinese prehistoric god-making movement?

Researcher Wang Renxiang, who has long devoted himself to the study of prehistoric symbols, rock paintings, and various unearthed relics and patterns, said that about 8000-4000 years ago, a large-scale popular artistic creativity in the north and south regions of prehistoric China-the fangs god face, was very popular. Emphasizing the details of the fangs, this implies that there were artistic exchanges and belief identifications between North and South China in prehistoric times.

Researcher Wang Renxiang introduced the prehistoric fangs god face art.

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  He said that there were many god-making movements in prehistoric humans. Among a large number of ancient artworks, archaeology found that many gods were "armed" with fangs. The gods had big eyes and fangs. A hideous appearance is roughly a common practice in the performance of prehistoric art.

  Prehistoric China produced art of fangs god face art, which was found in the north and south nearly 8,000 years ago. The white pottery of the Gaomiao culture in the south and the stone carvings of the Xinglongwa culture in the north can be seen.

Xinglongwa culture has also discovered in archeology that jade products have fangs carved on the face of gods, which only show the mouth and teeth, and generally even the eyes are omitted.

  At the same time, the face of fangs is also painted on the colored pottery of Yangshao Culture, and only a pair of lower fangs are seen, which is very vivid.

The god face and statues of Liangzhu are decorated on some ceremonial vessels such as jade plates, jade yue and jade cong. The god faces are carved with fangs that cast upward and downward, showing solemnity and majesty.

  Wang Renxiang said that the archaeological study of the fangs god face in prehistoric Chinese artistic creativity showed that its prevalence was about 8000-4000 years ago, and it was popular in the north and south. The fangs are basically similar in composition, with a pair of upper and lower teeth, and upper teeth. The style is in the same vein.

"In this way, the Fang God has a large-scale and long-term identity in prehistory, which can be determined to be the identity of worship and belief."

The image of Aohan Tao people in Hongshan Culture is lifelike.

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Does it look like Jacky Cheung in the emoji pack?

Screenshot of the movie

  He believes that the wave of jade carving after prehistoric Chinese painted pottery has spread to the four major rivers from north to south, and jade ritual vessels have become a symbol of cultural identity, and the prelude to Eastern civilization opens.

The two have the same artistic tradition, using the same spin element to set off a god-making movement, forming a cosmological outlook dominated by yin and yang, and laying the cultural foundation of a unified Chinese culture.

Modern fashion elements are in the same line as prehistoric colored pottery

  For Wang Renxiang, director of the Public Archaeology Steering Committee of the Chinese Archaeological Society, the dazzling array of "high-value" art remains in prehistoric China is the "protagonist" colored pottery of the second wave of art that is most valued and fond of.

A small-mouthed, pointed-bottom bottle was unearthed at the Yangshao site.

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  This public archaeologist believes that science and art are two important indicators of the degree of social and cultural development.

Painted pottery is a creation of art plus science. Pottery making techniques and the artistic principles of painted pottery construction have been passed down to this day, benefiting today's science and art.

  He introduced that the style of Chinese prehistoric painted pottery is embodied in red and black two-color display patterns and two-sided continuous composition in colors and patterns.

The color of painted pottery is generally light red, the color of painted pottery is black, and the contrast between black and red is strong.

Sometimes a layer of white is applied first for the ground color, and the contrast between black and white is more vivid.

Exquisite colored pottery basins photographed and displayed by the audience.

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  The painted pottery of Miaodigou culture in the Yangshao culture is a combination of black, red, and white. The main color is a combination of red and black, and white and black. It is rare that the red color is directly painted, but it is very cleverly borrowed from the red that comes with the pottery. Treated as a ground color or background color, this is a very important pottery technique in prehistoric times.

Exquisite colored pottery exhibits unearthed.

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  Miaodigou cultural colored pottery led the prehistoric art trend. From the perspective of art form, the two-sided continuous composition of Miaodigou colored pottery is one of the most obvious features. Its decoration is endlessly continuous and cyclic, showing a kind of endless Endless artistic conception is the most basic artistic principle of painted pottery in Miaodigou culture, and it is also a solid foundation for ancient Chinese art to be constructed in prehistoric times.

The archaeologist introduced the exquisite colored pottery during the lecture.

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  Wang Renxiang pointed out that the Majiayao culture in the northwest is a painted pottery culture developed after the Miaodigou culture. The number of painted pottery found in the Majiayao culture is unique in China and even in the world.

"We can even infer that the painted pottery art of the Majiayao people is a kind of'national art'. At that time, people not only admired painted pottery and cherished painted pottery, but maybe many people can make painted pottery, and many people are experts in painting painted pottery."

A display of white pottery 盉 unearthed in Erlitou.

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  The significance of the existence and spread of painted pottery in prehistoric times was underestimated in the past.

The dissemination of painted pottery marks the convergence of ancient Chinese national artistic thinking and practice, as well as a deeper cultural identity.

In this sense, the wave of painted pottery art may have marked a cultural fusion in the history of China.

A display of pottery drums unearthed from the Taosi site.

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  Regardless of the choice of subject matter and the composition of the decoration, painted pottery has reached a very perfect state.

The composition rules of colored pottery, the principle of using colors, and the art system established by colored pottery have had a profound impact on the development of ancient Chinese art.

Are the gray pottery cups about 4000 years old familiar?

Does it look like a coffee cup in your hand?

China News Agency reporter Sun Zifa

  Wang Renxiang said that even today, some trademark patterns and many elements in decorative patterns similar to painted pottery compositions can be found in the remains of prehistoric painted pottery.

"Many of the fashionable elements seen in modern times, when compared with painted pottery, we will find that they have not undergone any fundamental changes, and the artistic tradition is in the same line."

  The "face value" of ancient jade is breathtaking

  Speaking of prehistoric China’s "high-value" art, Deng Cong, an archaeologist who is known for his micro-mark research and a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Shandong University, said that as the most characteristic jade culture in the inheritance of Chinese civilization, the mining and carving of jade has already existed in China With a history of more than 10,000 years, the minerals used in ancient jade include products such as nephrite, agate and turquoise.

Professor Deng Cong introduced the jade cong unearthed at the Taosi site.

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  In his opinion, the three sets of jade production techniques and artistic modeling, Xinglongwa nephrite earrings, Liangzhu jade cong king, and Erlitou large turquoise dragon, can be called the culmination of prehistoric Chinese jade art, and the expression of "face value" It's breathtaking.

  Among them, a pair of nephrite earrings, yellow-green Xiuyan nephrite unearthed at the Xinglongwa site in Inner Mongolia, are almost perfectly round, and they are probably manufactured using advanced wheel and axle machinery.

More subtle is that the size and weight of the two are exactly the same. The diameter is also 4.7 cm and the weight is 23 grams, which is very symmetrical.

The jade earrings have warm and delicate jade quality, round appearance, and exquisite processing technology, which can be said to be the representative of the prehistoric jade of the world.

Display of prehistoric "high-value" jadeware.

Photo courtesy of Deng Cong

  A piece of Liangzhu culture jade Cong unearthed more than 5,000 years ago at the Fanshan site in Zhejiang Province is known as King Cong, representing the unprecedented level of jade microcarving technology in the prehistoric period of China.

The side of King Cong is engraved with bas-relief and micro-engraving with numerous images of bird patterns, gods, humans, and beasts. In a space of 1 mm wide, micro-engravings can be filled with 4 to 5 micro-engraved vortex combinations of 0.2 mm.

The exquisite patterns of "King Cong" unearthed in Liangzhu are breathtaking.

Photo courtesy of Deng Cong

  Deng Cong said that the sculptures on the four sides of the jade cong, with a total length of about 68 cm, are the most magnificent micro-engraved masterpieces of the Neolithic Age in China, and they are well-deserved.

As the subject of micro-engraving, King Cong's magnificent style of jade craftsmanship, the huge scale of the split, swallowed thousands of miles, from the design to the final completion, he upholds amazing courage and perseverance, which can be described as ingenious.

Exquisitely inlaid with turquoise beast face patterns unearthed in Erlitou.

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  The third piece is a large turquoise dragon-shaped object unearthed in Erlitou, Yanshi, Henan Province, about 3700 years ago. It is huge in shape, three-dimensional structure, square mysterious giant, curvy curled tail, gorgeous color, green in the middle. With blue, extremely luxurious.

The part of the dragon head when the Erlitou Turquoise Dragon was unearthed.

Photo courtesy of Deng Cong

  This turquoise dragon, known as a "super national treasure", is composed of more than 2,000 pieces of turquoise inserts of various shapes. The length and width of the turquoise inserts are only 0.2 to 0.9 cm, and the thickness is only 0.1 About centimeters.

"Most of the inserts are processed with different side bevels to make the inserts three-dimensionally combined, presenting a visually seamless special process, and it is also the best representative of the early three-dimensional insert components in the world." Deng Cong said.