, Hangzhou, December 7th, title: Cultural Observation: "Lost" for more than 2,000 years, why did the Liangzhu jade cong appear in the tomb of the Western Zhou Dynasty?

  Reporter Tong Xiaoyu

  Can you imagine that a jade cong from the Liangzhu period crossed the Yangtze River and the Yellow River and appeared in the tomb of the Western Zhou Dynasty 2,000 years later?

  On December 6, the "Gloomy and Wenzai" Western Zhou Dynasty Jin State Jade Boutique Exhibition opened at the Liangzhu Museum in Hangzhou, Zhejiang. More than 170 pieces (groups) of cultural relics were exhibited on site, including jade, bronze and gold wares, and most of them came from the Marquis of Jin in the Western Zhou Dynasty. cemetery.

  This "traveling" jade cong is on display.

I saw two jade cong with very similar shapes lined up side by side in the showcase.

  One was unearthed at the Yaoshan site in Liangzhu. Because it had been buried deep underground for more than 5,000 years, its texture was affected by the weather. The whole body was chicken bone white with sharp edges and corners; the other was unearthed in the cemetery of the Marquis of Jin. .

Xu Tianjin hand-painted the pattern of jade cong.

Photo courtesy of Xu Tianjin

  Ma Dongfeng, executive director of the Liangzhu Museum (Liangzhu Research Institute), said that although the two were buried more than 2,000 years apart and were unearthed in different places, scientific identification shows that they both came from Liangzhu more than 5,000 years ago.

"It's like brothers who have been separated for thousands of years, and now they finally meet."

  Why did this jade cong "leave its homeland"?

What has it experienced in the "lost" more than 2,000 years?

Why did it appear in the tomb of the Western Zhou Dynasty?

Ma Dongfeng said frankly that because there is no written record, it is impossible to give a definite answer to this question.

  Xu Tianjin, director of the Liangzhu Museum, believes that this jade cong must not have "wandered" directly from Liangzhu to the Western Zhou Dynasty, but should have been handed down after the Xia and Shang dynasties.

  From a historical point of view, Liangzhu and the Western Zhou Dynasty were separated by the Xia and Shang dynasties, and the jade cong may have passed through the hands of several generations during the thousands of years.

As a symbolic object of Liangzhu culture, jade cong has a wide spread and influence.

The Liangzhu jade cong was also unearthed at the Jinsha site in southwest China. The shape of the jade cong also appeared in the Qijia culture and the Shanxi Taosi culture, which shows the wide range of influence of the Liangzhu culture.

  What happened to this jade cong during the Xia and Shang dynasties is unknown. Xu Tianjin speculates that the jade cong unearthed from the cemetery of the Marquis of Jin may have been a reward from the King of Zhou.

  Documents record that when King Wu of Zhou conquered Shang, he captured "four thousand old precious jades, and eighty thousand penny jades." Such a huge amount of old jade from the previous dynasty was rewarded to Clan hero.

The cemetery of the Marquis of Jin is the burial place of the early kings of the Jin Kingdom, and the owner of the tomb or his ancestors should be among the rewards.

The five-huang jade pendant unearthed from the cemetery of the Marquis of Jin.

Photo by Tong Xiaoyu

  In fact, not only this jade cong, but also many cultural relics from the Shijiahe Culture and Qijia Culture more than 4,000 years ago in the exhibition hall, all of which were unearthed in the tomb of the Marquis of Jin.

This shows that the handing down of jade cong is not an exception.

  From the perspective of cultural relics transformation, this jade cong has traces of post-processing.

Xu Tianjin showed reporters the patterns and drawings of two jade cong, and some details that were difficult to see on the cultural relics became clear at this moment.

  For example, in the "original" jade cong unearthed from the Yaoshan site, the lines depicting the god-man-beast face pattern are slightly astringent, blunt, and not smooth, which is related to the processing technology at that time.

The pattern of the jade cong unearthed from the Jinhou cemetery is obviously round and smooth.

  The biggest change is that the craftsmen removed some of the spiral patterns on the Liangzhu jade cong, and replaced them with cloud and thunder patterns, which are common patterns on bronzes of the Shang Dynasty.

  Ma Dongfeng said that although the changes in the patterns on the jade cong show that the ancestors of Liangzhu and the people of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties did not believe in the same god, their understanding of jade and the source of their worship of jade culture can be traced back to the Liangzhu period .

Jade Bi on display.

Photo by Tong Xiaoyu

  The appearance of a jade cong may be a coincidence, but at the exhibition site, more jade wares with Liangzhu characteristics from the tomb of the Marquis of Jin, such as jade bi, jade axe, jade huang, etc., are on display, which proves this conclusion. This is also a manifestation of the diversity and unity of Chinese civilization.

  For example, jade cong, jade axe, and jade bi were often seen in later Shang and Zhou jade ritual vessels, and the earliest systematic appearance of them was in the Liangzhu culture period.

  The reporter saw at the scene that in terms of shape and function, the jade bis of the Western Zhou Dynasty and Liangzhu are almost the same.

"Zhou Li" says "Cangbi honors heaven, and yellow cong honors land", which refers to the sacrificial function of jade bi and jade cong.

During the Liangzhu period, the status of jade cong was higher than that of jade bi, and it appeared more often in high-level tombs, and was used by the ancestors of Liangzhu to reach the sky.

  There is a copper cong-shaped vessel in the display cabinet, which is completely cast in the style of the Qijia-style jade cong. Xu Tianjin said, "This may be the earliest cultural creation." Its function is of course completely different from the original sacrificial function of the jade cong.

  The Longquan kiln in the Song Dynasty also fired celadon in the shape of jade cong, which was used as a container.

  But no matter how the use is changed, what can be seen is the influence of Liangzhu civilization on Chinese civilization, and the influence of Liangzhu jade culture on the Chinese nation.

For example, the king's scepter in the Liangzhu period, the jade axe, also became a symbol of power in the Western Zhou Dynasty. Finally, due to the improvement of materials, it was upgraded to a copper axe; At that time, Huang was one of the six vessels representing the ritual system.

  Perhaps, this is also the reason why Xu Tianjin named the exhibition "Depressed and Wenzai".

This is taken from a famous saying of Confucius: "Zhou Jian was in the second generation, and he was so depressed that he was literary, and I follow Zhou".

What the Zhou Dynasty borrowed from the Xia and Shang dynasties was not only politics and etiquette systems, but also rich and colorful material and cultural achievements.

The Chinese civilization also has a long history due to its long history, and it has always been full of vitality through continuous development through inheritance.