Green mysteries

Updated: 2016-01-19 08:50

By Lei Xiaoxun/Zhou Lihua/Liu Kun(China Daily)

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Green mysteries

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]

Some of the jadeware shapes of Shijiahe, such as the cicada or openwork plaque mimicking a long (Chinese dragon) or a human head, were inherited in the Shang and later dynasties.

"Although Hongshan Culture jades and Liangzhu Culture jades are undoubtedly prominent representatives of Neolithic ancient Chinese jades, the two cultures died and vanished after peaking in their own times", says the Aurora Museum's Wu.

"Shijiahe jade is still the most important origin of ancient Chinese jades," he says, adding that much more splendid and exquisite Shijiahe jades are expected to be unearthed in future excavations, because the current collections have been found from low or middle-level urn-burial sites.

"Surprises will arise from those large-scale tomb sites," he says.

While archaeological and research work is ongoing in the Tianmen county area, museum officials say the recently unearthed jades will be on public display later this year or the next.