Ritual Cong

Title: Ritual implement (cong),

Date Created: approx. 3400-2200 BCE

Location Created: China; Jiangsu province or Zhejiang province

Physical Dimensions: H. 5.7 cm x W. 9.2 cm x D. 9.2 cm

Type: Jade and Stones

The ritual cong depicted above was one of many found in the Lower Reach area of the Yangtze River. The Liangzhu society was known for the carving of quartz and jade into ceremonial artifacts etc. Although a grueling process that was time consuming the Liangzhu culture was partially centered around their prominence in their ability to carve these hard and difficult stones. Two of the most unique and central shapes of artifacts found in Liangzhu artifacts are the cong (pictured above) and the bi, a type of perforated disk. ”¬†According to the ancient ritual text Rites of Zhou, a brown cong symbolized the square earth while a green bi represented the spherical heaven.” Above would be an earth cong with a bull or monster face engraved on the sides of the material. Over time the Liangzhu society perfected the skill of engraving these faces and they became more intricate and fancy. The value of jade also went up as it was considered the most precious type of stone to the Liangzhu society.

Sources: Asian Art and Architecture Image Database WordPress


Joey Pimlott AHI/EAS 104

Author: Joseph Pimlott

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