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Article

D. S. Rayevsky

Term used to describe an art dominated by animal themes, associated with a series of 1st-millennium bc cultures of the Eurasian steppes, extending from Central Europe to the Ordos region of north-west China.

The Animal style is characteristic of a series of cultures, including the ...

Article

Baoji  

Li Liu

Chinese city in Shaanxi Province, where several important sites from the Neolithic to Eastern Zhou periods (c. 6500–256 bc) have been discovered. A Neolithic village site was excavated in 1958–60 and 1977–8 at Beishouling. The cultural deposits found belong to the Laoguantai culture and the Yangshao culture, dated by radiocarbon analysis to ...

Article

Jenny F. So

Functional personal accessory used in China from the Eastern Zhou period (771–256 bc) to the 2nd century ad, after which elaborate forms evolved with a purely symbolic and decorative purpose. The typical Chinese belthook (also sometimes garment hooks), which was worn by both men and women, was made of ...

Article

Chu  

Chinese state that flourished during the Zhou period (c. 1050–256 bc). Abundant literary and archaeological sources give evidence about the state of Chu: the Zhanguo ce (‘Discourses of the Warring States’; compiled in the 1st century bc from earlier sources), Chu ci (‘Songs of Chu’; ...

Article

Mary S. Lawton

Wall stretching across northern China from Hebei Province in the north-east through Shanxi, Shaanxi and Ningxia provinces to Gansu Province in the west (see fig.). Running through inhospitable mountains and deserts, with numerous offshoots and parallel structures, it is one of the most spectacular feats of engineering in the history of the world. Although it was built primarily as a defence against the Central Asian nomads, it also provided a relatively efficient thoroughfare for the movement of troops, horses and supplies across difficult terrain. According to the traditional Chinese view, the wall also created a spiritual and physical barrier between the ‘superior’ and sedentary culture of China and the ‘inferior’ culture of its nomadic neighbours....

Article

Houma  

Robert W. Bagley

City in southern Shanxi Province, China. The Eastern Zhou (771–256 bc) state of Jin had its capital at Houma (anc. Xintian) from 585 bc until the dissolution of the state in 453 bc. Archaeological work has been carried out at the site since the 1950s, and a number of major finds have been reported....

Article

Jincun  

Bent Nielsen

Site in Henan Province, China, c. 115 km north-east of Luoyang. Eight tombs of the late Warring States period (403–221 bc) were discovered there. Lavishly furnished with objects of jade, glass, gold, silver, bronze and similar materials, the tombs were looted by local people from ...

Article

Bonnie Abiko

Period in Japanese archaeological and cultural chronology (see Japan, §I, 2). The term Jōmon means ‘cord-mark design’ and was first applied by Morse, Edward Sylvester in 1879 to a period in Japanese prehistory during which pottery with this distinctive type of surface patterning was produced. The Jōmon period extends over ten millennia from ...

Article

J. Edward Kidder jr

Japanese site near Kizukuri, Aomori Prefecture, and the name applied both to a large class of pottery made in northern Japan in the Latest Jōmon period (c. 1000-c. 300 bc) and to the culture that produced such wares. Referred to in feudal land records as early as ...

Article

Pazyryk  

L. L. Barkova

Site of barrows located 1600 m above sea-level on the upper reaches of the Biya River in the Gorno–Altay Mountains, on the border between Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. During the 1st millennium bc the high valleys of the Altay region were inhabited by nomads with large herds of cattle. Their barrows or burial mounds (6th–4th century ...

Article

Colin Mackenzie

Site in Hebei Province, China, the capital of the ancient Chinese state of Zhongshan and the necropolis of its rulers. Zhongshan was established by the Di people during the Spring and Autumn period (722–481 bc). Overthrown in 406 bc, it was re-established in ...

Article

Li Liu

Site near Sanmenxia in northern Henan Province, China. A cemetery for the nobility of the state of Guo (annexed by the state of Chu in 655 bc) was excavated here in 1956–7 and dated to a period ranging from the late part of the Western Zhou (...

Article

Harald Böckman

Chinese burial site in Jinning County, 56 km south-west of Kunming, Yunnan Province. The site comprises 13 tombs of kings and nobles of the kingdom of Dian, dating from the late Eastern Zhou (771–256 bc) to Han (206 bcad 220) periods. They yielded a spectacular assemblage of bronze artefacts made by the lost-wax process, the most prominent of which are bronze drums and drum-shaped cowrie-shell receptacles. The most significant artistic features of the bronzes are the mature level of artistic execution of the decoration on the drums and receptacles and the graphic and plastic portrayal of human and animal figures. The graphic representations are found on the drums, whereas the human and animal figurines are found on the lids of the receptacles or as individual artefacts. These representations of Dian ritual and daily life are unique in the bronze art of China and South-east Asia. The animal-style ornamentation found on the Shizhaishan bronzes may have been inspired by the ...

Article

Alain Thote

County in Anhui Province, China, near the city of Huainan. Many remains of the Eastern Zhou period (771–256 bc) have been found in the area, which throughout the 6th century bc and the beginning of the 5th was the subject of dispute between the principality of Cai (annexed ...

Article

Suizhou  

Alain Thote

Small town in Hubei Province, central southern China. The tomb of the Marquis Yi of Zeng, who died in 433 bc or shortly after, was discovered near by, at Leigudun. Excavated in 1978, Tomb 1 at Leigudun represents a major source for the princely art of the Eastern Zhou period (...

Article

Bent Nielsen

Administrative city and district (diqu) in Hebei Province, China. Outside the city of Tangshan a site dating from the Warring States period (403–221 bc) of the Zhou dynasty was excavated in 1950–52. Urn and pit burials were discovered, and near by, stone coffin burials. The pit burials contained a variety of pottery and bronze artefacts, including bronze tools (awls and adzes), weapons such as swords and arrow-heads, coins and various types of vessel. Decorative elements are those characteristic of the period: naturalistic and stylized animals such as dragons (...

Article

Wujin  

Bent Nielsen

County in the southern part of Jiangsu Province, China, where in 1957 a group of 13 bronze vessels was excavated at Yancheng. They were recovered from a moat of the ancient capital of the state of Yue, which occupied the area of modern Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces in the Spring and Autumn period (...

Article

Xiasi  

Colin Mackenzie

Chinese necropolis in Xichuan County, Henan Province, consisting of 25 tombs and 5 chariot pits dating from the late 7th century bc to the late 6th. Tomb M2, the largest tomb, has a shaft measuring 9.2×6.5 m in plan, at the bottom of which was a wooden coffin chamber measuring 7.7×4.5 m; the tomb probably belonged to an official of the southern state of Chu, ...

Article

Xinyang  

Alain Thote

City and district in southern Henan Province, China. Two large tombs, generally considered to date from the 4th century bc, were found at Changtaiguan, north of the city of Xinyang. Tomb 1 probably belonged to a dignitary of the southern state of Chu .

The two tombs, like those at Changsha in Hunan Province and at Shou xian in Anhui Province, display many features typical of Chu culture and are a testament to its widespread influence. They have wooden, compartmentalized ‘outer coffins’, like the tombs found in the ...

Article

Alain Thote

County and small county town in Henan Province, China. In 1923 approximately 100 stylistically diverse bronzes, ranging in date from the 8th to the 6th century bc, were discovered at Lijialou during the digging of a well. The site is probably the tomb of a prince of the small state of Zheng, who reigned during the first half of the 6th century ...