Skip to main content
×
×
Home

A jade parrot from the tomb of Fu Hao at Yinxu and Liao sacrifices of the Shang Dynasty

  • Rong Wang (a1), Chang-sui Wang (a2) and Ji-gen Tang (a3)
Abstract

The importance of jade in the burnt offerings of the Shang Dynasty known as ‘Liao sacrifice’ has long been known from documentary evidence, but has yet to be scientifically verified. We present the results of non-destructive analyses of a jade parrot excavated from the tomb of imperial consort Fu Han at Yinxu in Henan Province. Analyses revealed the presence of diopside, an outcome of phase transition from tremolite resulting from heating in antiquity. This provides the first scientific evidence that the Shang Dynasty used jade in Liao sacrifice, and confirms oracle bone inscriptions and later records concerning the ritual.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence (Email: wangrong@fudan.edu.cn)
References
Hide All
Beck, R.J. 1981. A new development in understanding the prehistoric usage of nephrite in New Zealand, in Leach, F. & Davison, J. (ed.) Archaeological studies of Pacific stone resources: 21–9. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports.
Belyankin, D.S. & Donskaya, E.V.. 1939. Thermo-optical investigation of actinolite. Academic Science. Union of Socialist Soviet Republics Bullet 1: 95104.
The CPAM of Shanghai. 2000. FUQUANSHAN—report on the excavation of the Neolithic site. Beijing: Cultural Relics.
The CPAM of Sichuan Province, Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology & Guanghan Municipal Bureau of Culture. 1987. Brief excavation report on no. 1 sacrifice pit at Sanxingdui site, Guanghan. Cultural Relics 10: 115 & 97–101.
The CPAM of Sichuan Province, Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology & Guanghan Municipal Bureau of Culture. 1989. Brief excavation report on no. 2 sacrifice pit at Sanxingdui site, Guanghan. Cultural Relics 5: 120 & 97–103.
Deer, W.A., Howie, R.A. & Zussman, J.. 1997. An introduction to the rock-forming minerals (volume 2B). London: Geological Society.
Deng, S.P. 2012. Essence of mountains—the art of jade, in Guo, J.S. (ed.) The characteristics of Chinese art: 172229. Hefei: Huangshan.
Douglas, J.G. 2001. The effect of heat on nephrite and detection of heated Chinese jades by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Conference on archaic jades across the Taiwan Strait: 543–54. Taipei: Taiwan University Publications Committee.
Fang, X.M. 2014. The history of Chinese jade (southern China during Neolithic period). Shenzhen: Haitian.
Gillespie, A.R., Jr, F.E.B. & Abbott, E.A.. 1989. Verification of prehistoric campfires by 40Ar-39Ar analysis of fire-baked stones. Journal of Archaeological Science 16: 271–91. https://doi.org/10.1016/0305-4403(89)90006-X
He, H.B. 2007. Yu protocol of pre-Qin Dynasty. Beijing: Thread-Binding Books.
Hu, H.X. 1999. Oracle bone scripts collection. Beijing: Zhong Hua Book Company.
Huang, X.P. 2005. The whitening of Liangzhu jades. The Bulletin of the Shanghai Museum 10: 357–64.
Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. 1980. Yinxu tomb of Fu Hao. Beijing: Cultural Relics.
Jin, Z.C., Xu, G.D., He, Y.L. & Tang, J.G.. 2007. A geoarchaeological study on the excavated jades from the tomb of M54, in Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (ed.) Report on the excavations at Huayuanzhuang locus east in Anyang: 345–87. Beijing: Science.
Ke, H.Y. & Gong, Z.P.. 2011. Fundamentals of electromagnetic fields theory. Beijing: Posts & Telecom.
Nanjing Museum. 1984. Excavation of Sidun site in Wujin, Changhzou City in Jiangsu Province. Archaeology 2: 109–29.
Nanjing Museum. 1991. Archaeological achievements of Jiangsu Province in the past decade. A decade of cultural heritage and archaeology (1979–1989): 101–15. Beijing: Cultural Relics.
Peng, W.S. & Liu, G.K.. 1982. Infrared spectra for minerals. Beijing: Science.
Prencipe, M., Mantovani, L., Tribaudino, M., Bersani, D. & Lottici, P.P.. 2012. The Raman spectrum of diopside: a comparison between ab initio calculated and experimentally measured frequencies. European Journal of Mineralogy 24: 457–64. https://doi.org/10.1127/0935-1221/2012/0024-2178
Rinaudo, C., Belluso, E. & Gastaldi, D.. 2004. Assessment of the use of Raman spectroscopy for the determination of amphibole asbestos. Mineralogical Magazine 68: 455–65. https://doi.org/10.1180/0026461046830197
Shi, J.S. 2004. Re-examination of the object pits at Sanxingdui, Guanghan. Acta Archaeologica Sinica 2: 157–82.
Tan, L.P., Lee, C.W., Chen, C.C., Tien, P.L., Tsui, P.C. & Yui, T.F.. 1978. A mineralogical study of the Fengtien nephrite deposits of Hualien, Taiwan. Taipei: National Science Council Special Publication.
Tan, L.P., Qian, X.H., Lin, S.B., Tang, H.M. & Yu, B.S.. 1998. Soak-induced colour of archaic jades. Chinese archaic jades: carving techniques and mineral identification: 147–60. Taipei: The Earth.
Wang, D., Xu, Z.B., Sun, M. & Cao, S.M.. 2009. Study on the IR spectrum of jasper of different origin. Infrared Technology 31: 698701.
Wang, R. 2011. Progress review of the scientific study of Chinese ancient jade. Archaeometry 53: 674–92. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4754.2010.00564.x
Wang, R. 2017. Study review on whitening mechanism of excavated nephrite jade artifacts in China. Sciences of Conservation and Archaeology 29 (4): 88100.
Wang, R. & Zhang, B.M.. 2010. Raman spectra for pyroxene. Spectroscopy and Spectra Analysis 30: 376–81.
Wen, G. 1994. Archaic jades (8): archaic jades of chicken-bone white and ivory-white. The National Palace Museum Monthly of Chinese Art 12 (2): 116–29.
Yu, B.S. & Tan, L.P.. 1998. Archaized experiment on nephrite and serpentine, in Chinese archaic jades: carving techniques and mineral identification: 173–81. Taipei: The Earth.
Yu, B.S., Liu, J.L. & Huang, K.Z.. 2006. Archaized experiment on nephrite through heat treatment and the Raman spectra. The Eighth Symposium on Resources and Environment: 5564. Taiwan: Hualian.
Yu, Y.J. & Fang, G.. 2014. The history of Chinese jade (Xia and Shang Dynasty). Shenzhen: Haitian.
Zhang, Y.N. 2011. The study on fake methods of white soak-induced color of ancient jade. Unpublished MA dissertation, China University of Geosciences.
Zhao, H.X., Li, Q.H., Liu, S., Hu, Y.Q. & Gan, F.X.. 2014. Non-destructive analysis of jade artifacts from the cemetery of the Ying State in Henan Province, China, using confocal Raman microspectroscopy and portable X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy 45: 173–78. https://doi.org/10.1002/jrs.4435
Zheng, J. 1996. An appraisal report of the Liang Zhu culture jade articles unearthed from Sidun relics. The light of Oriental civilization: collection of papers for the 60th anniversary of the Liangzhu culture finding (1936–1996): 432–41. Haikuo: Hainan International Publishing Center.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary materials

Wang et al. supplementary material
Wang et al. supplementary material 1

 PDF (333 KB)
333 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed