Jade ts'ung

Late Neolithic period (5,000--1,800 B.C.)
Height: 15.7--15.8 cm, Width at top: 6.6 cm, Width at base: 6.3 cm, Diameter: 5.4--5.55 cm

The ts'ung seems to have been an important jade ritual object. It is of a rectangular columnal form, with a large lengthwise hole in the center and short round or rounded square rims on each end. This rectangular shape may represent the ancient Chinese idea, "square like the earth." Neolithic jade ts'ungs excavated from the eastern coast of China are often incised with unique "mask" designs. According to one theory, these designs are a concrete representation of the early Chinese concept of a zooanthropodeistic trinity.

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