Hongshan Mysterious Artifacts

The Hongshan Culture was discovered in 1935 and covers an area from the Wuerjimulun River valley of Chifeng, Inner Mongolia in the north to Chaoyang, Lingyuan and the northern part of Hebei Province in the south, and extends eastward to cover Tongliao and Jinzhou. This Culture dates from 4500-2250 and is one of the earliest most advanced civilizations discovered to date in China. The Hongshan were temple builders and city builders who created some of the earliest nephrite jade carvings. Their sophisticated Jade carving techniques employed technologies that exceeded simple explanations. Many of the Hongshan Jade artifacts are well persevered due to the fact that Hongshan culture utilized slab burial tombs and because of the dry arid climate of Inner Mongolia.

Perhaps the more famous known Hongshan Jade artifact is the Coiled Dragon Fetus. It has recently been discovered that the Hongshan possessed the knowledge of metallurgy and employed the use of copper (possible iron) metal tools to work their Jade masterpieces. Many Hongshan artifacts express the use of saw blades and drill instruments reflecting the fact that they were a highly technologically advanced civilization. Currently there is no known artifact evidence from other Neolithic cultures that show evidence of metal tools usage to shape jade during this very early period.
Timeline of Ancient China's Culture

Recently Chinese archaeologists have discovered a Hongshan pyramid-shaped building dating back more than 5,000 years in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, in north China. According to Guo Dashun, a renowned Chinese archaeologist, the "pyramid structure", located on a mountain ridge one kilometer north of Sijiazi Township in the Aohan Banner (county), is a three-storied stepped pyramid building that is 30 meters long and 15 meters wide. This discovery sheds light on the fact that these ancient people were one of the first known people to build pyramid structures. In addition, 7 tombs and a goddess temple were unearthed on the top of the "pyramid". There are many shattered statue pieces, including female head, shoulder, hands, breast pieces. The face of the goddess was painted with red color, and her two eyes were embedded with green jade pieces. There are a lot of scattered pottery pieces with "mi (rice)" character carved on the inner wall of pottery. In addition, a palm-long male genital is also unearthed .

Material: Jade nephrite.
Item: Goddess mother, "Nuwa" from chinese mitology. Dating: 4000 BC, Chinese Neolithic period.
Excavation: Inner Mongolia.
Gift of Mr Hamada Kosaku to Captain A. B. Zalvidar, 1937.
Ex-collection A. B. Zaldivar (1875-1948), transmitted to their descendants and now in G. Perera Collections (owner and great-grandson)

A unique characteristic of Hongshan culture is the coexistence of pottery and stone and jade ware. There are very diverse classes of jade ware, which have different sizes from small ornament to huge ritual ware and can have usage in every aspect of the social functions. Hongshan culture jade article can be categorized into five classes: tool class, such as axe, spin, rod, etc.; ornament class, such as ring, bracelet, pin, tube, etc.; ritual ware class, such as bell, battel-axe, sei-annular pendant, Pei, etc; animal class, such as dragon, pig dragon, bird, turtule, silkworm, etc.; and statue class. The most representative pieces are "C"-shaped dragon and pig dragon. The manufacturing process of Hongshan jade articles utilized mill and polishing technique, such that there is no carving marks on the jade articles.

The processing technique of Hongshan culture is quite different from that of Liangzhu culture. It was a general belief of Chinese archeologist that the process of Liangzhu Jade articles utilized teeth from shark, agate, and crystal. Japanese archaeologist think diamond was used for processing. These very early Neolithic Hongshan people were transient living in a region that falls between steppe and agricultural climate zones. In the middle period of Hongshan culture it becomes evident that a husbandry and agricultural based society emerges that leads to advancement in social structure.

Discoveries from Hongshan burial sites show that they had class structure and interesting is the fact that they cultivated millet and did not grow rice. Animal husbandry appears to have been highly advanced with the domestication of pigs and ducks. There is existing Jade artifact evidence that points to the possibility that they were one of the earliest people to domestic the horse. Archeological evidence shows that with the emergence of social stratification and a ruling class a large handicraft industry of jade workers flourished.

Hongshan Jade ritual and art objects were created for a period of more than 2,000 years. Contrary to what Western arm chair archaeologist have stated, Hongshan jades have been discovered in large quantities with over 52 different types of Jade objects in various shapes and forms. The most remarkable discoveries have been very recent in areas that are much further south of where the Hongshan Civilization was thought to have been centered.

Niuheliang archaeological site

Recent finds from a tomb at Niuheliang and two smaller mound tombs excavated in the same area were the discoveries of metal-casting technologies that were disclosed by small copper rings unearthed at these sites. The use of kilns to produce highly advanced painted and non painted pottery gave the Hongshan the power of intense heat to explore metallurgy.

According to Wong Tien Chung, these ancient people extracted iron ore/nickel alloys from meteorites to make ritual jade shaping tools. In the first place, archeological studies show that Hongshan Culture was developed on the basis of Xinglongwa Culture and Zhaobaogou Culture, and the inheritance and development in religious traditions between the three cultures are evident. No sites devoted exclusively to sacrificial rites have been found so far in Xinglongwa Culture and Zhaobaogou Culture. The discovery of Niuheliang Relics in the 1970s indicates that large-scaled centers for sacrificial rites had shown up by the end of Hongshan Culture. This is not only a breakthrough in the study of Hongshan Culture, but a discovery of great significance to the exploration of the origin of the Chinese civilization.

Secondly, Hongshan Culture is credited with remarkable achievements in architecture, pottery-making, jade-carving and pottery sculptures which are at higher levels than those of Xinglongwa Culture and Zhaobaogou Culture. The duet of square pottery molds unearthed at the relics of a house of Hongshan Culture at Xitai, Aohan Banner,which is the earliest mold for metal casting, shows that the early people of Hongshan Culture had mastered the technology of bronze casting.

Based on artifact evidence and 30 years of study that the Hongshan employed advanced jade shaping and carving tools that may have been made from meteorite iron. One fascinating study is the evidence of high content iron found in black jades used for ritual objects by the early Hongshan. Many of these artifacts are magnetic and express the possibility that the Hongshan were aware of magnetic earth forces.

Another fascinating observation through the study of Hongshan jade artifacts is the abundance of "Alien" like motifs and figurines that are completely unexplainable as they are not found in other Neolithic Cultures. It is obvious from the study of Hongshan artifacts that a highly sophisticated knowledge of mathematics and Astronomy become evident. The extensive employment of ritual jades in China by the Hongshan during its late prehistory must certainly demonstrate to the world of archeology that these people were not "Neolithic Age" but rather "Jade Age" people. More great discoveries wait under the earth of China. The Hongshan were actually the Xinglongwa people who migrated into China from Mongolia when global weather conditions turned their rich forested world into desert.

Recent discoveries reveal that the Xinglongwa people had sophisticated jade carving techniques over 8,500 years ago! Archeologists believe that the discovery of these relics, as well as of the pyramid itself, will be crucial in learning more about both the spiritual and earthbound life of the peoples of the Hongshan culture. The long lost historic trails of these great people who were called the Hongshan are waiting to be discovered. The greatest discoveries of the origins of human civilization await us in China. Perhaps, it may be discovered that they are indeed descendents from a long lost advanced civilization.

Sources : 
Encyclopedia of Unusual and Unexplained Things; 
Inner Mongolia News 2005-01-10

Pics source : 
pic 1 taken from http://www.thejaderoad.com/hongshan.html; 
pic 2 taken from http://www.shunyadragon.com/contents/jadesilk/images/jade_age_table.gif;
pic 3 image belongs to Dr. Jesus G. Perera (the current owner of Goddess Mother Nuwa)
pic 4 taken from http://www.liaoning-gateway.com/74599725050888192/20050901/1069570.jpg


imelda said...

hi there

Anonymous said...

Hello, I am the owner of the piece and the image of the mother goddess Nuwa that appears on this page. Section belongs to the Neolithic Chinese jades, Hongshan culture, from my private collection G. Perera Collections, based in the Canary Islands, Spain.
In the summer of last year 2012, I politely asked him to indicate the origin of the piece in question but you have ignored my request. Please indicate the name of this piece that I show below. It's my last friendly appeal to correct the information. The data are:
Material: Jade nephrite.
Item: Goddess mother, "Nuwa" from chinese mitology.
Dating: 4000 BC, Chinese Neolithic period.
Excavation: Inner Mongolia.
Gift of Mr Hamada Kosaku to Captain A. B. Zalvidar, 1937.
Ex-collection A. B. Zaldivar (1875-1948), transmitted to their descendants and now in G. Perera Collections (owner and great-grandson).

Tripzibit said...

@HunabKu1966: Hi, Dr. Jesus G. Perera. First i would like to apologize to you and thank you for your information about the 3rd image, i found it from ebay through google image search.

I already add information that you have provided.

Thank you

Best regard,

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