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Meet a 5,000-year-old “jade rabbit” in the Year of the Rabbit

Pub Date:23-02-01 17:16 Source:cnanhui.org

In China, the rabbit has been well-loved since ancient times. It is widely praised and revered as a symbol of the bright full moon and an omen of good fortune.

In Anhui Museum, there is a 5,000-year jade rabbit discovered at the Lingjiatan relic site in Ma'anshan City, Anhui Province. It is the earliest jade rabbit ever found in China and is believed to be a beloved object of residents in the Neolithic period.

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The jade rabbit

This jade rabbit was unearthed in Tomb 10 at the Lingjiatan site and is 6.8 cm long, 1.9 cm wide, and only 2 mm thick. The jade material is thinly sliced, with a grayish-white color and a bright, smooth surface. The rabbit is carved in a running posture with its head lifted, tail curled upward, ears close to the spine, and hind feet raised. The lower part of it is faceted into a long concave edge, with four round holes of various sizes drilled into the concave edge, which is why it is speculated to be used as headwear or as a comb top. Its simple but vivid depiction of a dynamic rabbit reflects the mature aesthetics 5,000 years ago.

Located in Hanshan County, Ma'anshan City, the Lingjiatan relic site is a Neolithic settlement center dating back 5,800 to 5,300 years ago, therefore is called "the dawn of ancient Chinese civilization" by some archeologists. The site is also one of the three major centers of China's prehistoric jade culture.

A total of more than 3,000 pieces of exquisite jade ceremonial vessels, stone tools, pottery, and other precious cultural relics have been unearthed in Lingjiatan. The exquisite jadewares, represented by the jade figurine, turtle, eagle, dragon, etc., have brought the site world renown. These precious jade artifacts not only mirror the high level of craftsmanship at that time, but are also the fruit of the wisdom of the Chinese ancestors more than 5,000 years ago.

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The jade figure

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The jade eagle

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The jade dragon

In China's Shengxiao (Chinese zodiac) this year is the Year of the Rabbit. In the hall of Anhui Museum's "Bright Starlight - Lingjiatan Culture Exhibition", this 5,000-year-old rabbit is now waiting for visitors to explore. To celebrate the coming of the Year of the Rabbit, why not go take a historic trip through time and space with it?

Editor:Fanxi Feng

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