The dragonfly-eye-shaped bead
A West Asian dragonfly-eye-shaped bead was found in a 2,000-odd-year Chinese tomb in Dangtu, Anhui province, indicating noblemen living in China's Warring States period (475 BC-221BC) were exposed to West Asian civilization.
Excavated from the roughly 400-sqm tomb were more than 40 cultural relics, of which most were potteries and celadon wares. Judging from those possessions, the occupant is expected to be an aristocrat of Yue, one of the seven major countries in the Warring States period, archaeologists said.
The most eye-catching burial object is a glass bead resembling a dragonfly eye in appearance. Such kind of jewellery was made by nomadic tribes in Mediterranean countries in the 10th century BC and believed to keep misfortune away from the wearers as well as to play the role of money, Gong Xicheng, deputy director of the provincial archaeological institute said.
Much contact between nomadic tribes of West Asia and China enabled the dragonfly-eye-shaped jewellery to take off in Chinese privileged class in the Warring States period, Gong said.
(By Zheng Weiling)