The Great Bronze Age of China: An Exhibition from the People's Republic of China

"[T]he Great Bronze Age of China has come down to us mainly in the ritual vessels that symbolized power and prestige for China's first three dynasties: the Xia, the Shang, and the Zhou. Passed on to successive conquerors, used to honor the ancestors, and buried--along with other grave goods and sacrificial victims or in storage pits by fleeing members of defeated dynasties--these exquisite bronzes reveal more about the character of life in ancient China than any other artifacts ... Eighty-five bronzes--including vessels that range from the simplest wine cup to huge cauldrons, elaborate bird- and elephant-shaped containers, bells, and a standard top--are seen together for the first time ... Perhaps the most stunning objects are ... more than 7,000 life-size figures--a veritable army of warriors, cavalry, and chariots complete with horses and drivers--[that] were discovered still standing, rank after rank, guarding the burial mound of China's first emperor, Qin Shihuangdi, who died in 210 B.C. ... Richly carved jades and an iron belt hook make up the remainder of the 105 objects presented"--From publisher's description.

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