- Gallery Text
Although there is evidence of the minor presence of copper artifacts among several late Neolithic cultures, by the dawn of the second millennium BCE, societies in northern China appear to have begun using bronze (an alloy of copper and tin) in earnest. Excavations at several Longshan culture sites along the middle and lower Yellow River valleys have yielded tools, ornaments, and vessel fragments made of bronze. Longshan black pottery vessels with design elements reminiscent of hammered metal also imply the influence of metalwork during the latter part of this otherwise Neolithic culture. Following closely after the Longshan period, Erlitou culture sites in Henan and Shanxi provinces reveal a complex, hierarchical society that produced bronze tools, weapons, vessels, and turquoise-inlaid plaques (such as those displayed here) of astonishing sophistication. The presence of such artifacts, along with the remains of bronze-casting molds at Erlitou, confirms that China had fully entered its Bronze Age by the second millennium BCE.
- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
- Elongated Tripod Ewer with Short Spout and Long Strap Handle, the Handle Braced with Struts
- Work Type
- Erlitou culture, 1900-1350 BCE
- Creation Place: East Asia, China
- Neolithic period to Shang dynasty
Level 1, Room 1740, Early Chinese Art, Arts of Ancient China from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age
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- Physical Descriptions
- Variegated buff and light gray earthenware with incised decoration on the handle. Middle and Lower Yellow River Valley area; probably from northwestern Henan or southern Shanxi province
- H. 53.5 x W. 17 x D. 14.6 cm (21 1/16 x 6 11/16 x 5 3/4 in.)
- [J. J. Lally & Co., New York, 2003] sold; to Walter C. Sedgwick Foundation, Woodside, CA (2003-2006), partial gift; to Harvard University Art Museums, 2006.
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Partial gift of the Walter C. Sedgwick Foundation and partial purchase through the Ernest B. and Helen Pratt Dane Fund for the Acquisition of Oriental Art
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- Asian and Mediterranean Art
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- Publication History
Stephan Wolohojian, ed., Harvard Art Museum/ Handbook, Harvard Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 2008), p. 2
Harvard University Art Museums, Harvard University Art Museums Annual Report 2006-7 (Cambridge, MA, 2008), p. 12, repr.
- Exhibition History
Re-View: S228-230 Arts of Asia, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 05/31/2008 - 11/23/2008
32Q: 1740 Early China I, Harvard Art Museums, 11/01/2014 - 01/01/9999
- Subjects and Contexts
Google Art Project
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