The “treasure of the museum” of Shandong Provincial Museum is the eggshell black pottery cup, the rarely exhibited national treasure-level cultural relics rectangular five-button dragon pattern bronze mirror of the Western Han Dynasty, the world-renowned Buddha statues of Longxing Temple in Qingzhou, and the “Shang and Zhou Dynasty” imperial gift to commemorate Confucius. “Ten Offerings”… The special exhibition “Gifts to the East: Essence of Ancient Shandong Civilization” recently opened at the Tsinghua University Art Museum, bringing together nearly 440 pieces (groups) of fine cultural relics from more than 50 cultural and museum units in Shandong Province, including nearly 200 national first-class cultural relics The pieces provide a panoramic view of the glorious and magnificent Shandong ancient civilization.
Dawenkou culture red pottery pot with money pattern, collected by Liaocheng Cultural Relics Service Center.Photo by reporter Huang Jingwei
This exhibition is jointly sponsored by Tsinghua University and the Shandong Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism. It is the largest exhibition since the opening of the Tsinghua University Art Museum. It is also the second exhibition after “Forever with the Sky: Special Exhibition of Culture and Art of Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang Dynasties” and “Splendor of China”. “The Essence of Shanxi Ancient Civilization” is another ancient civilization exhibition.
Ornaments use “festival” to hide gifts in utensils
Shandong Province is located in East China, bordering the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea. It is the location of the “East” in traditional perception. Because during the Western Zhou Dynasty, Zhou Gongdan was granted the title of “Lu” (today’s Qufu), and Taigong Wang was granted the title of “Qi” (today’s Linzi), so Shandong was also called “the state of Qi and Lu”, or “Lu” for short. Shandong has a long history and is one of the important birthplaces of Chinese civilization. It has produced numerous celebrities in the past dynasties and left behind a large number of precious cultural heritages.
This exhibition is divided into “the first light of the sunrise, decorated with rituals”, “the sea is still green, and jade gifts are everywhere”, “the king’s rituals are in Lu, and they have been passed down all over the world for a long time”, “the marquis is in Lu, they are shining brightly”, “the mountains are looking up, The 7 units of “Climbing the Taitai and Viewing the Sea”, “Calling the Works of the Northern Dynasties, Smiling in the East”, “Pictures of Heaven and Earth, and Steles for Eternity” explain the origin, inheritance and development of Chinese “etiquette” thoughts from different angles, reflecting Shandong’s role in the development of Chinese civilization. important role.
Entering the exhibition hall, you first see two gray pottery statues of the Dawenkou Culture unearthed in Ju County, Rizhao City, both of which are national first-class cultural relics. One of them is engraved with a handle and a circle pattern, and the symbols engraved on the surface of the other are interpreted by scholars as a combination of “sun”, “moon” and “mountain” or “fire”. According to reports, this kind of pottery statue with carved symbols has been found in many sites. It is a unique symbol of the Dawenkou Culture, indicating that primitive religious beliefs may have arisen during the Dawenkou Culture period. Some scholars believe that these carved symbols may be written. bud.
The graceful white pottery teapot, the red pottery money-patterned pot with gorgeous patterns, the simple and mysterious painted pottery turtle-shaped pottery… These pottery made by the ancestors of the Neolithic Age still make people marvel at their beauty thousands of years later.
Du Pengfei, executive deputy director of the Tsinghua University Art Museum, said that the curatorial team paid attention to artistry and appreciation when selecting exhibits, and selected many beautiful cultural relics that reflected the aesthetics of the ancients.
Western Han Dynasty gold plate and bronze sword, collected by Zibo Museum.Photo by reporter Huang Jingwei
The eggshell black pottery cup is a representative artifact of the Longshan culture. It has a shiny black surface and a wall as thin as an eggshell, reflecting superb pottery skills. There are two eggshell black pottery cups from the Shandong Museum in the exhibition hall. One is made of upper and lower parts, and the cup handle is decorated with circles of parallel concave string patterns; the other cup handle is divided into 3 sections, each section is made of two The circumference is separated by convex string patterns, shaped like bamboo joints, and each section is carved with interlaced circular patterns.
From the Dawenkou Culture to the Longshan Culture, a large number of utensils with bamboo decorations emerged, such as high-footed beans, high-footed plates, high-footed cups, etc. Experts believe that this is a manifestation of early “etiquette” ideas. “Book of Rites·Four Systems of Mourning Clothes” says that “Etiquette refers to etiquette”, indicating that “ritual” means “section”. “Book of Rites and Music” says “comparing objects to decorate festivals”, which means that utensils should be decorated with festivals, which embodies the idea of ”hiding rituals in utensils”.
Chinese jade culture has a long history, and jade articles have been used as sacrificial vessels since ancient times. “Zhou Li·Da Zongbo” says: “Use jade as six utensils to pay homage to the four directions of heaven and earth: use blue jade to pay homage to heaven, yellow cong to pay homage to earth, green gui to pay homage to the east, red zhang to pay homage to the south, white amber to pay homage to the west, and Xuanhuang to pay homage to the west. Ritual to the north.” Different shapes of jades are used for different ceremonial occasions.
The large jade knife of the Dawenkou culture unearthed in Wulian County, Rizhao City, is 51 cm long, 22 cm wide and only 0.3 cm thick. It is trapezoidal in shape, with a smooth surface, a double-sided blade, and round holes drilled into the body. This is an extremely rare large jade artifact from the Neolithic Age, and experts speculate that it has special ceremonial functions.
Jade Yazhang was first discovered at the Longshan Cultural Site in Shandong, and has since been widely seen in various cultures during the Xia and Shang dynasties. Displayed in the showcase are three Yazhang pieces from the Longshan Culture, which were unearthed in different areas of Shandong and are all first-class cultural relics. “Zhou Li Dian Rui” says that “Yazhang is used to start the army and to manage and defend the army.” It can be seen that Yazhang is a kind of talisman used to mobilize troops and generals.
Horizontal crystal beast from the Eastern Han Dynasty, collected by Linyi Municipal Museum.Photo courtesy of Tsinghua University Art Museum
Jade bis are often combined with jade cups and jade kui to form different levels of sacrificial vessels. The jade bi, jade cup, and jade kui from the Warring States Period unearthed from Zhifu Island in Yantai City are exquisitely crafted and of high specifications. They are imperial sacrificial vessels. Zhifu Island is the seat of “Yang Zhu”, one of the eight gods of Qi. It is said that Qin Shihuang visited Zhifu Island many times. Some scholars believe that this set of jade ritual vessels may have been used by Qin Shihuang for sacrifices.
Bronze castings each have their own ingenuity
Bronze ware plays a very important role in ancient Chinese ritual and music culture. Shandong has a developed bronze civilization, and its history of using bronze can be traced back to the Yueshi Culture period. The Yueshi Culture is an archaeological culture distributed in the Haidai area after the Longshan Culture, dating back approximately 3900 to 3600 years. Some copper decorations and small copper tools were discovered in the Yue Shi Cultural Site, which is evidence that Eastern China entered the Early Bronze Age.
By the Shang Dynasty, bronzes had developed rich types and complex patterns, and many of them had inscriptions on them. The Yachou Yue from the Shang Dynasty is one of the “treasures” of the Shandong Museum and was unearthed in Subutun, Qingzhou. The body of the ax is carved with a human face pattern, the facial features are slightly convex, the eyes are wide open, and the corners of the mouth are raised, revealing teeth like the crenellations of the city wall, which is very majestic. There are two words “Yachou” symmetrically inscribed on both sides of the mouth, which experts believe is a clan emblem.
During the Shang and Zhou dynasties, there were many regional states in Shandong, and bronzes from various places showed colorful regional characteristics. A Western Zhou Dynasty copper square Yi with hanging silk pattern and two ears unearthed from the Xiyutai site in Yiyuan County. It has a straight mouth and round feet, a roof-shaped cover, and a handle on the cover. The cover and the body are decorated with four ridges, and there are rings on both sides of the body. . The surface of the cover and all sides of the belly are decorated with half-moon-shaped hanging curtains. The sides of the belly hanging curtains are decorated with leaf vein patterns. The four sides of the neck are decorated with geometric variations of Kui dragon patterns. The four sides of the circle foot are decorated with zigzag geometric patterns. Fang Yi is a kind of wine vessel. Copper Fang Yi with this shape and decoration is relatively rare among the bronzes of the Western Zhou Dynasty.
A corner of the exhibition hall.Photo courtesy of Tsinghua University Art Museum
In ancient times, Shandong was called Dongyi, and the Dongyi people respected bird totems. Bird images are very common in Shandong bronzes, such as bird-shaped copper cups, bird-shaped lei-shaped vessels, bird-covered urns, etc. A bird-shaped copper cup was unearthed in Dizhuang Village, Guanqiao Town, Tengzhou City. The body is egg-shaped, with a narrowed mouth and a hollow ring foot. The slender and curved bird neck is the flow, the tail is the handle, and the two sides of the abdomen are decorated with wings and carved. The feather pattern is an exquisitely designed shape mimic.
A set of calligraphy tools from the Spring and Autumn Period, including square-edged knives, needles, drill bits, double-sided tooth saws, and square-shaped perforation chisels, attracted many viewers to stop and take a closer look. The ancients compiled bamboo slips into books. Making bamboo slips required cutting, cutting, fixing, writing, drilling and other processes. If there were any mistakes or omissions during the writing process, the writing had to be scraped off with a knife. This set of cultural relics was unearthed from the ruins of the ancient city of Xue State in Tengzhou City. There are 27 pieces in total. It is currently the most complete set of bamboo slips and calligraphy tools preserved in the country. It covers breaking bamboo slips, repairing and polishing, correcting errors in lettering, sharpening sharp tools, etc. Functional appliances.
The Warring States Period copper wine-draining vessel with bamboo joint handle is a very ingenious object. The top is a dragon head ring, the long bamboo handle has a square hole, and the bottom is a lotus bud-shaped vessel, which cleverly uses atmospheric pressure to draw wine out of the wine container. From the combination of the dragon head and the bamboo body of this vessel, it can be seen that the concept of “mutualization of bamboo and dragon” popular in the Han Dynasty had been formed in the pre-Qin period.
Brilliant gold and exquisite craftsmanship
Due to its important geographical location and high degree of development, Shandong was one of the main fiefdoms of ancient princes and kings. A large number of dazzling treasures have been unearthed from the tombs of princes and nobles of past dynasties, reflecting the etiquette, fashion and craftsmanship of different eras.
In 201 BC, Liu Bang named Liu Fei, the eldest son of his concubine, the King of Qi, and his capital was Linzi. Starting from Liu Fei, the kings of Han and Qi passed down to six kings. After their deaths, they were all buried in Linzi and its surroundings. The tomb of King Qi of the Western Han Dynasty discovered in Wotuo Village, Linzi District, Zibo City is a large-scale tomb with more than 12,000 cultural relics unearthed. The rectangular five-button dragon-patterned bronze mirror buried in the tomb is the largest bronze mirror ever unearthed in China. It is a rare rectangular shape and was included in the first batch of cultural relics banned from overseas (border) exhibition. It has rarely been exhibited publicly since it was unearthed in 1980. . The bronze mirror is 115.1 cm long, 57.7 cm wide, 1.1 cm thick and weighs 56.5 kg. The main body of the back of the bronze mirror is decorated with a low-relief dragon pattern, and the surrounding edges are decorated with semicircular arc patterns. There are 5 ring-shaped string buttons on the four corners and in the middle of the back of the mirror. Due to the huge size of the bronze mirror, it needs to be supported by a frame, pillars and base when in use. In recent years, a large five-button square mirror and matching wooden parts were unearthed from the Haihunhou Tomb in Nanchang, Jiangxi. Its restored state provides a reference for the use of rectangular five-button dragon-patterned bronze mirrors.
Bronze square Yi with hanging silk pattern and two ears from the Western Zhou Dynasty, collected by Yiyuan Museum.Photo by reporter Huang Jingwei
The tomb of King Qi of the Western Han Dynasty also unearthed fine products such as gold-plated bronze swords and gilt-copper fumigation furnaces. The gold-plated gold-plated bronze sword is a ceremonial instrument of the Qi royal family. The top of the gold-plated sword is decorated with a looking-back bird, showing exquisite craftsmanship. The top of the gilt copper smoker lid is decorated with a ring of buttons, surrounded by two coiled dragons, connected from head to tail. This type of incense burner was also found in the tomb of King Chu of the Western Han Dynasty in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province.
The tomb of King Lu of the Ming Dynasty at the southern foot of Jiulong Mountain in Zoucheng City is also an important royal tomb in Shandong. The white jade kui, white jade pendant with golden cloud and dragon pattern, white jade belt with gold inlaid with Ganoderma lucidum pattern, green and white glaze dragon pattern lid jar, etc. unearthed from the tomb demonstrate the distinguished status of the tomb owner. Among the many gorgeous funerary objects, a small and exquisite crystal unicorn inkstone attracted the attention of reporters. This vessel is shaped like a unicorn lying prone and looking back. It is crystal clear, with a round groove cut into the back and a smooth rim that can hold water. Experts believe that it may be a study utensil used by King Zhu Tan of Lu during his lifetime.
In this exhibition, you can also see the representative cultural relics of Shandong’s Confucian culture, Taishan culture, and maritime culture, appreciate the moving style of the Northern Dynasties Buddhist statues in Longxing Temple in Qingzhou, and appreciate the majestic momentum of the portrait stones and inscriptions of the Han Dynasty.
It is reported that the exhibition will last until January 14, 2024.