The Ashmolean wants to improve its online collection and needs your help.
Please take part in this 7 minute survey to tell us about your experience of using this website. You could also win £150. Take part now

Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Room 10 | China 3000 BC-AD 800 gallery

Discover over 3000 years of Chinese history and culture through surviving artefacts, objects and texts.

China 3000 BC - AD 800 gallery

Introduction

China between 5000 and 1500 years ago is studied today through surviving artefacts, texts, and objects preserved in tombs as part of burial practices. Up to about 3000 years ago these objects were made mostly of hard stone (principally jade) and low-fired ceramic. For the next 1500 years the most important burial objects were made of bronze and later, of ceramics.

The earliest examples of writing in China relate to divination and genealogy, and are recorded on animal bones and bronze vessels. Later, literary and administrative texts were written on stone, bamboo, silk and paper. Writing had become an art form.

Ritual bell (EA1956.837) Ritual bell (EA1956.837) Ritual food vessel, or ding (EA1956.832) Ritual food vessel, or ding (EA1956.832) Ritual food vessel, or li ding, with taotie masks (EA1956.855) Ritual food vessel, or li ding, with taotie masks (EA1956.855)
Ritual wine vessel, or gu (EA1956.889) Ritual wine vessel, or gu (EA1956.889) Ritual liquid vessel, or zun (EA1956.850) Ritual liquid vessel, or zun (EA1956.850) Jade spearhead in a bronze haft (EA1956.1447) Jade spearhead in a bronze haft (EA1956.1447)
Jade ceremonial blade (EA1956.1613) Jade ceremonial blade (EA1956.1613) Jade ceremonial blade, or ge (EA1956.1620) Jade ceremonial blade, or ge (EA1956.1620)
Ritual wine vessel, or jue (EA1956.833) Ritual wine vessel, or jue (EA1956.833) Ritual wine vessel, or zhi (EA1956.838) Ritual wine vessel, or zhi (EA1956.838) Ritual wine vessel, or you, with taotie masks and thunder-scroll pattern (EA1956.872) Ritual wine vessel, or you, with taotie masks and thunder-scroll pattern (EA1956.872)
Painted pottery urn (EAX.3814) Painted pottery urn (EAX.3814)
Notice

Objects may have since been removed or replaced from a gallery. Click into an individual object record to confirm whether or not an object is currently on display. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis, so contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular Eastern Art object.

© 2013 University of Oxford - Ashmolean Museum