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Pottery Eagle-shaped Zun Vessel – Guardian of the Tribe

Mar 24, 2009

Name: Pottery Eagle-shaped Zun Vessel | 中文名: 陶鹰尊
Date to: Neolithic period | Culture: Yangshao Culture (5000 – 3000 BC)
Unearthed: 1958@Taiping Village, Hua County, Shaanxi | Current location: National Museum of China
Dimension: height: 36cm

A Beijing Olympics good-will ambassador

In 1993, when Beijing was bidding to host the Olympics 2000, J.A. Samaranch, then President of International Olympic Committee, selected seven relics that can represent the long  history and glorious culture of China. This zun vessel was one of them. They were on exhibition in the Olympic Museum Lausanne to support Beijing’s bid.

The Only Neolithic Bird-shaped Pottery

“Zun” is a type of alcohol beverage container. The design of this vessel  fits well to its eagle shape, just like an eagle ready to take off. Its two hollow feet together with its drooped tail naturally form a stable triangle, which give it more volume but still retain stability.

So far, this is the only Neolithic bird-shaped pottery found around the world. It’s an excellent example of ancient pottery craft skill. To use eagle as its shape probably is because that prompt and ferocious eagles were their totem.

[Forbidden Treasure of China Series]
This is the 3nd of 64 culture heritages that the government of China forbids to exhibit abroad. The complete list is here. In Chinese.

[Related Product on Amazon.com]
1. The Cambridge Illustrated History of China

[Chinese Keywords]
禁止出境 国家一级文物

[Image Sources]
02. igt.com.tw | 03: beijingreviews.com

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