Ancient artifacts about sheep
Updated: 2015-02-03 07:00
The sheep is one of the six domesticated animals. Ancient people regarded the sheep as a mild-tempered and auspicious animal, which can be seen from the Chinese character "祥" (auspicious) which includes "羊" (sheep) in its pattern. Therefore, many artifacts in ancient times were decorated with sheep patterns or are in shapes resembling sheep. Let us take a look.
Shang and Zhou dynasties (16th century BC -771 BC):
Four Sheep Square Zun [Photo/National Museum of China]
The most well-known sheep-themed relic is the bronze piece Four Sheep Square Zun in the National Museum of China. Used as a wine vessel at rituals in the late Shang Dynasty (between the 11th-17th centuries BC), it was excavated from a hillside in Hunan province in 1938. It is renowned as the best example of bronze-making in Chinese history.