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Jade: China's Stone of Heaven
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Radiant Stones:
Archaic Chinese



Overview | Jade: China & Siberia | Jade: The Americas | China History | Art

Jade is a term used both for nephrite, the ancient jade of China used in rituals and adornment for some 9,000 years, and for jadeite, imported into China from Burma in the last 250 years. Both were used in regions of Europe and America as well.  Carved objects of nephrite plus pottery, bronze, iron, and other art and artifacts were carried into northern Siberia. Elements of this cultural complex influenced Northeast Siberia's cultures including those of the Chukchi, Koryak and Siberian Eskimo.

Here are resources on jade in Asia, Mesoamerica and Europe.

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Chinese Jade:
Power and Delicacy
in a Majestic Art


Overview: What is Jade?   [ Top ]

Jade Overview: the two jades, nephrite and jadeite, and jade's role in the early cultures of China, Korea and New Zealand

The Jades - Nephrite & Jadeite: two different gemrocks called jade - one the pyroxene jadeite, the other the amphibole nephrite, and many details on each including special names for the varied colors

Mineral Characteristics of Jade and more on physical properties of the two types of jade: nephrite and jadeite. More on jade's properties and toughness.

History & Properties of Jade: believed in China to have yin and yang qualities of Heaven and Earth, thus The Stone of Heaven. Also the Elixer of Life.

Jade: considered the stone of heaven in China, Jade also had a valued role in Mesoamerican, European cultures, and the word "jade" comes from the Spanish, piedra de hijada or "stone of the loin"

Did ancient Chinese Shang culture including jade influence Olmec Mexico?

Jade Artifacts: 24 jade ritual objects and adornments from cultures as diverse as China, India, Mexico and Costa Rica, and photos of jade specimens

Nephrite Jade & Jadeite Jade - technical definitions, locations, photos, and How to Tell Nephrite from Jadeite: a variety of tests

Jadeite and Nephrite Jade: the stone's colors and sources

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from China


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Jades of the
Liangzhu Culture


star-red.gif (881 bytes) EXPLORE star-red.gif (881 bytes)
China's &
Siberia's Cultures


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The Language of
Adornment: Chinese
Ornaments of Jade,
Crystal, Amber
& Glass


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Chinese Jades


this book:
Chinese Jade
from the Neolithic
to the Qing


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Fine Chinese Jade Carvings and Jade Jewellery [Sotheby's Hong Kong, 1985 November Sale


Jade in China & Siberia   [ Top ]

Ancient Chinese Jade - An Introduction and also including:
· Neolithic Jade as early as 7000 BC
· Shang to Western Chou Jade
· Eastern Chou to Han Jade
· Early Bi or Pi Disk and a Jade Disk with Spirit Animals

Ancient Chinese Jade: jade artifacts including ritual bi and cong, and objects with the taotie monster face, from Freer Sackler Gallery

China's Ancient Fascination with Jade and Early Jade Relics in China: 8,000-year old site in Inner Mongolia - Xinglonggou Ruins - had jade, in particular jade rings used in a burial, and many other artifacts

Jade Trade between China & Japan: jade artifacts give evidence of a trade route from northeast China to the Russian Far East coast to Japan's Hokkaido and Honshu islands more than 7,000 years ago

Changing Use of Jade: from agricultural implements and weapons to ritual spearheads and decorative objects in China, and more on uses of jade

Role of Jade in Neolithic China including Late Neolithic objects such as the cong used in rituals, burials, and the Taotie motif shown

History of Ancient Jade in China: a 6,500-year history that includes a jade ax and animal and bird figurines, the bi disk, cong which could have carved faces with round eyes, jade burial garments, more

Use of Jade in Ancient China - as old as China itself
· Jade bi: one of the six ritual jades
· Jade cong: another of the six ritual jades
· Jade objects thought to confer immortality such as a burial suit

China - 5,000 Years: jade, bronze, grave goods, ceramics, painting, more, each shown from early Chinese dynasties, including Zhou jade burial mask reminiscent of Ipiutak ivory burial mask from Bering Strait

History of Jade for practical, ritual purposes; role in Chinese culture and the early uses of jade including as currency

Enduring Art of Jade Age China: carvings of a jade stag, dagger with bird motif, masked human, more - all nephrite jade

Jade Coiled Dragon: from the Hongshan Culture, circa 4700-2900 BC

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Jade (Fred Ward
Gem Book Series)

Ancient Ornaments & Tools of Nephrite: artifacts of both green and white nephrite housed in Irkutsk, Siberia, museum

Jade Objects: select "Jade & other stones" for pictures, descriptions of many Shang jades including bi disk, cong, huan. pei, later period pieces, and a carved jade mask from the Qin dynasty

Jade pieces in the Smithsonian Gem and Mineral Collection include:
· altar lanterns carved in nephrite about 1750 for China's emperor
· jade altar bowl
· dragon vase carved from rare lavendar jadeite from Burma/Myanmar

Treasures of Heaven & Earth: Carved Jade: unique and elaborate pieces from China's Ming and Qing dynasties, among others

Chinese Jade in Context: another exhibit of jade, with text, many pictures

Jade Emperor: jade is associated with the supreme deity of Chinese folk religion, in charge of all creation, worshipped for luck and longevity

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The Jade Stone:
A Chinese Folktale


Archaeology Finding Jade in Siberia: Lake Baikal and Angara River region sites yield green nephrite jade pendants, jade rings

Jade from Lake Baikal: the Baikal region and Central Asia may have provided nephrite jade for China, suggesting ancient trade networks, with photos of jade axes, animal pendants, cong and bi objects

Jade pebbles known from near Lake Baikal, and Siberian blue nephrite found as a byproduct of jade mining in Sahka, formerly Yakutia

Bronze Age Burial in Siberia Yields Jade: researchers on Angara River found nephrite blade knives, a ring and disc of light nephrite, round bottom pottery, and a fragment of a round bronze mirror, all suggesting trade or interaction with China

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Jade:   5000 B.C. to
1912 A.D., a Guide
for Collectors

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Neolithic Jades in the
Collection of the
National Palace Museum

The splendor of jade:
Four thousand years
of the art of
Chinese jade carving
(Dutton Visual Book)

Jade; a study in
Chinese archaeology
and religion

by Berthold Laufer

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Chinese Jade from the
Collection of Alan
and Simone Hartman

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Jades of


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Painting the Maya Universe: Royal Ceramics of the Classic Period


Clink link to order A Legacy of Arctic Art
A Legacy
of Arctic Art


Jade in Americas, Europe, Australia
  [ Top ]

Chinese Stone of Heaven - or yu - and jade used in other regions including Central America, New Zealand

Ancient American Jade:  used for tools, weapons and ornaments, including Maya earflare frontals, a type of ear decoration

Jade in Mesoamerica:  including an Olmec mask made of jadeite as well as a Maya deity figure

Olmec & Japotec Jade Carvings: with a carved funeral mask of a Maya ruler, Pacal, reminiscent of such masks from China and even of the Ipiutak culture of the Bering Strait region, plus large image of Pacal jade death mask

Carved Jade Head from Tikal: possibly a Maya ruler & Maya jade jewelry

Comparison of Chinese & Olmec Jades: shapes and patterns on jades and other artifacts shown for the two cultures, and more on possible early contacts between China and Mesoamerica

Jade in Mesoamerica: important to Olmec, Maya and Aztec, and images
Olmec jade sculptures, masks, axes; and more Olmec jade art as well as a Olmec jadeite mask

Jade in Costa Rica: with many bird pendants

Jade: Alaska's State Gemstone: Seward Peninsula's jade mountain, and more on Alaska's Kobuk River jade, the nephrite jade of the Kobuk River known in archaelogical sites, and a story of the jade lamp from Kobuk River jade

Jade on Pacific Northwest Coast: jade was a valuable trade item among the Tsimshian who also obtained copper from China via Siberia, Alaska

Jade of Interior British Columbia: native peoples had long nephrite adze blades, jade chisels and knives, some of translucent green nephrite obtained from the Fraser River. Jade is the official gemstone of B.C.

Jade in Neolithic Europe:  a look at jadeite and nephrite, including early use in axes, scrapers, weapons circa 2,000 B.C., but later forgotten, with Neolithic jade tools found in Swiss lake dwellings and France

Jade in South Australia: nephrite jade deposits on the Eyre Peninsula of Australia are among the largest in the world

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A Brief History of
Chinese Civilization

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The Arts
of China


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China: 5,000 Years:
Innovation &
Transformation in the Arts

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Jomon of Japan: The
World's Oldest Pottery

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A History of
Chinese Civilization


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The Cambridge
Illustrated History
of China


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Cambridge History
of Ancient China:
From the Origins of
Civilization to 221 BC


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China: Its History
and Culture



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China: A
New History


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China: Empire
and Civilization


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China's Imperial Past:
An Introduction to
Chinese History
and Culture


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The Archaeology of
Northeast China: Beyond the
Great Wall


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Rise of Civilization
in East Asia


China: History & Timelines
  [ Top ]

star-red.gif (881 bytes) China's & Siberia's Cultures: a big guide from WorkingDogWeb with many more resources than this sampling

Overview of Chinese History and China: The World's Oldest Civilization

Ancient Dynasties: Xia, Shang and Zhou, illustrated with images of oracle bones, bronze vessel, map, and a 4,000-year timeline of Chinese history, plus a timeline of key political and cultural events of each period

Explore China's dynasties, culture, philosophy, politics in depth:
· The Shang
- earliest Yellow River culture with archaeological evidence,
   including a look at religion, rituals, bronze, oracle bones, writing

· The Chou - conquered Shang territories, built alliances; includes the
  “mandate of Heaven,” government, armies, philosophy, population growth

· The Chin - 15-year dynasty expanded south, creating the first united
   Chinese Empire; includes impact of the horse-riding steppe people

· The Han - long dynasty reunified China after wars, and fostered the
   culture known as Chinese.  At ca. 50 A.D., China attacked northern
   Hsiung Nu or Huns, sending them north and west into Russia, Europe;
   expanded the Silk Road. Also Later Han, Han Synthesis of ideas
· Later periods: The Sui, The T'ang, The Late Empire & The Sung

The Yuan - Mongol Empire, built by Ghengis Khan, by 1241 included all
  of Northern China; grandson Kublai Khan became emperor, moved his
  capital to Beijing, recaptured southern China. After a period of famine,
  a Chinese peasant led an uprising against the Yuan, drove them out and
  established the Ming Dynasty that lasted until 1644.

China: Geography & Maps   [ Top ]

China's Dynasties: 3000 BC to 1912 AD and Chinese Dynasty Maps: territory ruled by Zhou, Qin, Han, Tang, Sung, Yuan, Ming, Qing

Geography of China:  eight regions of China from the Tibetan highlands to the eastern lowlands, plus the mountains, rivers and lakes, more, with map

China - Large Map and 5 Maps of China: a look at China's location in Asia, mountains, rivers, cities, Mongolia, Lake Baikal and Siberia, more

Map of Russian Far East next to China: map provides a look at China's eastern neighbor, the RFE from Sakahlin Island to the Bering Strait

Maps of China - Neolithic & Links to Maps by Dynasty including:
· Shang Dynasty Map
· Western Chou or Zhou Dynasty Map
Eastern Chou or Zhou Dynasty Map

Large Map of China: with provinces, cities, major rivers, and a map with provinces, and a colorful map with provinces, neighboring countries

The People of China   [ Top ]

China is People: in fact, 1.3 billion people, and more on China's People: 90 percent of Chinese are Han, there are 55 national minorities

List of 56 Chinese Ethnic Groups: including:
· Han Chinese: the dominant group, the name from the Han dynasty
· Mongols: people of Mongolia, now northern China
· Manchu: people of northeast China who briefly ruled the countrya

Ancient Art & Culture   [ Top ]

China's Arts - Chronologically: from Yang Shao pottery to bronze ritual vessels to jade daggers and scepters, a rare bronze vessel in owl form, a p'an or shallow vessel with beasts, and more from various dynasties, and the evolution of the pen or p'an or shallow tray

China's Art & Antiquities: painted pottery, bronze vessels, jade, paintings, and more, plus a guide to China Knowledge in arts, culture, history

Pottery from Neolithic China: including a tripod vase in black pottery, in the shape of an owl - a popular image - from the Yangshao Culture, and more pottery from China's Neolithic and from Shang and Zhou Dynasties. See also Guide to Pottery from the earliest times in China, Japan

Pottery from China: various Neolithic styles, including Longshan Banpo and painted pottery, plus Neolithic ceramics and pieces from Warring States period, and the horse in ancient China

Chinese Artifacts: from early Neolithic stone tools and a pottery pig, to Neolithic pottery, Shang bronzes including a vessel in the shape of an owl [see pottery owl above], a Shang bronze mirror, a Zin bronze mirror in circle shape with raised dot, Han Dynasty clay warriors, much more

China's Art & Artifacts: from bronze vessels to terra cotta figurines, Shang to Tang dynasties, plus wood and pottery figurines and artifacts such as a Han Dynasty terra cotta curled-tail dog [ see large image ]

China's Art Across the Ages:   from painted Neolithic pottery to Shang Dynasty jade mask to pottery striding horse to Han Dynasty curled-tail dog of pottery  [ see large image ] from burial of Emperor Jingdi

Ancient Bronze Age of China: pictures, descriptions of wine and food vessels, decorative animals including ram's head, dragons, and the animal or beast mask called t’aot’ie, and more early bronze objects from Xia, Shang and Zhou, and the evolution of the taotie mask

Bronze Vessels: introduction, pictures, descriptions of Shang bronze vessels for food and wine: ding, li, gui, jue, jia, pan, you, zun, others

China's Neolithic Art: painted pottery, jade bi disk, followed by:
· Shang Dynasty Art: 2,000-1,000 BC, pottery, bronze, jade
· Zhou & Han Dynasties: 1,000 BC - 1 AD, jade, bronze vessels, bells
· Eastern Han Dynasty: 1 - 500 AD, stoneware with celadon glaze
· Tang & Song Dynasties: 500 - 1,000 AD, tomb guardian, painting

Shang Dynasty Cultural Developments: raising of silkworms, pigs, dogs, pigs, sheep, oxen, grain-growing, bronze casting, religious rituals including dogs buried in tombs of wealthy, powerful people, and sea shells showing trade with coastal peoples, while discoveries of oracle bones with writing in East China's Shandong Province also shows cultural elements moved east

Dogs in Shang Dynasty China:   raising of dogs required people designated as dog-keepers, and dogs were used as offerings to the gods, spirits

Cultural Images from China: various maps, images from art, archaeology, religion including Shang period oracle bones, ritual bronze vessels, more

Treasures from a Lost Civiliation: ancient art from Sanxingdui, Sichuan, including rare bronze masks, statues, more, Shang period and later

China: 100 Treasures: selections of ancient art from different regions including bronze wine vessel, Sanxingdui bronze head, terra-cotta army of the first emperor, near X'ian, more - and an exhibit introduction

Splendors of Imperial China: selections of art from various dynasties including a treasure box with inlaid bi or pi disk

The Importance of Trade to Chinese Art

Guide to China's Culture: many links to online resources, some defunct

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Bronze Mirrors
from Ancient China

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Three Thousand Years of
Chinese Painting


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Jades of the
Liangzhu Culture

ArtsChina.jpg (5936 bytes)
The Arts
of China

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Shamanic Worlds:
Rituals and Lore
of Siberia and
Central Asia


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The Shaman's Coat:
A Native History
of Siberia


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Shamans and Elders:
Knowledge, and
Power Among the
Daur Mongols


Ancient Religion, Ritual & Shamanism   [ Top ]

Early Chinese Religion: the importance of funeral ritual and the role of shaman or priest during the Shang dynasty in interpreting oracle bones

Shang China Ritual Masks: symbolizing transformations between the human and animal spirit realm, an element of shamanistic foundation of Shang religion, and a look at the origin of the Shang dynasty name

Spirit Mediums in Early China:  Zhou or Chou dynasty figures perhaps descended from Shang court shamanism

Shamanism in China: relationship to animism, influence of Shang Dynasty, Mongolian shamanism, importance of balance and harmony

Shamanism in Siberia: excerpts from the influential work, "Aborginal Siberia," by M.A. Czaplicak, 1914, featuring picture of the Ainu "bear feast" and a link to a map of Siberian peoples

People of Siberia: 14 native peoples of northern Siberia from the Chukchi and Koryak to Samoyed peoples, including their religious life
· shamanism and
objects for religious life
· shaman's coat & bird symbolism and
shaman's coat

Indigenous People of Siberia: native dress, lifeways for the Evens, Evenki and Dolgans of Eastern Siberia, various peoples of Western Siberia, as well as illustrations of shamans and their masks & bird figurines

Siberia: China's Northern Neighbor   [ Top ]

Map of Asia: plus country maps including the Russian Federation and a large map of Russia & Siberia with mountain ranges, plains, cities

Map of Russia & Siberia: with, west to east, the Ob, Irtysh and Lena Rivers as well as Lake Baikal, the Amur River and Bering Strait

Map of Siberia: with the route of the Trans-Siberian Express, the railway from Moscow to Vladivostok, and more on the Trans-Siberian Express trip

Map of Siberia: topographical map of mountains, rivers, and a topo map with mountain ranges and native peoples shown by using mouse

Maps of Siberia: seven historic maps by region including Northeast Siberia

Maps of Siberia's Forests: including intact forests by region

Map of Eastern Siberia: see the Chukchi Peninsula, Kamchatka Peninsula, Sakhalin Island and Alaska in relation to each other

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Ainu: Spirit of a
Northern People


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Spirit of Siberia:
Traditional Native Life,
Clothing and Footwear


Clink link to order Drawing Shadows to Stone
Drawing Shadows to Stone:
Photography of the Jesup
North Pacific Expedition

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East of the Sun:
The Epic Conquest
and Tragic History
of Siberia


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Baikal: Sacred
Sea of Siberia


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Shyaan Am!:
Tuvan Folk Tales


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Ancient Horsemen
of Siberia

Clink link to order A History of the Peoples of Siberia
A History of the
Peoples of Siberia:
Russia's North Asian
Colony 1581-1990

Origins of
Pottery in Asia

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