The horse was domesticated in China during the Neolithic Age. In the Western Zhou Dynasty (c.11th century-771 BC), the animal played a significant role in wars.
This horse-shaped bronze zun (wine vessel) dates back to the Western Zhou Dynasty and is 32.4 centimeter tall and 34 cm wide. The sacrificial vessel gives of a sense of vitality and has plain circle patterns. The 105-character inscriptions on its chest and back record a ceremony to mark the maturity of horses from over 3,000 years ago.
Unearthed from Licun village, Meixian county, Shaanxi province, in 1955, the vessel is a representative combination of artistic design and practicality. The National Museum of China holds it in its permanent collection.