Horse-shaped vessel a combination of art and practicality

Updated: Oct 10, 2022 Print
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The bronze sacrificial wine vessel ( zun) of a standing horse, dating back to the Western Zhou Dynasty, is on display at the National Museum of China. [Photo/IC]

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.

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