Northeast China, Hongshan culture, Neolithic Period, ca. 3800 to 2700 BCE. A finely carved, natural crystal pig dragon on a pedestal pendant, translucent with subtle golden hues and mineral deposits highlighting incised areas, the upper section carved in the characteristic coiled form of a mythical pig-dragon with a finely incised crest, round eyes, and whiskered snout from the Neolithic Honghan cultural period. Scholars purport that the "pig-dragon" may have derived from the slit ring or jue form and was an important shape among the Hongshan culture. This example is laterally perforated in two places and was likely worn as a pendant or attached to clothing. For many years, scholars believed that Chinese civilization began in the Yellow River valley, but now we know that there were actually earlier cultures both north and south of this region. The Hongshan culture, comprised of a group of Neolithic peoples who lived in the far north-east, in what is modern-day Liaoning province and Inner Mongolia, created a sophisticated society and erected elaborate ceremonial sites that oftentimes included valuable works like this natural rock crystal pig-dragon pendant. Size: 2" W x 3.75" H (5.1 cm x 9.5 cm)
Provenance: Ex-Private LA County collection
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