Subject:Jade disc for burial?
Posted By: Bill Thu, May 22, 2008
In the original thread of this collared disc posted by Kevin, Pierre said,
"Bill, the pic you posted here clearly shows the lime deposits between the circles, created by the hearth humidity during the thousands or so years of being burried.
I'm very sure it cannot be removed easily at all. Very good sign of age.
On the other hand, Kevin's disc doesn't show any such signs."
That is indeed a really very good oberseration and one that I have overlooked. Therefore without the presence of such weathering (or deposit or whatever you want to call it) resulted from contact with soil (or other environmental factors) during burial, it would be indeed difficult to confirm Kevin's collar to be archaic.
That is the same dilemma Anita faced in evaluating his disc:
On one hand she agrees that the workmanship and material are simply supberb and yet the lack of weathering ("the condition is too good to be" genuine) really confuses her.
I found these oberservatons of both Pierre and Anita were both very logical and reasonable and I believe they would be true most of the time.
But please allow me be the Devil's advocate. Where did it say that jade Bi (jade disc, jade disk) are supposed to be used for burial?
If I remember correctly, there are six types of jade carvings in ancient China, the top two are jade Bi and jade cong (tsung). Jade bi are used for making offering (or sacrifice) to the sky (or heaven) while jade congs are used for making sacrifice to the earth.
Therefore jade bi were never intended for burials until Han dynasty when such bi became much more abundant and the Han dynasty people put a lot of important in extravagant burial. It is a also possible jade bi from earlier dynasties were being used in burial during Han or later dynasties and that may be why we would see Shang bi found in burial. However, during Shang dynasty, jade bi were not intended for burials. Now, on the other hands, one would find more congs in burial.
Now of course I can be wrong, but it would be an interesting topic for jade collectors to discuss, would it?