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Jade bi disc, China, Neolithic period. Source: Cleveland Museum of Art/CC0

The Mysterious Origin of the Jade Discs

In ancient China, dating back to at least 5,000 BC, large stone discs were placed on the bodies of Chinese aristocrats. Their original function still eludes scientists, as does the way in which they...
Jade bi disc, China. Source: W.Scott McGill / Adobe Stock.

The Jade Discs: A Wonder of Ancient Chinese Technology (Video)

Jade has always been a popular material in jewelry making, but there is much more to this unique stone than just its beautiful appearance. The Jade bi (discs) of China are unlike any Jade found...
Stone Age jade axehead, Scotland, c. 4000 BC. Most of them were brought to Scotland around 4,000 years BC. Credit: Project Jade

Jade Beauty: 15 Must-See Artifacts in Pictures

Jade has been used by ancient civilizations for thousands of years, dating back to the Neolithic period. The precious stone was highly valued by the Chinese and was often referred to as "the royal...
The analysis of dripstones within the Shennong Cave (main image) and Jiulong Cave provided scientists with evidence related to the collapse of the Liangzhu culture. Source: Haiwei Zhang / Xi'an Jiaotong University

Fatal Flooding Destroyed China’s Liangzhu Culture 4,300 Years Ago

A thriving metropolis often referred to as “China’s Venice of the Stone Age” was mysteriously abandoned in approximately 2300 BC, leading to the extinction of China’s ancient Liangzhu culture. Now, a...
A Liangzhu period structure of the Meirendi bank with wooden planks still standing upright.

5,100-year-old Hydraulic System Found in China is the Oldest in the World

Four years of excavations have unearthed an immense water engineering project created in China about 5,100 years ago. This predates the oldest known comparable system; which is from Mesopotamia and...
Jade Cong, c. 2500 B.C.E., Liangzhu culture, Neolithic period, China (British Museum)

Elaborate Jade ‘Cong’ and ‘Bi’ as Grave Goods of the Liangzhu Culture

The Liangzhu culture (written in Chinese as 良渚文化) is a Neolithic culture that existed from around 3300 BC until 2300 BC. The archaeological evidence suggests that the Liangzhu culture possessed...