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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 before. These flat, round discs were made from nephrite, a specific type of jade material, and were found in elite burials in large numbers dating back to the Liangzhu culture ( 3300-2250 BC). The ongoing mystery surrounding these discs is why they were made and what purpose they served.

The creation of these objects required highly trained artisans who worked with mineral abrasives and surprisingly complex tools for the Neolithic period. With the help of modern technology, archaeologists and experts are working to understand the manufacturing techniques and mineral composition of these ancient artifacts.

Top image: Jade bi disc, China. Source: W.Scott McGill / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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