Ancient Chinese Neolithic Vessels and various artifacts such as bronze objects, stone artifacts, jade objects, jewellery, terracotta tripod Gui cooking vessels and funerary objects such as these have been excavated in many parts of China.
There are over 51,000 archaeological sites dating from early Neolithic to early Iron age (8000-500 BC) which show that China was culturally vibrant from these early times. Many artifacts surviving from these early periods point to a rich agricultural society with several distinctly independent cultures and belief systems which were ever changing and growing in sophistication.
It was only during the Shang Dynasty between 1600 BC and 1046 BC that the first written records in the form of symbols and pictures written on oracle bones made from tortoiseshell and animal bones provided scholars with a glimpse into the culture and practices of the people during these early times.
Tripod vessels such as those in our picture gallery have been excavated at the Dawenkou sites in the Yellow River Valley.
There has been great thought and consideration by researchers regarding the shape of these Gui style vessels, suggesting that they may have been used in ritual practices and burials.
The legs on many of these Gui are hollow, an innovation introduced by the Chinese which allowed the vessel to be placed on an open fire without cracking.