Bronze Ox-Tiger Untensil in Lijiashan (Niu Hu Tong An)

In September, 1965, farmers of Jiangchuan County dug out some bronze wares by chance, and as a result of that, another grave of the ancient Dian Kingdom was discovered. During the two month's excavation from January, 1972, 27 graves were unearthed and the periods of these graves were from the Warring States to the late Western Han Times; over 1, 300 articles and relics were unearthed, among which are "the Bronze Ox-Tiger Utensil", the "Bronze Tiger -Ox Pillow", "the Bronze Tiger-Ox-Deer Vessel for Shell-Money" and other exquisite and valuable bronze wares.

"An" was the utensil applied by nobles of Dian Kingdom to put oblation on to offer sacrifices to deities or gods and it was also used in feasts for guests. The Bronze Ox-Tiger Utensil unearthed in Jiangchuan is unconventional in shape; the back of the ox is caved in to have food put on; its tail was griped into the tiger's mouth; under the ox a calf looks carefree and leisurely. The Bronze Ox-Tiger Utensil reflects the astonishing achievements in bronze-melting and art-casting that the ancient Dian Kingdom had already reached.

After the discovery of the grave of the King Dian in Shizhai Hill, Lijiashan is another ancient grave of Dian Kingdom in the largest scale and with the most colorful and richest relics unearthed. What are excavated in Shizhai Hill and Lijiangshan have mirrored the life and people of the ancient Dian Kingdom. Among the five approved historic and cultural relics on "national-level" from Yunnan, four are bronze wares of the ancient Dian Kingdom excavated out of these two precious groups of graves.


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