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Squared disc (cong)

CC0 Public Domain Designation

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Neolithic period (ca. 8000–2000 BC), Liangzhu Culture, ca. 3000–2500 B.C.



About this artwork

Elaborately furnished Chinese tombs of the late fourth and third millennia B.C. reveal that jade objects were prestigious burial gifts, particularly among the Liangzhu people of the eastern coast (present-day Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces). This bracelet-like form is carved with a masklike image composed of circles and bars that suggest eyes and nose or mouth. The same motif is seen in the tapered exterior surfaces of tall prisms, where it is multiplied in vertical tiers.

Jade-rich burials suggest that Chinese beliefs in the stone’s life-preserving properties originated in prehistoric times.


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Arts of Asia


Squared disc (cong)


China (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

3000 BCE–2000 BCE




3.2 × 10.8 cm (1 1/4 × 4 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Edward and Louise B. Sonnenschein Collection

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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