The mysterious Chinese Bronze Age culture of Shijiahe
The Shijiahe and Post-Shijiahe culture is a not very well-known late Bronze Age culture in China, named after the Shijiahe, the archeological site first discovered in Tianmen City, Hubei Province. It was preserved in small-scaled exquisite sculptures that show the marvelous artistic creativity of the ancient craftsmen and reflect the belief system and religious customs.
A significant number of ceramic figurines and statuettes of animals that belonged to the Shijiahe culture have been unearthed at the Dengjiawan site. Those artifacts were excavated alongside the accumulations of ceramic fragments in many ash pits.
It’s noteworthy that hundreds of clay couples are carved in various stances and gestures. Most of them wear light-brimmed hats and robes; some do not wear hats and show their arms and legs. Generally, the head is pulled back in a bun, the ears and nose are prominent, and details such as eyes and mouth are often ignored. Some stand with their legs crossed, others- with their legs raised, some of the human figurines wave their hands and lift their feet in a dance movement, and the others are carved in kneeling postures, holding the fish as if offering sacrifices to deities.