Introduction of Exhibition
The earliest bronzes found in the Hunan region so far have come from several Shang Dynasty sites over 3500 years ago in Tonggushan of Yueyang City and Zaoshi of Shimen County. In the late Shang Dynasty, the Hunan region was ushered into the prime time of bronze culture, symbolized by the appearance of a large number of bronzes featuring the Central Plains and special local characteristics. In the Western Zhou Dynasty, there began to appear bronzes with characteristics of southern China and, simultaneously, bronzes of the State of Chu. Because of this situation, during the Warring States Period the Hunan region was mainly represented by bronze culture of the State of Chu, with the coexistence of multiple bronze cultures.
Bronzes of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties found in Hunan hold an important position in China’s bronze culture. Our Museum has a fairly large collection of bronzes of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties. This exhibition of Shang and Zhou Bronzes Found in Hunan displays 72 carefully selected bronzes and 11 jade objects unearthed together with the bronzes. Though only an insignificant portion of our entire collection, this exhibition presents the sequence of development of bronze culture in the Hunan region, offers knowledge of the bronze nao (a kind of musical instrument) and animal-shaped bronze utensils, and enriches the connotation of China’s bronze culture.