Neolithic period, 3000 – 1900 BC
Height: 4 3/4 inches, 12 cm
Width: 2 1/2 inches, 6.2 cm


A cong (tube) of typical shape. Two flat sides of the tube have white marking on the surface.

This yellow jade cong is one of the most exquisite examples of its kind. The cong is one of the principal jade types of the Neolithic period, first appearing during the Liangzhu culture around Lake Tai in Jiangsu province, an area that was home to one of the two major jade using peoples of early China. The Liangzhu people developed several of the most enduring jade forms, including the cong and the bi disc.[1] As with the bi disc, the purpose of the cong tube is not entirely clear, although cong are thought to have had a ceremonial and possibly also a protective function.  One interpretation is that the cong symbolises earth, while the bi disc symbolises heaven.

  1. Rawson, J. Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing, British Museum, London, 1995, p. 122