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How our ancestors make bracelets

(chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2018-05-07

Bracelet, a wonderful addition to any wardrobe, is an indispensable accessory to any girl in pursuit of beauty. However, its history is a mystery to most people. For example, how did our ancestors make bracelets without the devices and technology we use today?

For the first time ever, Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Heritage and Archaeology experts, who take charge of the Huangshan Relics archaeological project, proposed the "hollowing out" theory. This happened at the Ancient Central China Jade Ware Manufacturing Technique Seminar held in Nanyang during its 15th Jade Carving Cultural Festival from April 26 to May 3.

According to the theory, people in the Neolithic Period would first find a round stone and smooth its edges, shaping the rim like a bracelet. Then, the middle part of the stone would be worn thin and knocked out. After careful polishing, a round and beautiful bracelet would take form.

With modern technology, all we need to do is delineate the shape and cut it out with machines before polishing it up. But it was extremely difficult for prehistoric people to do so considering the hardness of jade. The mystery of the bracelet manufacturing process has remained unsolved for a long time, as most theories have no solid evidence to back them up, said project head Ma Juncai.

How our ancestors make bracelets

A series of white marble bracelets is unveiled at the Ancient Central China Jade Ware Manufacturing Technique Seminar, along with some raw materials and semi-finished products. [Photo by Li Yanwen/Dahe Daily]

To support the "hollowing out" theory, a series of white marble bracelets was unveiled at the seminar along with some raw materials and semi-finished products as evidence of a complete manufacturing process during the Neolithic Period. These bracelet pieces, which date back 5,000 to 7,000 years, were excavated from Huangshan Relics.

Located in Nanyang's Pushan town, Huangshan Relics is only 2.5 kilometers away from Dushan Mountain, a major source of the world-renowned Dushan Jade. It is believed to have been a manufacturing base and distribution center of Dushan Jade in ancient times, as hundreds of stone and jade artifacts have been found there.

There are not many prehistoric jade ware workshops in the country, not to mention that the well-preserved Huangshan Relics can be directly connected with the nearby jade field. Both the relic itself and the archaeological discovery are rare to be found elsewhere, said Huang Kejia, a professor of archaeology at Beijing Union University.

How our ancestors make bracelets

Huangshan Relic is believed to have been a manufacturing base and distribution center of Dushan Jade in ancient times. [Photo/Nanyang Evening Post]

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