Sharing a history of progress

By Wang Kaihao | China Daily | Updated: 2024-01-23 05:53
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Pottery figurines showing caravans on the ancient Silk Road. [Photo by Wang Kaihao/China Daily]

Chemistry between China and West Asia occurred long before that. For millennia, the rise of metallurgy in West Asia greatly influenced its counterpart in China.

"Distinctive West Asian elements thus surfaced on Chinese bronze vessels and weapons, as well as on gold and silver items," Ji says.

Nonetheless, as Chinese civilization favored order and harmony from the start, ritual was particularly highlighted.

"That explains why bronze was mainly used in West Asia to make tools and weapons, but in China it developed into a complicated system of ritual artifacts," Ji adds.

The millennia-old ceremonial bronze musical instruments from the Palace Museum's own collection take visitors back to Confucius' time to appreciate the ways that the cold metal inspired the imaginations of Chinese sages, resulting in a time of great thinkers.

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