Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Nondestructive Analysis of Dragonfly Eye Beads from the Warring States Period, Excavated from a Chu Tomb at the Shenmingpu Site, Henan Province, China

  • Yimin Yang (a1) (a2), Lihua Wang (a3), Shuya Wei (a4), Guoding Song (a1) (a2), Jonathan Mark Kenoyer (a5), Tiqiao Xiao (a3), Jian Zhu (a1) (a2) and Changsui Wang (a1) (a2)...

Abstract

Dragonfly eye beads are considered to be the earliest types of glass objects in China, and in the past have been considered as evidence of culture interaction or trade between West and East Asia. In this article, synchrotron radiation microcomputed tomography and μ-probe energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence were used to determine the chemical composition, microstructure, and manufacturing technology of four dragonfly eye beads, excavated from a Chu tomb at the Shenmingpu site, Henan Province, China, dated stylistically to the Middle and Late Warring State Period (475 bc–221 bc). First, a nondestructive method was used to differentiate the material types including faience (glazed quartz), frit, glazed pottery (clay ceramic), and glass. Three beads were identified as faience and one bead as glazed pottery. The glaze recipe includes quartz, saltpeter, plant ash, and various copper, and is classified as belonging to the K2O-CaO-SiO2 glass system, which indicates that these beads were not imported from the West. Based on computed tomography slices, the manufacturing technology of the faience eye beads appears to include the use of an inner core, molding technology, and the direct application glazing method. These manufacturing features are consistent with the techniques used in China during this same time period for bronze mold-casting, proto-porcelain, and glass.

Copyright

Corresponding author

* Corresponding author. E-mail: cswang@ucas.ac.cn

References

Hide All
Baruchel, J., Buffiere, J.-Y., Cloetens, P., Di Michiel, M., Ferrie, E., Ludwig, W., Maire, E. & Salvo, L. (2006). Advances in synchrotron radiation microtomography. Scripta Mater 55, 4146.
Braghin, C. (2002). Polycrome and monochrome glass of the Warring States and Han periods. In Chinese Glass: Archaeological Studies on the Uses and Social Context of Glass Artefacts from the Warring State to the Northern Song Period: Fifth Century B.C. to Twelfth A.D., Braghin, C. (Ed.), pp. 814. Firenze, Italy: Leo S. Olschki.
Brill, R.H. & Shirahata, H. (2009). The second Kazuo Yamasaki TC-17 lecture on Asian glass: Recent lead isotope analyses of some Asian glasses with remarks on strontium isotope analyses. In Ancient Glass Research along the SILK Road, Gan, F.X., Brill, R.H. & Tian, S.Y. (Eds.), pp. 149164, Singapore: World Scientific Publishing.
Cui, J., Wu, X. & Huang, B. (2011). Chemical and lead isotope analysis of some lead-barium glass wares from the Warring States Period, unearthed from Chu tombs in Changde City, Hunan Province, China. J Archaeol Sci 38(7), 16711679.
Cui, J., Wu, X., Tan, Y. & Wang, Y. (2009). Chemical analysis of ancient glass wares unearthed from chu cemeteries of the warring state period in the drainage area of the Yuanshui River, Hunan Province. J Chinese Ceram Soc 37(11), 19091913 (in Chinese).
Gan, F., Cheng, H., Hu, Y., Ma, B. & Gu, D. (2009). Study on the most early glass eye-beads in China unearthed from Xu Jialing Tomb in Xichuan of Henan Province. Sci China Ser E 52(4), 922927.
Gan, F., Cheng, H. & Li, Q. (2006). Origin of Chinese ancient glasses—Study on the earliest Chinese ancient glasses. Sci China Ser E 49(6), 701713.
Hatton, G.D., Shortland, A.J. & Tite, M.S. (2008). The production technology of Egyptian blue and green frits from second millennium BC Egypt and Mesopotamia. J Archaeol Sci 35(6), 15911604.
HICRA (2004). The Chu Tomb in Heshangling and Xujialing of Xichuan, pp. 12. Henan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, Nanyang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, Xichuan Museum. Zhengzhou, China: Zhengzhou University Press (in Chinese).
Hou, D. (1995). The Production of Ores, Metals, Lacquer and Glass in Ancient Chu Kingdom, pp. 270275. Wuhan, China: Hubei Scientific and Technical Publishers (in Chinese).
Kerr, R. & Wood, N. (2004). Part XII: Ceramic technology. In Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 5, Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Needham, J. (Eds.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Li, J. (1998). A History of Science and Technology in China (vol. of Ceramic), pp. 9899. Beijing, China: Science Press (in Chinese).
Li, J. (2005). Evolution of ancient Chinese porcelain glaze. In Development of Ancient Chinese Glass, Fuxi, G. (Ed.), pp. 206207. Shanghai, China: Shanghai Scientific and Technologic Press (in Chinese).
Li, Q., Dong, J. & Gan, F. (2009). Research and discussion on chemical composition and technics of the early faience and glass artifacts unearthed from China. J Guangxi University for Nationalities (Natural Science Edition) 15(4), 3141 (in Chinese).
Mees, F., Cornelis, E., Jacobs, P., Doménech Cárbo, M.T. & Roemich, H. (2009). Microfocus X-ray computed tomography analysis of corroded glass objects. Eng Geol 103(3-4), 9399.
Nicholson, P.T. (1993). Egyptian Faience and Glass, pp. 120. Oxford, UK: Shire.
Qin, Y., She, L., Li, X. & Huang, J. (2009). Composition and structure of warring states period glasses from tomb number two at the Leigudun site of Shuizou county, Hubei province, China. J Chinese Ceram Soc 37(4), 574576 (in Chinese).
Roemich, H., Lopez, E., Mees, F., Jacobs, P., Cornelis, E., Van Dyck, D. & Doménech Cárbo, T. (2005). Microfocus X-ray computed tomography (mCT) for archaeological glasses. In Cultural Heritage Conservation and Environmental Impact Assessment by Non-Destructive Testing and Micro-Analysis, Van Grieken, R. & Janssens, K. (Eds.), pp. 3747. London: Taylor & Francis Group.
Tan, D., Xu, H. & Huang, L. (1999). Research about casting technology using pottery mould in the Bronze Age of China. Acta Archaeol Sinica 2, 211263 (in Chinese).
Tite, M.S., Manti, P. & Shortland, A.J. (2007). A technological study of ancient faience from Egypt. J Archaeol Sci 34(10), 15681583.
Vandiver, P.B. (1998). A review and proposal of new criteria for production technologies of Egyptian faience. In La Couleur dans le Peinture et l'Emaillage de 'Egypte Ancienne, Colinart, S. & Menu, M. (Eds.), pp. 121139. Bari, Italy: Edipuglia.
Wu, J., Zhang, M., Wu, J., Li, Q., Li, J., Deng, Z. & Xia, J. (2011). Study on the diversification of origins and primary development of Chinese porcelain glazes. Sci China Technol Sci 54(1), 99104.
Zhang, F., Chen, Z. & Zhang, Z. (1983). Study on Chinese ancient Liuli. J Chinese Ceram Soc 11(1), 6776 (in Chinese).

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed