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Yue-ceremonial axe with Yachou emblem
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The Yue ceremonial axe symbolized political authority in early China.The main motif of the weapon is a very mean human mask. Besides the mask's mouth is a Yachou inscription, indicating that it is a product of the Yachou clan (probably a big clan in the late Shang period).

History of the Object
In 1931 bronzes were found at Sufutun and it was later established they came from tombs. M1 is a very large tomb; it was looted extensively, but is still of great interest. Yue ( 越 or 钺 ) refers to ancient semi-Sinicized or non-Sinicized peoples of southern China, originally those along the eastern coastline of present-day Zhejiang province. In ancient times, the northern Han Chinese referred to the peoples to their south collectively as the Yue. Historical texts often refer to the Hundred Yue tribes. The character itself is related to the character for "ceremonial axe" (钺)

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
Bronze 
Measurements
Width 34.5 cm. Length 32.7 cm.  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China 
Geography
China 
Time period
BCE 15th century ~ BCE 10th century 
Creation date
BCE; 15th Century BCE - 10th Century BCE; Shang; Late Shang Period 
Function
Ritual object 
Acquisition
Unearthed from tomb M1 at the Sufutun site in Qingzhou City in 1965 and then transferred to the museum. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Shandong Museum 
Museum
Shandong Museum 
Credit line
 

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