Zoo-Anthropomorphic Jade Earring

Zoo-Anthropomorphic Jade Earring

National Treasure

National Treasure Intro

Zoo-Anthropomorphic Jade Earring is in the collection of the National Museum of Prehistory in Taiwan, and is also the museum's emblem.

Zoo-Anthropomorphic Jade Earring is from the Late Neolithic period, there are some such jade ornaments with one person and some with two, this one was excavated from next to a person’s ear, so they are regarded as ear ornaments. However, some scholars have differing views and believe that they are hair ornaments, but the type that could not worn by ordinary people, rather, only a religious leader or leader with status could wear them. Some scholars have also argued that it is to be a part of an object, and the parts sticking out can be inlaid on the joints of a wooden or bone object. They are mainly found at archaeological sites such as Peinan in Taitung, Wanshan in Yilan, and Zhishanyan in the Taipei, and even at prehistoric sites in Tainan and Pingtung.

Among them, the Zoo-Anthropomorphic Jade Earring, which was excavated in 1984 and designated as a national treasure in 2012, is one with two people, it came from a slate coffin at the Peinan site, and the material is Taiwan jade (nephrite). The jade is crystal clear in texture, exquisite in workmanship, exceptionally beautiful in shape, extremely unique in form, and very scarce in quantity.

3D gallery:Zoo-Anthropomorphic Jade Earring

National Treasure Appreciation

The Zoo-Anthropomorphic Jade Earring is 70.1mm tall, 39.6mm wide, 4.5mm thick, and 16.7g in weight. It is carved from Taiwan jade pieces, the shape is two people standing side by side. Their gender is indistinguishable, their hands are on their hips, their legs are open, and their knees are decorated with lines.

The animal is on top of their heads; the animal is depicted from the side. In front of the animal’s mouth there is a tiny gap, this shows that the mouth is slightly open. The top of the head has a shape that looks like an upright triangle, which is the animal’s upright ear; the animal’s back is arched upwards, and the tail is standing upright, which resembles a feline animal. There are no clear lines demarcating the four limbs of the animal with the two heads of the humans. Without looking carefully, you may confuse the heads of the human with the front and rear limbs of the animal. There are old cracks on the body of the animal, and there are two holes that have been repaired, showing that ancient people loved and cherished this object.

This small animal-shaped object, with its slightly open mouth, upright ears, arching back, and tail, uses simple lines to precisely depict the shape of an animal, which is full of vitality and beauty.
The animal’s knees are decorated with lines, in addition to highlighting the flexibility of the slightly curved leg and knee, it also points out the possibility of a puttee.
At the bottom of the legs there is a horizontal stand, the horizontal stand has round protrusions. The use is not clear, some scholars believe that it is similar to the Mortise and tenon joint structure, so it can stand up.



The National Museum of Prehistory (NMP) began in 1980 with the construction of the new Taitung Station on the South Line Railway, which led to the discovery of the Peinan Site. The Peinan Site is the largest and most complete prehistoric settlement ever found in Taiwan, and has the largest slate coffin burial complex in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim.

In response to the call to preserve Taiwan’s cultural resources, the NMP was built to the south side of the Kangle Station in Taitung, and the original Peinan Site was turned into the Peinan Archaeological Site Park. The Museum of Archaeology, Tainan Branch of NMP was also established in the Southern Taiwan Science Park in Tainan, where there is the most abundant cultural layer in southwest Taiwan.All these precious materials can be viewed on the “National Museum of Prehistory’s Database.”

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