Jade Objects

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Jade suit for corpse (male)                     Length: 1.88m                                 source

Although their coffins had collapsed, Liu Sheng and Dou Wan were each found in a well-preserved jade suit.  Liu Sheng's was made of 2498 pieces of jade, sewn together with two and a half pounds of gold wire (Dou Wan's was smaller).  Each suit consists of 12 sections:  face, head, front, and back parts of tunic, arms, gloves, leggings, and feet.  It has been estimated that a suit such as Liu Sheng's would have taken ten years to fashion.  Along with the jade suits, Liu Sheng and Dou Wan each had a gilt bronze headrest inlaid with jade and held jade crescents in their hands.  

Archaeologists had known of the existence of jade burial suits from texts, but the two suits found at Mancheng are the earliest and most complete examples ever discovered.    During the Han, jade funerary suits were used exclusively for the highest ranking nobles and were sewn with gold, silver, or bronze wire according to rank.  The practice was discontinued after the Han.  

What beliefs about the soul and the afterlife are reflected in the practice of wearing jade burial suits? 


Here are some jade objects from Liu Sheng's tomb.

How do these objects compare with the ones you saw from Fu Hao's tomb?

Jade ornaments                                                             source