Exceptionally Large, Handsome Ancient Socketed Arrow Point (Pin/Brooch/Pendant/Plaque) 300 B.C.
CLASSIFICATION: Ancient Bronze Socketed Arrow Point. Mounted onto a stick pin, brooch pin, or contemporary chain upon request. Mounted onto plaque or shadow box upon request (additional shipping charges apply).
ATTRIBUTION: Ancient China. Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.).
Length: 37 millimeters.
Width: 17 millimeters.
Weight: 4.87 grams.
NOTE: Stick pin or brooch pin mounted upon request at no additional cost. If preferred, can also be mounted as a pendant. Pendant mounting and gold tone chain also provided at no cost. Can also be mounted onto a plaque or into a shadow box (see below).
CHAIN: Contemporary gold tone 60 centimeters (24 inches). A wide variety of other chains are available upon request in sizes from 16 to 30 inches, and in metals ranging from gold and silver electroplate to sterling silver and solid 14kt gold. The default chain (absent contrary instructions) is gold tone, 24 inches.
CONDITION: Very good. Sound integrity, moderately light porosity (surface pitting/corrosion caused by contact with earth while buried). Good finish. Professionally conserved.
DETAIL: This is very handsome, quite large bronze socketed arrow point circa fifth or fourth century B.C. attributed to the Warring States Period of Ancient China. It was recovered intact, and unlike most smaller bronze artifacts which are completely disfigured by corrosion (porosity) the consequence of burial in caustic soil, this particular piece evidences only moderately light corrosion/porosity. Of course in these 300% photo enlargements you can clearly see evidence that it spent several millennia buried. Unfortunately ancient metal, especially bronze and iron, tends to decompose in soil over the millennia. It is not too uncommon to unearth metal artifacts which are nothing more than crumbled stains within the soil (green for bronze, red for iron). You can sure see what was a metal artifact, but when touched it crumbles into the soil.
Fortunately this bronze point was not unearthed in such an advanced state of decomposition. It obviously evidences considerably porosity (the fine surface pitting caused by oxidation), which kind of enhances its character, however the artifact is still durable and could be worn as a pendant or pin (see suggesting mount pins below). It does not exhibit the gross corrosion or porosity which so commonly completely disfigures many small ancient metal artifacts. The arrow point possesses a very nice, medium bronze tone quite characteristic of ancient bronze, and there are no significant impairments, cosmetic or structural, to the integrity of this artifact (other than the corrosion you can see in these images). It is a remarkable and compelling artifact of ancient Chinese warfare.
If you request, as illustrated below we can mount the arrow point onto a contemporary gold tone brooch pin. If you would prefer, we could instead mount the arrow point onto a long, thin lapel pin. It is also possible to mount it as a pendant (shown above). Any of these three methods involve attached a contemporary finding securely - but none-permanently. If at some future date you wish to remove the contemporary finding, you could do so without causing damage to the artifact itself. What a fantastically handsome lapel pin or brooch (or pendant) this would make, bound to generate lots of interest and envy! A wonderfully evocative relic of both the history of ancient China as well as ancient warfare.
We are happy to offer a stick pin or brooch pin at no additional cost - or a contemporary chain. However you must specifically request that it be mounted, as the default shipment mode is simply the artifact with a chain wound through it. If you wish the artifact set as a pendant, we can offer you your choice of chains in gold, bronze, or silver tone; or solid 14kt gold or sterling silver. If you request (follow the links below), we could mount the arrow point onto a framed display plaque (see it here), and it would make a great gift.
The plaque narrates a brief outline of the history of ancient China along with a couple of images of very beautiful artifacts. It would make a great gift, for yourself or a friend, and would surely delight a son or daughter. It would not only make a very handsome display, but would be very educational as well. If you prefer, the cross-bow point could be installed within a glass-front shadow box with or without printed history (see it here). Weather worn or displayed, it is a remarkable and evocative remnant of one of the greatest ancient civilizations in the history of mankind.
HISTORY: Sharing the language and culture of the preceding Shang Dynasty, the Zhou (Chou) Dynasty through conquest and colonization gradually enveloped much of North China. The Zhou dynasty lasted longer than any other, from 1027 to 221 B.C. The early decentralization of the Zhou Dynasty has oftentimes been compared to Europe's medieval feudal system. However social organization in the Zhou Dunasty was more predicated upon family and tribal ties than feudal legal bonds. Philosophers of the period enunciated the doctrine of the "mandate of heaven", the notion that the ruler (the "son of heaven") governed by divine right. In reality the emperor shared power with the local lords. At times the local lords were oftentimes more powerful than the emperor. In the later dynasty, large scale conflicts oftentimes erupted between rival local lords (eventually culminating in the "Warring States" period).
The late Zhou Dynasty's potpourri of city-states became progressively centralized, characterized by greater central control over local governments and systematic agricultural taxation. The iron-tipped, ox-drawn plow, together with improved irrigation techniques, brought higher agricultural yields, which, in turn, supported a steady rise in population. The growth in population was accompanied by the production of much new wealth, and a new class of merchants and traders arose. However in 771 B.C. the Zhou court was sacked, and its king was killed by invading barbarians who were allied with rebel lords. The Zhou retreated eastward relocating their capital city. Today historians divide the Zhou Dynasty into the Western Zhou (1027-771 B.C.) and Eastern Zhou (770-221 B.C.). The west was abandoned, and the power of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty gradually diminished.
The Eastern Dynasty itself is further divided by historians into two periods reflecting the accelerating fragmentation and disintegration of China. The first from 770 to 476 B.C. is called the Spring and Autumn Period. The second is known as the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.), as China completely dissolved. Though marked by disunity and civil strife, these two periods marked an era of cultural advancements known today as the "golden age" of China. Commerce was stimulated by the introduction of coinage. The use of iron not only revolutionized the production of weaponry but also the manufacture of farm implements. An atmosphere of reform was the result of the competition between rival warlords to build strong and loyal armies, requiring increased economic production and a strong tax base.
This created a demand for ever-increasing numbers of skilled, literate officials and teachers (a "civil service"), recruited on merit. Public works such as flood control, irrigation projects, and canal digging were executed on a grand scale. Enormous walls were built around cities and along the broad stretches of the northern frontier. Many of the era's intellectuals were employed as advisers by China's rulers on the methods of government, war, and diplomacy. So many different philosophies developed during these two periods that the era is often referred to as "The Hundred Schools of Thought". The period produced many of the great classical writings on which Chinese practices were to be based for the next two and one-half millennia, including those of Confucius (551-479 B.C.).
HISTORY OF ANCIENT CHINESE CIVILIZATION: Want to know a little more about the history of human civilization in ancient China? Click right here.
Bronze is the name given to a wide range of alloys of copper, typically mixed in ancient times with zinc or tin. The Bronze Age followed the Neolithic, and as the name implies, saw the production of bronze tools, weapons and armor which were either hard or more durable than their stone predecessors. Traditionally archaeology has maintained that the earlier bronze was produced by the Maikop, a proto-Indo-European, proto-Celtic culture of Caucasus prehistory around 3500 B.C. Recent evidence however suggests that the smelting of bronze might be as much as several thousand years older. Shortly after the emergence of bronze technology in the Caucasus region, bronze technology emerged in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean), Anatolia (Turkey) and the Iranian Plateau.
By the late fourth to early third millennium B.C. many Bronze Age Cultures had emerged. Some of the more notable were the Celtic cultures of Middle Europe stretching from Hungary to Poland and Germany, including the Urnfield, Lusatian, and (Iron Age Transitional) Hallstatt Cultures. The Shang in ancient China also developed a significant Bronze Age culture, noted for large bronze burial urns. Britain's Bronze Age cultures included the Beaker, Wessex, Deverl, and Rimbury. Cornwall was the principle source of tin not only for Britain but exported throughout the Mediterranean, and copper was produced from the Great Orme mine in North Wales. Though much of the raw minerals may have come from Britain (and to a lesser extent Spain), it was the Aegean world which controlled the trade in bronze. The great seafaring Minoan Empire appears to have controlled, coordinated, and defended the Bronze Age trade.
Tin and charcoal were imported into Cyprus, where locally mined copper was mined and alloyed with the tin from Britain. It appears that the Bronze Age collapsed with the Minoan Empire, to be replaced by a Dark Age and the eventual rise of the Iron Age Myceneans. Evidence suggests that the precipitating event might have been the eruption of Thera and the ensuing tsunami, which was only about 40 miles north of Crete, the capital of the Minoan Empire. It is known that the bread-basket of the Minoan empire, the area north of the Black Sea lost population, and thereafter many Minoan colony/client-states lost large populations to extreme famines or pestilence. Thus with the end to the shipping of tin throughout the Mediterranean the Bronze Age trade network is believed to have failed, and the end of the Bronze Age and the rise of the Iron age is normally associated with the disturbances created by large population movements in the 12th century B.C.
The end of the Bronze Age saw the emergency of new technologies and civilizations which heralded the new Iron Age. Although iron was in many respects much inferior to bronze (steel was still thousands of years away), iron had the advantage that it could be produced using local resources during the dark ages that followed the Minoan collapse. Bronze also resists corrosion and metal fatigue better than iron. Bronze was still used during the Iron Age, but for many purposes the weaker iron was sufficiently strong to serve in its place. As an example, Roman officers were equipped with bronze swords while foot soldiers had to make do with iron blades.
A certificate of authenticity (COA) is available upon request. COA's are prepared and mailed from Russia. It takes a few weeks to receive them, and international air mail from Russia costs an additional $2.00. We prefer your personal check or money order over any other form of payment - and we will ship immediately upon receipt of your check (no "holds"). We will accept PayPal payments, however please do not use eBay's check-out system. There are too many variables regarding packaging options, shipping options, and other options to possibly include every possible variation in advance for automated checkout. The amounts provided for eBay's check-out system are only estimates based on domestic insured shipments. The actual amount could be more or less depending on your shipping, packaging, and accessorial preferences. So please wait for our email invoice before you attempt to check out so we can properly quote you for accessories such as packaging and shipping options. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."