Very Large, Handsome Ancient Tanged Cross Bow Arrow Point (Plaque/Shadow Box) 300 B.C.
CLASSIFICATION: Ancient Bronze Tanged Cross Bow Arrow Point. Mounted onto plaque or shadow box upon request (additional shipping charges apply).
ATTRIBUTION: Ancient China. Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.).
Length: 134 millimeters (5 1/2 USA inches).
Width: 11 millimeters.
Weight: 10.57 grams.
CONDITION: Very good. No cracks or breakage, moderate to moderately heavy porosity (surface pitting caused by contact with earth while buried). Bent from impact. Professionally conserved.
DETAIL: This is very handsome bronze tanged arrow point circa fifth or fourth century B.C. attributed to the Warring States Period of Ancient China. Uncharacteristically the crossbow point clearly possesses the entire tang. Typically the cross bow tangs are lost over the millennia, leaving only a point and the stub of a tang. Here we have the entire tang intact, although as you can see that had it lain for another two millennia, it looks like the tang would have eventually been completed corroded away. The point was clearly produced for use with a crossbow. Although the handheld crossbow was not (re)introduced into Europe until about 1200 A.D.; and though known to the Romans never utilized; the ancient Chinese it is believed invented the crossbow.
Though some archaeologists believe that the crossbow may have been invented as late as 600 B.C.; there is compelling evidence that non-bronze crossbows may have been introduced around 2,000 B.C. As you can clearly see, this point was used! The tip of the point is deformed from an impact! This weapon was used, and obviously struck something fairly hard (such as rock or bronze armor) at high velocity. Even though bent and corroded, the point is still extremely sharp - "razor" sharp, it could easily cut the careless handles. Notwithstanding the evidence of an impact, the point was recovered intact. However like most smaller metal artifacts buried for thousands of years, mother nature was busy digesting this snack. As one can clearly see the artifact evidences a moderate amount of porosity, surface pitting the consequence of burial in caustic soil.
Oftentimes small metal artifacts when uncovered by the archaeologist are no more than stains in the soil which held them; green for bronze, red for iron. Obviously this specimen did not suffer such a fate. However it does bear significant mute testimony to the fact is was buried for several thousand years. The arrow point possesses the very handsome golden brown tone so characteristic of ancient bronze. 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, he cross-bow point could be installed within a glass-front shadow box with or without printed history (see it here).
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 Dynasty 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.
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE: These antiquities come from a number of collections which by and large originated here in Eastern Europe. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers, principally in Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. All of these artifacts are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery via U.S. Mail. We are the Southern Urals State Student Association for Archaeological and Anthropological Studies in Russia. We use the proceeds of our sales to buy used notebook computers, study and reference materials, and provide meaningful part-time and full-time employment for our undergraduate and postgraduate association members. We also help support other institutions and organizations within Russia involved in the study of anthropology and archaeology. All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price.
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