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Spring and Autumn Period
春秋
Bronze Beam Sleeves with Coiled Serpent Designs
蟠虺纹铜构件  建筑材料

The bronze building "sleeves" shown above and below were used during the Spring and Autumn Period to add a decorative touch to the beams and columns of a building. They are decorated with a design of (huǐ), a legendary venomous snake. Although primarily decorative, they also added strength to the ends of joined members. The strengthening would be particularly important if softer woods were used in building, but at that time there was a plentiful supply of hardwoods available. It was only during the Ming Dynasty that certain species of hardwoods were cut to extinction. These "sleeves" date to the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 475 BC) and were excavated from a site at Yaojiagang, Fengxiang County.











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Last update: March 2010
© Marilyn Shea, 2010