|This bronze food container, or gui, measures 9.37 inches tall (23.8 centimeters) and weighs 18.5 pounds (8.4 kilograms). The container was used as a large bowl to serve food, You can see the other two "ears" attached to the legs in the background. The decorations include twenty-four ox heads. You can pick them out on the surface of the legs in the next pictures. The next two pages give you details of the handles.
You might think that "ear" is a strange word for a handle, but in ancient Chinese the word "耳" meant holder. Today the same character is used to refer to the ear. So a literal translation gives you "四耳簋" - "Four Ear Container."
This food container was unearthed in 1981 in Zhifangtou, Baoji, Shaanxi.
Last update: March 2010
© Marilyn Shea, 2010