Monday, July 6, 2009

Jade Slit-tube (Jue)

This Slit-tube artefact measuring 2cm long is also a Jue.

According to a Chinese source (Chinese jadeware: picture reference dictionary p.061) slit-tube as well as slit-ring jues were in existence in the Chahai Culture, around 5000BC. However, J Rawson in " Chinese jade: from the Neolith" says that "The earliest jue, which are more like slit-tubes than slit-rings, are found in the north-east in the Xinglongwa (about 5000 BC) and Chahai cultures (about 4500 BC), which preceded the Hongshan (about 3800-2700 BC)"

Although tube-shaped jues are described as probably ear ornaments by both the Chinese source as well as J Rawson I am at a loss to see how this slit-tube can be worn on the ear without falling off. These people from the Neolithic cultures sure have baffling ornaments. !

My specimen is plain with no embellishments and I am thinking that it may belong to some early neolithic culture. Jues (both tube-shaped and planar) from the later Warring states period have elaborate decorations of dragon, bird or cloud patterns on their surfaces.
IMPO a slit-tube (jue) looks more like a bead that has been slit and a better name for it could be "slit-bead (jue)." !

There is much weathering on the slit-tube, see pix below :

"Concentric-ring tool marks" are also present in the crevice of the slit-tube.

Here is another view of the slit-tube:

Looking at the slit-tube from this angle, gives me a wild idea that the tube may be sliced into several segments to form a few flat slit-rings. Now thats another silly thought for me to chew on. Yum! :))

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