An Enlightenment of the Human Art
In the early human society, the animal has the magic power towards the man, while human beings are passive. The helplessness, fear and awe towards nature make people in anticipation of the divine refuge, even think of myself as some kind of beast and portray half man half beast shape and decoration in the bronze. They use the weirder and more ferocious images on the bonze to prevent disasters and drive off evil, and enhance their own sense of security. At this time, the gluttonous decoration on bronze often constitutes the center of all ornamentation and make people fee terrified. Hideous decoration is the projection of the fate of the terrorist mentality in the decoration of objects as well as the embodiment of terror to different race or nation and the mark of their own clan to overcome the fear.
China’s Bronze Age began in the Xia Dynasty
The bronze wares of Xia Dynasty have limited category, mainly are small pieces of tools and weapons. The bronze shape of early Xia Dynasty is mainly affected by the impact of various types of pottery of the same period, full of strong original start-up atmosphere. Just from the Bronze Jue, in general, there are two shapes. One is the original type. The style basically imitates pottery jue. Its appearance has the similar characteristics as the hand made pottery jue found in Erlitou site, slender, flat, short feet. The lotus leaf-like side of the mouth and spout extends unevenly. Such a bronze jue resembles the pottery in the appearance.
The other modeling is more refined type. The wall is evenly thin and smooth while the lines are narrow and graceful and fine. In spite of the similar slender waist and flat bottom, it is apparently made in advance and detailed trim on the clay mold. The three legs are slender and slightly curved. The changes from the original type to fine-form reflect the shape of the bronze transforming from simple to complex and diverse as well as the extensive evolution from cruse to delicate. This has opened a new road for the novel shapes of the Shang Dynasty bronze objects.
Erlitou bronze general does not have decoration, but some bronze cups are carved with ornamentation like a row or two rows of nails in the front side. Some artifacts also have simple and textured clouds and other patterns. In addition, noteworthy is the plaques inlaid with turquoise. The animal faces in the bronze plaque in addition to the two outside board eyes, other parts are abstract rather than realistic. It is also the already known earliest bronze animal faces. Even though it is not found any kind of animal decorations on the bronze of Erlitou bronze, but there has already been deformed animal ornamentation inside the bronze ge of Erlitou period. Therefore it can not be ruled out that at this time animal pattern may appear on the ritual bronze.