Period: Spring and Autumn (770-476 BCE)
Measurements: L. 37.5 cm, H.21.5 cm
Provenance: Unearthed at Tongbai county, Henan, 1975
Featuring straight rim, a long spout, deep sides, rounded base, four flat beast-formed legs, and a dragon-shaped handle at the back, the vessel was decorated with variants of the ring under the rim, under which are the bands of grooves. The inscription of 18 characters in four columns was inscribed on the bottom of the interior of the vessel, it reads from the left to right that the vessel was made by Chang Zhong Wu Long for himself, wishing his offspring cherish it forever, and continue the glory of the clan.
Bronze Yi vessel was a water container in the Western Zhou period, and was normally used together with a plate for washing hands. When in use, the water was pouring down from the Yi vessel to clean hands, and running into the plate under the hands, thus plate and Yi constitute a set of washing implements.
The inscription and the scale of the tomb suggest that the tomb occupant, Chang Zhong Wu Long, was presumably a noble of the Yang state which was a small vassal state to the Western Zhou court, with “Ying” as the surname of the ruling family, the territory is likely covering the present day Tongbai, Biyang region in the upper reaches of the Huai River.