Measurements: W.9 cm, Thk. 0.6 cm, H. 11 cm
Period: Western Zhou dynasty (877--771. BCE)
Provenance: unearthed from tomb M2001 at Guo state cemetery, Sanmenxia city, Henan province, 1990
Being one of the many jade objects unearthed from the Guo state cemetery in Sanmenxia city, this exquisite piece has faded into an ocher color due to erosion. The ox head-shaped pendant has upright pointed horns, under which two concave indents mark the ears, and between the ears rest two incised eyes. The reverse side is flat.
Once an important vassal state ruled by an imperial kinsmen with the royal surname Ji, the state of Guo buried many jade artifacts within its cemeteries. These were then classified to be ritualistic accessories and ornaments, repurposed as accompanying possessions belonging to the deceased. Similarly to other zoomorphic jade ornaments such as birds, pig-dragons or deer, this piece too carries a small perforation. It is presumed to be an adorning article for the tomb’s occupant from his or her lifetime.