Period: Longshan culture ( 2600--2000 BCE)
Measurements: 10.2 cm in width, 15.5 cm in length
Provenance: Unearthed at a prehistoric site at Huangshan, Nanyang county, Henan 1958
Henan province boasts abundant nephrite jade resources. The emergence of the jade objects in the Central Plains derived from the Longshan culture of the Neolithic Age, which saw the various jade products, such as spade, dagger-axe, knife, etc. The jade spade features a flat rectangular in shape, narrow on the top and wide on the edge, with a perforation in the middle of the top, the blade is arc-shaped and finely polished. On the one hand, it demonstrates the superb jade-making craftsmanship of the ancient artisans, and on the other hand, it also shows the longstanding history of using the nephrite jades in Central Plains.
Numerous jade objects were unearthed at the Huangshan site of Nanyang in Henan province, of which various productive tools take on the highest proportion, amongst which the most representative is jade spade, and it manifests its importance in agriculture of the settlements of the time, and the practical and exchangeable values in the wide areas, as well as other social attributes it gradually acquired. In the late Neolithic Age, with the improvement of people's aesthetic awareness and the continuous development of social structures, all kinds of jade articles have gradually evolved from the primitive labor tools to symbols of power and status in the religious and political life of the primitive society.