The chinese T`SUNG, (Zhong) or CONG*
Pictures of different Congs for Information

General:

A T`SUNG (ZONG) or CONG is a oblong jade object, mostly squarely worked out, in the middle drilled with a round hole.

The length can be very various, from very small of about 1 cm till more than 1 meter.

The CONG surface can be smooth and un-ornamented, or shows only simple circle and/or stroke pattern, which are only scratched, but sometimes also worked out plastically.

A few CONGS, particularly from the HAN dynasty (202BC-220AD) and also later, show figurative head representations of animals and/or people.

Although the production of the Congs will go back far to the Neolithcum, the so-called Liang Zhu Periode** (approx. 3.300-2.200 B.C.), are many of these CONGS, although decorated with neolithic LIANG ZHU ornaments, manufactured in the HAN DYNASTY (ca. 202 v.Chr.- 220 n.Chr.) and later. This was and still is a far common practice because the chinese people feeling very connected to their old ancestors.

Material:

All colours of the different Jade types, from white to black, mostly they are made of red-brown until black-brown Jade.

Symbolism:

To honor the Spirit of the Heaven and Earth the round pi disk and square ts'ung tube were designed to accommodate the belief that the heaven was round and the earth square

In the old chinese philosophy of life of the universe the earth was square and the sky round. So the form of the CONGS arises from this old Chinese faith idea of the universe were the earth is square and the sky is round, and here we will find back also the Bi-disk (pi) as symbol for the heaven.

The square form shall represent the corners of the earth, symbolized by the elements waters, fire, metal and wood.

Every CONG has a round centred drilling, which symbolically will represent the access channel or connection for human to the sky.

Use:

The CONG was used from the early Neolithicum until Historic Times.

The use and symbolism on the CONGS surely will regionally have been very various.

The manner of manufacturing of the CONG, as size, type of jade, the ornamentation and colour, was representing the social status of a person, family or group in the state or community.

Furthermore, they surely also were used for religious rites and other usages.

Since the jade was very expensive and valuable, only empires himself and aristocratic persons could/was allowed to afford a CONG.

*Remark:

Due to the complexity of the topic this manuscript only can be seen informative and doesn't lift up any claim of completeness.

Corrections and additions are reserved.

**This time period is named to the location where a special sort of jade is found, from which many neolithic objects were produced.

CONG made of white Jade, with neolithic LIANG ZHU symbols.
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