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14 October 2011
Dragonfly-eye-shaped bead found in ancient Chinese tomb

A West Asian dragonfly-eye-shaped bead was found in an ancient Chinese tomb in Dangtu, Anhui province, indicating noblemen living in China's Warring States period (475 BCE-221 BCE) did have contacts with West Asian civilization.
     40 items were excavated from the roughly 400-sqm tomb, most of the artifacts were potteries and celadon wares. Judging from those findings, the archaeologists believe they belonged to an aristocrat of Yue, one of the seven major countries in the Warring States period.
     The most eye-catching burial object is a glass bead looking like a dragonfly eye. Such kind of jewellery was made by nomadic tribes in Mediterranean countries in the 10th century BCE and believed to keep bad luck away from the wearers as well as to be used as money, Gong Xicheng, deputy director of the provincial archaeological institute said.
     Frequent contacts between nomadic tribes of West Asia and China allowed the dragonfly-eye-shaped jewellery to become a prized jewel in Chinese upper class during the Warring States period, Gong added.

Edited from Anhui News (12 October 2011)

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