Cicada-shaped jade unearthed from 3,000-yr-old tomb in central China

ZHENGZHOU, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) — Archaeologists in central China have uncovered a jade item carved to resemble a cicada from a tomb dating back to the Xia Dynasty (2070-1600 BC).

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said the 4-cm-long jade item was found in a tomb in the Erlitou relics site in the city of Yanshi, Henan Province.

Experts speculate that the jade cicada may have been inspired by imaginations stemming from insect molting, including deeming it a new life after death and a way to communicate with the gods.

Zhao Haitao, a researcher with the CASS, said the jade was among the first group of artifacts unearthed from the tomb, which is likely to have the largest collection of burial objects at the site.

“As we continue cleaning the tomb (to identify objects), it is highly likely that we’ll have more important discoveries,” Zhao said, adding that the discovery of numerous kallaite pieces in the tomb indicated the existence of a large kallaite artifact yet to be revealed.

Previously, a rare dragon-shaped artifact consisting of over 2,000 kallaite stones was discovered at another tomb at the site.

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