Brilliant Bronze Civilization
The manufacture of bronze wares reached its zenith during the Shang Dynasty. The Simuwu square ding cauldron, made in the late Shang Dynasty, is the biggest item of bronze ware existent in the world. A zun wine vessel with the heads of four goats carved on it, also dating from the Shang Dynasty, is one of the finest examples of bronze ware known.
During pre-Qin times, bronze was also used to make musical instruments. In the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods, chimes were popular musical instruments played at court and religious ceremonies. In 1978, a complete set of chimes was excavated from the tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng in Suizhou, Hubei Province. A total of 64 chimes divided into eight groups according to their different sizes and pitches hung on a three-layer stand of bronze and wood. The chimes have a beautiful timber and wide range, and can still be played after being buried for over 2,000 years.
The Simuwu Square Ding cauldron
The Simuwu square ding cauldron was manufactured in the late Shang Dynasty. It was unearthed in Anyang, Henan Province. The belly of the cauldron is rectangular in shape. The vessel is 1.33 m tall, 1.1 m long and 0.78 m wide. It weighs 832.84 kg, making it the biggest item of ancient bronze ware existent in the world.