On Evolution of Images of Chinese Dragons Through Jade Artifacts of Chinese Neolithic Culture: Part II

In the previous article, we looked into the differences between Chinese dragons and European dragons, as well as the image of Chinese dragons presented on a jade artifact of Lingjiatan Culture.

A C-shaped jade dragon of Hongshan Culture (circa. 3500-2000 BC)

Of all excavated Jade dragons of Hongshan Culture, they mainly fall into two types — C-shaped jade dragon (image above) and jade pig dragon (image below). The latter one is of a thicker body, mostly in an oval or circular shape while the former one is in similar shape as the jade dragon of Lingjiatan Culture. The coiled dragon body forms a loop that its head is like sticking towards its tail.

A jade pig dragon of Hongshan Culture. Collection of National Palace Museum.

Comparing the craftsmanship of both pieces, the jade dragon of Lingjiatan Culture is decorated with carvings in low-relief.

An arch-shaped jade dragon of Lingjiatan

We take another example, an arch-shaped jade dragon of Lingjiatan, to further analyze jade dragons from both cultures. It bears striking resemblances to C-shaped dragons of Hongshan Culture, especially on the flat-ended snout and the forehead line. Could that be an implication of how both culture somehow share any connection? We shall take jade works from later periods to further illustrate the evolution of the images of Chinese dragons.