Mystery of the jade disc Bi
Mystery of the jade disc Bi. In Ancient China about 5000 year BC large stone disks of jade were placed in the graves of the local nobility. Their purpose and method of manufacture, still remains a mystery to scientists, because jade is a very durable stone.
Jade – precious silicate mineral which is commonly used for making vases, ornaments and other jewelry. Usually it is colorless, however, the content of chromium or other impurities attached to the jade emerald-green hue. It is very hard and difficult to process material, so the choice of this stone for the manufacture of disks by the inhabitants of Ancient China in the late Neolithic period is puzzling in the scientific circles.
Jade or as they are called bi disks are round flat ring with a hole in the center that belonged to the liangzhu culture. Apparently they had an important religious significance, as was found in the tombs on the bodies of the dead Chinese aristocrats during the prosperity of the Hongshan culture (3800-2700 years BC), and later in the liangzhu culture (3000-2000 years BC). The stones were placed on the dead near the stomach or chest as a symbol of the sky, designed to accompany the journey into the afterworld or «sky.» The Chinese called jade is «Yu» which means «precious», «noble», «clean».
As no metal instruments of that period has not been found, archaeologists suggest that the disks most likely were made with the help of soldering and polishing. Therefore, scientists have raised a reasonable question: why did our ancestors spent on the treatment of such a rare and hard stone so much time and effort?
Some believe that the importance of the disc bi is directly related to religion and gods in Chinese culture; the other is that the disks symbolize the sun or the wheel, reflecting the circle of life and death. During the war, the loser had to give the jade disk as a sign of submission to the conqueror. This proves that the disks were not just decoration, but had special significance.
Mystics have put forward the hypothesis that the disks bi are related to the so-called «drop Stones». These stones in the shape of a disk with age, presumably 12 000 years was allegedly discovered in a cave in the mountains of Bayan-Hara-Ula on the border between Tibet and China in the burial place of a race of humanoids that had extraterrestrial origin.
The Smithsonian Institute (USA) has always shown great interest in the origin of the jade discs and have made a significant contribution to their learning. Currently in the collection of the Institute there are more than 150 disks bi. Janet Douglas from Art galleries to them. The freer and Arthur Sackler the Smithsonian institution, and studied carefully the disks under a microscope, proposed that the ancient masters objecively a piece of jade «saws» from strips of leather (abrasive served coarse sand) and got a flat and thin «slice». He was then given a round shape. The Central hole (too perfectly round) cut, rotating bi on the knife-edged instrument that resembled a modern drill.
Whatever it was, but many questions about the purpose and methods of creating such sophisticated forms of jade disks still remain unanswered.