Children visiting the Jinsha Site Museum in Chengdu, Sichuan province on Thursday had a pleasant surprise.
"We expected to see only cultural relics which we could not fully understand. Instead, we came across interesting artifacts in the shape of animals," said Liu Yiwen, a 9-year-old pupil from Chengdu Paotongshu Primary School.
A tri-colored glazed pottery horse of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). [Photo by Huang Zhiling/chinadaily.com.cn]
The artifacts including an angry bird, rolling lion, tiger with its mouth open and dumbstruck money, she said.
To provide a venue for children to have an ABC of cultural relics in an entertaining fashion, the Jinsha Site Museum and Guangdong Museum are jointly hosting a so-called "All Things Have a Soul: Marvelous Zoo of Animal Style Artworks" exhibition.
The exhibition started on June 1 and ends on August 27.
A pottery monkey was made in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). [Photo by Huang Zhiling/chinadaily.com.cn]
On display in the exhibition in the Jinsha Site Museum are 150 ancient artifacts dating back to the Shang Dynasty (c. 16th century-11th century BC) to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
The overwhelming majority of the artifacts are from Guangdong, said Tao Xiaoli, an information officer with the Jinsha Site Museum.
A gilded tripod with three elephants was made in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). [Photo by Huang Zhiling/chinadaily.com.cn]
A pottery lion was made in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). [Photo by Huang Zhiling/chinadaily.com.cn]
Her museum is best known for a sunbird gold foil unearthed in 2001 at a site not far from where it is on display now.
Measuring 12.5 cm in diameter and weighing 20 grams, the sunbird gold leaf believed to be 3,000 years old is a mere 0.02 cm thick. It has four birds cut out of it.
A hairpin in the shape of a phoenix was made in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). [Photo by Huang Zhiling/chinadaily.com.cn]
The State Administration of Cultural Heritage adopted the sunbird gold foil as China's symbol of cultural heritage in 2005.
Explaining its choice, the administration cited its exquisite craftsmanship and representation of the worship of the sun.