China's making of bronze ware has a long-standing history. One example is the Si-Mu-Wu quardripod, which is a widely known treasure at the National Museum.
But what we are going to tell you about now is a piece of bronze ware that's not very big. In fact, it's a small one, about the size of an incense burner. But it was made during the same period as the Si Mu Wu, and has a similar long story to tell.
Now on exhibit at the Urban Footprint Pavilion at the World Expo, the bronze ware piece belongs to the Yangtze River and Yellow River Hall.
The dainty bronze ware was made in Western Zhou dynasty, around eight hundred BC. It was excavated from a noble family's tomb in Shanxi province in 1993.
The piece is shaped like a round canister. There's a bird on the lid, and four people at the bottom holding up the pedestal. Two bells at the bottom reveal more about the container.
Chen Xiejun, director of Shanghai Museum, said, "We believe the bells functioned to forecast earthquakes."
A tourist said, "I'm a researcher in the field of Chinese archeology. I think (the bells are) a primitive anti-theft system. I've heard of such gadgets before, but today, I see a real one with this feature. It's very fruitful for me."
Ancient China left a wealth of bronze ware relics, and this well-kept piece from Western Zhou dynasty some 2800 years ago, testifies to the mature bronze art making in China of that time, and its enduring quality.