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Bronze Age (c. 1500 – 221 BC)


 

The Bronze Age in Hong Kong is equivalent to the period extending from the middle of the Shang dynasty to the Qin dynasty. Archaeological remains from this age have been excavated at Sham Wan, Tai Wan, Yung Shue Wan and Lo So Shing on Lamma Island, Hai Dei Wan, Tung Wan, Man Kok Tsui and Sha Lo Wan on Lantau Island, Tung Wan Tsai on Ma Wan and Kwo Lo Wan at Chek Lap Kok etc.

Although these sites yielded only a small number of bronze artefacts, such as axes, spearheads, hooks and knives, a number of stone moulds for casting bronze tools were also found that prove that the indigenous people had already mastered this technology. Furthermore, advancements in kiln-firing techniques had also led to the production of high-fired hard pottery ware, which were decorated with geometric patterns such as double-Fs, spirals and lozenges. The skills used to produce stone ornaments had also improved, a perfect illustration of which is provided by the sets of highly polished quartz rings unearthed at Hai Dei Wan on Lantau Island.

Historical documents record that South China around 3,000 years ago was inhabited by the Bai Yue tribes, and it is thought that the Bronze Age artefacts unearthed in Hong Kong were produced by the ancient Yue people. Almost 1,000 Bronze Age burial sites have been unearthed in South China, while pottery kilns for the production of geometric hard pottery have also been discovered in Boluo county in Guangdong. Some of the hard geometric wares that have been found in Hong Kong are thought to be products of the Boluo kilns and indicate the existence of trade and exchange networks in the Pearl River Delta.

夔紋硬陶大甕
Hard pottery urn with double-F pattern
Bronze Age
Excavated from Hai Dei Wan, Lantau Island
Height: 54cm Body diameter: 49cm
銅斧石鑄範
Stone mould for casting bronze axe
Bronze Age
Excavated from Sha Po Tsuen, Lamma Island
Length: 10.6cm Width: 7.3cm
Stone yazhang and stone ornaments
Stone yazhang and stone ornaments
Bronze Age
Excavated from Tai Wan, Lamma Island
Length of yazhang : 21.7cm Width: 4.6cm

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