added by archaeologs Chinese artifact, a tube of jade with square outer and round inner perimeter, of unknown symbolism to the southern Neolithic cultures of China. Examples vary widely in size and proportions and have also been found at both Shang and Zhou (Chou) sites. They are often decorated with the taotie design. The earliest examples come from 3rd millennium BC.
added by archaeologs [¡sung, ts’ung]. Chinese jade object made in the shape of a tube with square outer and round inner perimeter. Examples vary widely in size and proportions. Zong have been found at both Shang and Zhou sites but may have been more common in Neolithic times. The earliest examples come from 3rd millennium bc Liangzhu sites and are frequently decorated at the corners with schematic face-like designs, often little more than paired eyes. The traditional interpretation of the zong as a ‘symbol of the earth’ is a late invention unsupported by archaeology or early texts. Other suggestions, for instance that it was a container for ancestral tablets or that it was used in conjunction with a jade disc as an astronomical instrument, seem equally irrelevant to the early examples found in Neolithic graves.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983