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FACTBOX: China's national treasures complement Olympics
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16:26, August 24, 2008

The Capital Museum in Beijing is showcasing 169 collections of national treasures from around the nation during the "Chinese Memory" exhibition to complement the Olympics and Paralympics.

Here are facts about the assembled treasures, among others.

BONE FLUTE: Dating back to the Peiligang Culture Period (7,000-5,000 BC) in the Neolithic Age, this is the earliest musical organ found in China. It is made from red-crowned crane wing bones, and can still be played.

SANXINGDUI BRONZE MASK: Sanxingdui is reputed for amazing masks made of bronze. The one displayed here features eyes that stick out 9 cm with unusually large eyeballs. The mask dates back to the early and late Shang Dynasty (1600 BC-1046 BC).

TERRACOTTA WARRIORS AND HORSES: Four lifelike and life-sized terracotta figures, crafted during the Qin Dynasty (221 BC-206 BC), are presented, the highest rank being a general. The warriors are 1.8 meters high on average. A terracotta horse is also displayed among them.

JADE BURIAL SUIT: This suit is made of 4,248 fine rectangular jade tablets sewn together with gold thread. It dates back to the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-25 AD).

CERAMIC FIGURINE DEPICTING A STORYTELLER: This 55 cm-high figure has a lively body form as well as a vivid, exaggerated facial expression with a drum hanging from his waist. It belongs to the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 AD-220 AD).

BRONZE CASH TREE: From Mianyang City in southwest Sichuan Province, this survivor of the May 12 earthquake is 198 cm in height. It consists of 29 components with copper coins hanging from the branches as leaves. It dates to the Eastern Han Dynasty.

NYMPH OF THE LUOHE RIVER: This hand-scroll painting drew its inspiration from the essay "Ode to The Nymph of the Luohe River" written by Cao Zhi (192 AD-232 AD). He was the third son of Cao Cao in the Three Kingdoms period (220 AD-265 AD). The painting itself was done on silk in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). It captures the imaginary meeting between Cao Zhi and Luoshen, or the Nymph of the Luohe River, a daughter of the mythical ruler Fuxi.

Source: Xinhua

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