The history of jade is interwoven within Chinese history. Carvings made from jade throughout Chinese cultural history have represented social status, and within jade cultural history, the jade pi disc ranks amongst the most important. The jade pi disc has always carried great mystical and spiritual significance. As a part of complex rituals, the jade pi disc has been a long-time representative of Chinese culture as noted by its frequent appearance and wide variety throughout time. Within the widespread scope of jade carvings, the jade pi disc represents artistic and historical discovery and inspiration of the highest order and magnitude.
In the Han Dynasty, jade played an important role in politics, cultural, and technical development. Jade carvings from the Han Dynasty are noticeably different fromthose of previous dynasties in their magnificence and artistic value. As such, the jade pi discs from the Han Dynasty represent a peak in Chinese jade carving history and are worthy of further research.
This article utilizes the archeology method of the typology , and through research and the reorganization of data derived from large-scale archeology digs of Han Dynasty grave sites introduces a new way of looking at jade pi discs unearthed at various locations within certain regions.
By gathering data that was previously divided into historical stages, geographical regions and specific grave sites and by analyzing the derived description of jade objects found throughout the data, this paper hopes to demonstrate the status of jade within the whole of the Han Dynasty and more importantly the significance of the jade pi disc. By reorganizing the previously collected data by regional similarities and differences and cross-correlating it with specific characteristic of uncovered Han Dynasty jade pi discs such as decorative design in utensil characteristics and use function, this paper hopes to provide a foundational model that can be used for future research of jade pi disc from the Han Dynasty.
The first chapter, “Introduction”: elaborates the idea behind the research, discusses the literature from which the research is derived, and describes the research techniques used.
The second chapter, “The Study of Jade Pi Disc within Han Dynasty ”, reorganizes the comprehensive data from the Western and Eastern Han Dynasty large-scale grave site digs and segments the archeology data into jade category, and specifically jade pi discs. Additional data is extracted by analyzing the digs data for descriptive characteristics to reveal social class and the status and function al information as it pertains to Han Dynasty jade pi disc symbol.
The third chapter, “Analysis of Chinese jades pi disc by stages and type research”: Using the typology research method, which divides jade pi discs into two major time intervals Eastern Han Dynasty and the Western Han Dynasty. The data is further divided into nine distinct regional districts in order to take into account regional differences.
The fourth chapter, further categorizes “Han Dynasty jade pi discs” by function . The function of the Han Dynasty jade pi discs are manifested in sacrificial offering and funeral activities. Because of the precious and rare nature of the jade, societal beliefs elevated jade pi discs not only as worthy of “heavenly matters” but in other situations, the jade pi disc functioned to symbolize wealth and also decorative uses as accessory jewelry functions.
The fifth chapter concludes by summarizing the key highlights from the full text, and illustrates the opinion of the writer of this paper.