[SZ] Relics of war: the sword of Goujian
2010-February-9 Source: Szdaily web edition
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Bianzhong, set bells with restored wooden rack.

The world-renowned Sword of Goujian, which belonged to the king of Yue State during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 B.C.), is now being exhibited at Shenzhen Museum until May 30. Displayed together with the sword are 137 other cultural relics from the Chu State, another state of the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period (476-221 B.C.).

The Sword of Goujian was found in 1965 in Hubei Province, in what would have been the center of the Chu State. Renowned for its sharpness and resilience to tarnish, this historical artifact is currently in the collection of Hubei Museum.

The sword is 55.6 centimeters in length, including a 10-centimeter hilt. The blade is five centimeters wide. In addition to the repeating dark rhombi pattern on both sides of the blade, there are also decorations of blue crystals and turquoise. The grip of the sword is bound in silk, while the pommel is composed of eleven circles.


Suits of armor discovered in Hubei in 2002.

On one side of the blade, two columns of text are visible. In total there are eight characters written in ancient script, known as niaochong characters (literally translated as birds and worms characters). Analysis of the text deciphered six of the characters, which revealed that the sword was made for Goujian’s personal use.

Wang Quanwen, vice president of Hubei Museum, said of the sword: "This sword represents the highest achievement of the bronze casting technique of the whole period before the Qin Dynasty (221-207 B.C.). It is a world-renowned precious treasure."

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Editor: Miranda
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