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Nanyue Kingdom's jade inspires Beijing 2022 Olympic medals design

2021-Oct-29       Source: Newsgd.com

The decorative patterns of the medals are inspired by Chinese jade ornaments, specifically, the concentric-circle jade unearthed from the Tomb of the Nanyue King in Western Han Dynasty in Guangzhou.

Follow GDToday to pay a visit to the Nanyue King Museum for a closer look at the jade discs that inspired the medal designers. 

The official medals of the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games were unveiled on October 26, 100 days ahead of the opening of the premier sporting event, according to a China Daily report. The decorative patterns of the medals are inspired by Chinese jade ornaments, specifically, the concentric-circle jade unearthed from the Tomb of the Nanyue King in Western Han Dynasty in Guangzhou.

Jade pendant (left) discovered during the Western Han dynasty (Photo: People's Daily)

Jade pendant (left) from the Lingjiatan archaeological site in Anhui, China (Photo: People's Daily)

Wang Weiyi, vice director of the Nanyue King Museum, said that the number of the jade ornaments excavated from the Tomb ranks the top in the country. In addition, the Tomb features a large number of various cultural relics with concentric-circle elements.

According to Lin Guannan, vice director of the Nanyue King Museum, the reference picture of the jade ornament released by the authority is the Type I Jade excavated from the Tomb, numbered D54. A total of five of this kind of jade were unearthed from the Tomb, all of which belonged to the burial objects of the tomb owner, Zhao Mo, the second king of Nanyue Kingdom.

Jade discs unearthed from the Tomb of the Nanyue King in the Western Han Dynasty (Photo provided to Newsgd.com)

Li Minyong, the director of the Nanyue King Museum, pointed out that there were 240 jade wares in total being unearthed from the Tomb of the Nanyue King in the Western Han Dynasty. Apart from the silk jade clothes, all are practical objects, including ceremonial jades, accessories and handicrafts.

“It can be said that once you’ve learnt about the jade wares unearthed from the Tomb of the Nanyue King in Western Han Dynasty, you basically make sense of those produced in the Western Han Dynasty,” archaeologist Huang Zhanyue commented. According to statistics, 71 jade ornaments have been excavated from the Tomb, with five glass-made ornaments and 145 ceramic-made ornaments.

Jade disc numbered D54 is shown on the reference picture of the medals (Photo provided to Newsgd.com)

Jade disc numbered D49, 33.4cm in diameter, is the largest of its kind so far. (Photo provided to Newsgd.com)

The jade ornament produced by Nanyue Kingdom serves as the inspiration of the medals for the Winter Olympic Games, reflecting the contribution of Lingnan culture in the diversity of Chinese civilization. The concentric rings around the center of the medals represent the pursuit of unity and harmony, common in Chinese culture, while echoing the Olympic values of solidarity, inclusiveness and promoting peace.

Author | Nancy (intern)

Video | Eastbrook

Editor | Wing, Monica & Jerry

Editor: Monica Liu

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