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Bronze mask part of chariot harness
Cast bronze
Centimetres: 23.9 (height), 29 (width)
1046 - 850 BC
Western Zhou Dynasty
Area of Origin: China
Area of Use: China; Asia
Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of China
Gift of Joey and Toby Tanenbaum. Certified by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board under the terms of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act. Attestée par la Commission canadienne d'examen des exportations de biens culturels en vertu de la Loi sur l'exportation et l'importation de biens culturels.

Description: Chariotry and horse breeding in China were probably introduced from central Asia, but today only the bronze fittings survive. The shapes of the vehicles and harnessing methods can largely be reconstructed from excavations of Shang and Zhou horse and chariot burials. The chariot was always a vehicle marking prestige, but its function changed over time. In the Shang and early Western Zhou periods, chariots were used primarily for ceremonial and hunting purposes, as well as for battle command vehicles. From about 900 BC to 500 BC, chariots were used more widely in warfare. By the late Eastern Zhou period, cavalry displaced chariots on the battlefield and chariots reverted to use chiefly as ceremonial or hunting vehicles.

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