2012 New History
P. O. Box 1-44, Nankang, Taipei 11529, Taiwan, R. O. C.
02-2782-9555 # 226

The Nao Bell from the Chu-Yuan-Kou Site: A Key to the Origin of Chinese Bronzebells

Jian Xu

Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University

Reviewing two monographs on Chinese bronze bells, by Lothar von Falkenhausen, and Chu Wen-wei and L Ch’i-chang, the author rethinks the typology of early Chinese bronze bells before the Middle Western Chou, and points out the significance of a single nao bell from the Chu-yuan-kou site, at Pao-chi. The birth of chime bells is regarded as a result of adopting imported objects in the local ritual system. Moreover, the author suggests that the transition from southern nao to late chime bells should be understood as an aspect of cultural exchanges between the Middle and Lower Yangtze River region and the Kuan-chung area during the Shang-Chou period. In other words, early bronze bells might suggest the source and process of the ritual change from the Shang to the Western Chou dynasties.


Key Words: bronze bell, nao, Chu-yuan-kou