Excavations at B'ei-li-kang near Luo-yang date materials found at that site to 6000-5000 B.C." (Pearson Education, 2007). In order to understand better about early Chinese funerary art, there are several issues in particular which need to be discussed. The Chinese culture itself, the history of Chinese art, and as well the purpose of funerary art in this regards are all incredibly significant and critical issues, and by thoroughly examining and discussing all of these issues, we will be able to attain a more informed and knowledgeable understanding in regards to what Chinese funerary art is all about. This is what will be dissertated in the following.
Chinese art has truly varied throughout history, and it has been divided into certain periods by the ruling dynasties of China in particular, and that includes the Yangshao, Dawenkou, Hongshan, Liangzhu, Longshan, Early Shang, Anyang, Eastern and Western Zhou, Warring States, and the Early Qin Dynasties. The difference in art is remarkable throughout each separate dynasty; the way that the art evolved, and the actual purpose and meaning of it as well, especially in regards to funerary art.
In the earliest dynasty periods in China, the forms of (funerary) art were typically made from pottery and jade, "to which was added bronze in the Shang Dynasty" (Wikipedia, 2007). It was in early imperial China when porcelain was introduced into the art forms, and this is in fact why in English the word China has become associated with the most valuable and high-quality porcelain. The Shang Dynasty is actually considered as being the first dynasty of all, and inscriptions are one of the most significant art forms that took place during the time of this dynasty, and this meant inscriptions on bronze artifacts and oracle bones for instance, the oracle bones in particular which date back to the latter half of the dynasty, and these divinations can truly be considered as standing for various different things, including for giving information on the politics, economy, culture, and religion at that time.
The Western Zhou Dynasty period was another which held incredible significance, and it was during this period in particular in which inscriptions became increasingly common and significant, and as well lengthier, and these were used to truly extol the achievements of the owner, as well as express the 'poignant wish' that the piece will not only be able to honor his forebears, but as well that he will be able to recall his own merits to his descendants, for 'generations without end'.
The Yangshao Dynasty is yet another one of great importance in regards to the Chinese (funerary) art which was created during this time, and one of the most common forms of art in particular was that of swirling spirals and geometric designs, of which were often etched onto pottery wares. During the latter part of this dynasty, brush-painted pottery became incredibly popular, and it also became more sophisticated in regards to the way that it was completed, especially in regards to the handling of the design.
The Dawenkou Dynasty is another important time period here for Chinese art, and during this period it was ceramics that were incredibly common and as well significant, and here as well inscriptions were used quite frequently,