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2) Bronze ritual vessel, called ting, or tripod. Middle Shangperiod, about 1,300 BC. Size about 21 in. high. This tripod is a good example of Phase One, the simplest, stylistically and technologically, of early Shang bronzes; later Phase Four and Five bronzes are much more complex. The two-eyed figure in the middle of the band at the top is called t'ao-tieh, and is thought to represent, realistically or symbolically, a Shang deity. Shang bronzes were used at ritual events where food and wine were sacrificed or fed to ancestors. Later bronzes often contain inscriptions that indicate that they were given by the king to honored nobles in recognition for military or other achievements. They were prized and valuable objects and were often buried with their owners.

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