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The Jian with Water and Land Battling Pattern, unearthed in a tomb in Jixian County of Henan Province in 1935, was a bronze ware made in the Warring States Period (475-221BC). It reflects the outstanding inlay techniques in early days.

Jian is a water container used in ancient China. In summer it also served to store ice to keep foods at a low temperature. Some Jian could additionally be used as washing basins.

The Jian with Water and Land Battling Pattern has a flat bottom and round feet. On the top of the Jian's wall there are two animal-shaped rings. Pictures of water and land battles are inlaid on the outer wall of the Jian. The pictures involve 286 people, who are all in their silhouettes.

Water and land battling pattern mainly has two subject matters - wars and feasts, and wars are the major one. In water and land battling pattern of wars, the contents include infantry battle, conquering the city and sea-fight. All figures on the pattern are placed side by side without difference of depth but they are different from each other in terms of importance.

The inlay craft has a long history in China. As early as the Shang Dynasty (17th-11th century BC), people have begun to inlay a kind of turquoises on stoneware and bronze ware. The emergence of ironware in the Warring States Period made it possible to engrave subtle decorative patterns on bronze wares.

The Jian with Water and Land Battling Pattern crystallizes the dedication, the talent and the wisdom of its craftsmen. As a magnificent cultural and artistic inheritance, it represents the high techniques of inlay craft during the Warring States Period.

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