1. (Undated Folder Sheet note) This finely finished dagger-axe has a clearly defined median crest extending laterally from the point to the tang. The subtle curve of the median crest repeats the contours of the beveled outer edges of the blade, which merge into the smoothly rounded surfaces of the point. Even the upper and lower edges of the slightly recessed tang echo the outward curve established by the blade. A small, circular, conical perforation appears at the central axis on the tang; there is a smaller perforation at one of the corners. On each side of the base of the blade there is a band of incised lozenges filled with smaller lozenges and triangles. Areas of darkened cinnabar cover the surfaces of the blade.
The fragility of jade dagger-axes of this type is a reminder of their ritual function. While they were modeled after the bronze ge 戈, which constituted the most common weapon during the Shang 商 and Zhou 周 dynasties, jade dagger-axes were not used in battle. On occasion, jade blades were fitted with elaborately inlaid bronze supports. Those ceremonial implements provide a clear indication of the pageantry that attended Shang 商 dynasty court functions.
2. (Stephen Allee, June 17, 2008) As per Jenny F. So, Jade Project Database, changed Period one from "Shang 商dynasty" to "Late Shang 商 dynasty"; changed Date from "ca. 1200 BCE" to "12th--11th century BCE." Changed Object Name from "Weapon: dagger-axe (ge 戈) blade" to "Ceremonial object." Added Dimensions (H x W x D: 23.8 x 7.60 x 0.54) as per Christine Lee, from Jade Project Database.
3. (Jeffrey Smith per Keith Wilson, July 16, 2008) Ceremonial object added as secondary classification.
4. (Stephen Allee, March 25, 2009) Designation "nephrite" added to Medium "Jade," as per Janet Douglas, using x-ray diffraction (July 1998). Added Published References (one item), as per Jenny F. So, Jade Project Database.
5. (Najiba Choudhury per Keith Wilson, August 16, 2017) Title changed from "Dagger-axe (ge)" to "Dagger-axe (ge 戈), fragment reworked"; period one changed from "Late Shang dynasty" to "Erlitou culture or early Shang dynasty"; date changed from "ca. 12th-11th century BCE" to "ca. 2000-1400 BCE"; deleted "Anyang period" from period two; geography changed from "China, probably Henan province, Anyang" to "China, probably Henan province"; and dimensions changed from "H x W x D: 23.8 x 7.6 x 0.5 cm (9 3/8 x 3 x 3/16 in)" to "H x W x D: 7.6 x 23.8 x 0.5 cm (3 x 9 3/8 x 3/16 in)".
6. (Najiba Choudhury per Keith Wilson, February 4, 2019) Added Chinese translation by Jingmin Zhang; added the following to the description field, "Blade, pointed, slightly curved with a low ridge in the center; band of incised lozenges around the center; pierced twice; translucent greenish tan. (Mostly calcified; brown surface deposit.)"; and added past label text by Thomas Lawton from the exhibition, In Praise of Ancestors.
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