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The Wisdom of the Ancients
Bronze and Metal Ware Production
The 4th Exhibition Gallery, Life Science Hall
May 22, 2015 - February 22, 2016


Stone Age. Bronze Age. Iron Age.
We define entire epics of humanity by the technology they use.

No substance has been as important as metal in the history of man's control of his environment. The unorganized settlements of humans accumulated their living wisdom in materials science that was characteristic of the Stone Age developed into highly evolved Bronze Age.

Bronze, a substance so useful to human beings, is an alloy of copper and tin, sometimes a little lead for special needs. The earliest bronze ware in China was found 3,000 years ago. They fall into three types: ritual vessels, weapons, and miscellaneous objects. The making of bronze ware reached its zenith during the period of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties (1600-771 B.C) when it was dominated by the imperial families and aristocrats. With impressive designs, classical decorative ornamentation, and wealth of inscriptions they produced bronze objects of exceptional brilliance. Bronze wares from Shang & Zhou contain important significance for studying the history, culture, and art of that time.

Hubei Provincial Museum is an amazing museum with over 200,000 impressive artifacts excavated from areas throughout Hubei Province. Their collection of high academic and artistic values will give visitors an in-depth understanding about the brilliant and time-honored culture of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties.

2015 is the year for the National Museum of Natural Science in Taichung, Taiwan to celebrate its 30th anniversary. For 30 years the NMNS has offered a busy schedule of exhibiting and learning-support activities on subjects related to natural science, and become one of the world's most-visited museums. With a grand exhibition titled "The Wisdom of the Ancients: Bronze and Metal Ware Production" the NMNS celebrates its 30th anniversary in collaboration with Hubei Provincial Museum, National Palace Museum, National Museum of History, and Museum of the Institute of History and Philology.

In the exhibition "The Wisdom of the Ancients: Bronze and Metal Ware Production" more than 200 cultural relics from several museums are on display, including pottery, porcelains, jade, bronze vessels, ancient weapons, and ancient musical instruments. 120 out of the 200 relics are from Hubei Provincial Museum. Highlights of the exhibition include the Sword of Goujian, the Spear of Fuchai, an ancient set of bronze bell (Bianzhong), a bronze plate, a bronze wine vessel with gold and silver inlay, a boat wood bucket from the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 B.C), and extensive artifacts from the tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng.

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The Wisdom of the Ancients

The exhibition consists of five parts: The Origin, Distribution, and Importance of Bronze, Copper Mining and Smelting Techniques, Bronze-casting Techniques, Bronze Ware Made from the Shang Dynasty to the Warring States Period, and The Modern Casting Technology. Each part will allow visitors delve deeper into the wonderful world of the Bronze Age, and each topic will let visitors explore more about bronze with interactive stations such as videos, demonstrations, models, and practices. Also, during the exhibition, experts will show visitors how to cast and shape bronze wares. Visitors can even get up close and personal with three pieces of ancient bronze ware and experience lifting a tripod cauldron or ding.

"In honor of our thirtieth anniversary," says Museum Director Sun Wei-shin at the opening reception, "we spent three years preparing for this high quality exhibition and related stimulating public programs, which are designed to turn on the science." Sun also notes that as a leading role in natural science in Taiwan the Museum has been trying to make science be an integral part of people's lives. "This exhibition is quite a big educational and cultural event between the two sides across the Strait," ends Sun up with special appreciation to the Director of Hubei Provincial Museum Fang Qin, who says that they have offered as much as they can for the exhibition.

The exhibition "The Wisdom of the Ancients: Bronze and Metal Ware Production" opens on May 22, 2015 and will be open to visitors until February 22, 2016. Come and travel back to 3000 B.C with us!

  • Exhibition admission is NT$250(adults), NT$220(groups of 20+, students, policemen, military members), NT$200(Museum members, seniors ages 65-69, reporters, Wednesday early visitors),and free for seniors 70+, children age 6 and under, guides with license, disabled visitors and one companion. Please visit our fee page for details.
  • Related programs are available.

The Wisdom of the Ancients: Bronze and Metal Ware Production is made possible through the generous support of Hubei Provincial Museum, National Palace Museum, National Museum of History, and Museum of the Institute of History and Philology.

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