Rui was a small but prosperous vassal state during the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century-771 BC) and through the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), before being conquered by the state of Qin. Its glorious days faded into the vastness of history until two separate ground-breaking archaeological discoveries in 2005 and 2018 unveiled part of its past.
More than 300 artifacts from the two findings at Liujiayao relic site, where Rui's capital was once located, in Shaanxi province, will be on show at an upcoming exhibition, The Uniqueness of Zhou Dynasty Artifacts, at the National Museum of China from Dec 13 to March 1, 2020.
Ritual bronzes are included to show the strict social ranks and sets of etiquette obeyed by the ruling class and aristocrats at the time. Jade and gold objects display how the upper echelon of society enjoyed a life more diverse than the commons, as well as the exchanges between them and the nomadic tribes in northern China.