Ancient Stone Musical Instrument Found in Shaanxi

A black stone instrument, believed to be 3,000 years old and still able to produce a clear sound, was recently found by a farmer in Zhouzhi County, northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

The stone instrument was identified by an archaeologist as a "qing," an ancient musical instrument.

The stone, 56 cm long, 2.5 cm thick, and weighing 6.2 kilograms, is of primitive simplicity, and has no special decorative pattern, with just a small hole on it to hang it up.

Archaeologist Han Mingde said the stone, found in Zhouzhi, which was a highly developed region during China's Shang and Zhou dynasties about 3,000 years ago, was probably an imperial instrument used in ceremonies.

The "qing," either made of stone or jade, was an important ancient musical instrument and first appeared in China before 1,600 B.C. The finding will make an important contribution to the research of Chinese musical history, said experts.

(People’s Daily 03/07/2001)