Bones of animals such as cows, sheep, goats and pigs are found in the archeological sites. The jade images from the Hongshan culture show that the animal need not have been domesticated in order to be important. Images of eagles, lions, tigers, rabbits, gazelles and insects such as the cicada (locust) are prominent in the carved jade amulets in this society. In later blogs we will be discussing the meanings that historians and archeologists have learned from the amulets buried with the owners.
While the Hongshan culture was developing along the lower reaches of the Yellow River, farther west along the same river and in the same time span of ca. 5,000 B.C. to 3,000 B.C., the Yangshao culture was developing its own treatment of the many of the same jade images. If we moderns can discern the most important ancient sacred symbol by counting the replications of a certain image over the area from Syria eastward to the China Sea, we have to say that the dragon is by far the most important. There is a work that discusses this phenomenon and relates this to a natural phenomenon observed by the people in that part of the earth in the Early Neolithic Age.
First, let me simply and rather superficially note how the writers explain the origin of this important manifestation of the image of a dragon eating its tail, or the ouroboros. Let's look at a photo in order to have a point of reference.
This blog is simply to give us a point of reference in discussing the cosmic iconography that later became the mythical symbols and popular onamentation of so much of humanity.